Our first stop was Feast!, a cafe and market on Main Street in Charlottesville. The tiny space is well used, and full of beautiful specialty foodstuffs. I walked out with a bottle of Lillet wine, (local, no- beautiful, yes) one of the tastiest vegetarian sandwiches ever (the Local- goat cheese, tapenades and artichoke hearts) a side of white bean salad and a chocolate covered, cheese stuffed fig. Pretty much my dream lunch.
This is the perfect fueling stop before taking on the Charlottesville wineries. It is easy to get to from 64, and in a lovely part of town. Stay tuned for Day Trip, Part 2- Wine! where we get lost and get found with some of Virginia's best wines.I loved this place. It can be a bit hectic, so it may not be the right spot for a quite restful meal, but if your up for a bit of deli-market style energy then you will be well rewarded. The amount of delicious food that surrounds you, wines and hard ciders you can't find in Richmond, the cheese counter, the olives and olive oils, candies and chocolates, and packages of prepared foods made with local eggs, chicken, dairy and greens, all give you plenty to look at while you wait for your own meal to be served. I had the Polyface chicken salad sandwich and I dare say it was the best chicken salad sandwich I have ever had. Served on Albemarle Baking Company bread the chicken was finely pulled or maybe slightly pureed for a nice texture. Smoked Gouda cheese and some kind of slightly spicy Dijon mustard topped it off. I had mine with a small salad of fresh greens. I could barely finish I was so full, but it was so good I didn't waste a bit.... delicious!One flaw with the whole set up is the restroom issue. There is a one person bathroom in the common area connecting the various shops however, it is locked and you need to get the code in order to open the door. That worked out, we did a quick walk through of the connected kitchen wares shop and headed two doors down, straight to Gearhart's Chocolate! Well, almost "straight," as we walked past the shop entrance twice before finding the small but well appointed shop. We each got an 8 piece chocolate box as an Easter treat for family. You can pick out your own beautiful chocolates from the case or take a pre-packaged box. An eight piece box will cost you about $13 (about half the price I paid for 8 turtles at Godiva earlier this year). I picked out the Earl Grey, The Michigan, the Maya and the Mint Julep to name a few. So far not one has disappointed, which I can say because my husband has generously shared with me. The chocolate is made there for the Charlottesville shop, and now also for the new location on Libbie Ave. in Richmond.