Thursday, July 1, 2010

Light Food and Ale

Sometimes you're best not knowing. Sometimes too much information can just be a bad thing. Sometimes blind is the best way to fly.

Had someone told me that Sammy T's in Fredericksburg was predominantly a Veg/Vegan restaurant I'd have passed. I personally like it when my food has wandered around a bit and Mrs. Sippi is the same way. With a menu that is probably 80% meatless it just wouldn't seem like my kinda place. A peruse of the menu though showed that diners from both sides of the meat debate can be satiated.

Opened in 1805 the brick building that is now home to Sammy T's began it's life as "Buck's Auction Room." Yep, "Auction room." It's kind of a sobering thought being a guy from an area that has really never seen slavery. As the story goes, after being off loaded from ships on the docks of the Rappahannock River slaves were taken through tunnels carved in the river banks and into the basement of Buck's where they'd await to be sold into bondage. A rather checkered start for this land mark.
After emancipation and the war it became a private home for a one time brigadier general before becoming the local post office. It later became an auto supply store and eventually would begin it's life as a restaurant. It's second incarnation as a restaurant began in 1980 when Sammy T's flew open it's doors for the first time.

The menu is generally pretty light. They do have some heavier dishes like a baked potato but for the most part it's sandwiches and salads. The portions are a little smaller than most places you'll find and in this case it's a good thing. A sandwich needn't weigh 3 lbs. A fine selection of breads helps in the sandwich department while things like humus and legumes ensure those who don't eat meat can still get their protein.

So onto the food.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the menu was the specials insert. "Roast Beefus" was at the top of the list. I could probably have put the menu back down at that point. Although I read it all there was nothing that sounded like it could compete. You can get it cold but I opted for hot. The roast beef comes on a grilled croissant with cheese, tomato, lettuce and horseradish mayonnaise. A fantastic sandwich however I think I'd have liked a little more of the mayo on it. The bit that was there seemed to have a decent bite to it and a little more would've been perfect.

Mrs. Sippi ordered the apple cheddar melt. It came with choice of bread which for her was a hearty whole wheat. It's served open face with mayo, grainy mustard, pumpkin seeds, Granny Smith apple and melted cheddar. It was an excellent combination.

One reason I'm glad I scanned the whole menu is I noticed they had pimento cheese. I've heard of it. I've seen it made. I've seen tubs of it in stores. I've just never had it. Pimento cheese is a spread made of cheese, mayonnaise and pimento. This was it. I was trying it for the first time.
Mrs. Sippi would have to be my yard stick on this obviously as I had nothing to compare it to. Her assessment was that it was "Fantastic." You don't often find fresh ground pepper in it and her opinion was that it added a dimension that took it to another level. It was tight, unlike the extra creamy stuff you get out of a tub. It came on choice of bread and that same whole wheat made a fine selection.

There's also a terrific locally crafted lager on tap. The Blue and Grey Brewing Company's offering was crisp and fresh with a slight citrus ting and a little on the light side. It was pretty much what you'd expect from a Bavarian lager.

You can find Sammy T's at 801 Caroline St. Fredericksburg, Virginia.

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You can also find them on the web.
Sammy T's on Urbanspoon

Well it's time to hit the road again. Stay tuned for more.


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