It was standing room only during the lunch rush at Richmond’s first Taste Unlimited. The gourmet food store and cafe, which has a devoted following in the Hampton Roads area, quietly opened its doors a couple days ago, and an announcement on Facebook this morning brought diners out in droves.
The space is sleek, with about 15 two-and four-top tables in the dining area, plus a long, communal table in the middle. The retail area features giant cans of specialty nuts (if samples are available, go for the Chesapeake Bay crab peanuts), plastic containers of cheese straws and bottles of gourmet maple syrup.
A large cooler displays the usual suspects on the drink front: organic juices, jars of kombucha, cold-brew coffee in cans and sparkling water. For something a little different try a bottle of Tost, a fizzy white tea beverage with cranberry and ginger flavors. Next to the rows of cans and bottles are grab-and-go items like sandwiches, salads, brownies and cheese plates.
It’s the sandwich counter that has folks losing their minds, though. These sandwiches are beloved, and the signatures are named after Hampton Roads-area landmarks: Ghent, Princess Anne, Bayville Farms, etc. Favorites include the Northender, with honey-smoked turkey, bacon, havarti, avocado, lettuce, tomato and basil mayo on French bread. There’s also a build-your-own option, with nine breads, proteins like tuna salad, roasted chicken breast, prosciutto, citrus pork loin and garbanzo kofta, plus about a dozen cheeses. Whatever sandwich you get, ask for a side of the roasted pepper aioli. You won’t regret it.
On the dessert end there’s a selection of gelato (which will rotate seasonally), freshly-baked cookies, and double-chocolate brownies so dense you practically need to use both hands.
5706 Grove Ave., Suite 100
Every day 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.