Meaty Sandwiches

The Carving Board Café
624 Albemarle Square, Charlottesville, Virginia

By Patricia B. Mitchell, 2008.

The Carving Board Cafe

Candice Liptak and Justin Van Der Linde offer salads, soups, and sandwiches to the public Monday through Firday, from 10am to 4pm. Their eatery, the Carving Board Café, is located at 624 Albemarle Square. You need to be looking for this little restaurant, because it is easy to miss. It is worth finding, though.

On my group's most recent visit we ordered the Chicken and Cheese ($4.75), the Beef Barbeque ($4.50), and a “build your own” Roasted Turkey ($4.50). The three sandwiches were all big, with beaucoups of meat.

The Chicken and Cheese on a freshly-baked sub roll is, of course, twin sister to a Steak and Cheese. The big wide strips of grilled chicken were tasty and tender. Large chunks of sautéed green peppers, onion rings, and mushrooms were blanketed with the melty Provolone cheese. Homemade Italian Vinaigrette added to the diverse flavors.

The Beef Barbeque, smoked and pulled on the premises, was served on a hearty bun and topped with cole slaw, fried onion straws, and a somewhat spicy barbeque sauce. The coarsely-shredded meat was mild but very good.

The Roasted Chicken was, like our other two choices, a protein-filled sandwich. It was dressed with lots of shredded lettuce, onions, tomato, pickles, ripe olives, and banana peppers. Jalapeño peppers are also an option.

Soups (Seafood Chowder and “Soup of the Day”) are available. The Soup of the Day on our visit was Gazpacho, a refreshing choice for the sizzling hot summer day.

A few desserts and non-alcoholic beverages are also offered.

The restaurant is, as mentioned, very petite, so it is a good thing that many patrons come and get their brown paper bags to go. (The owners also do catering.) The friendly efficiency and culinary talent displayed here speaks well of Johnson & Wales, the pair's alma mater. However, it is surely Liptak and Van Der Linde's own vision and consistency which provide the foundation for this delightful establishment.

The Carving Board Cafe

Chicken and Cheese.

The Carving Board Cafe

Roasted Turkey.

The Carving Board Cafe

Beef Barbeque.