The gem of Main Street Market, Feast! is sure to be a hit for anyone who loves real ingredients
Feast! — a café in the Main Street Market on West Main Street — is just a short walk, drive or trolley ride from the Corner. And unlike a lot of the yummy food spots in downtown Charlottesville, Feast! has its own parking lot, so you do not have to worry about scouring the road for street parking or paying for a meter.
Sharing a building with Orzo Kitchen & Wine Bar, Feast! has a cozy, friendly atmosphere that is perfect for any age or outing. As a hybrid between a gourmet food shop and a lunch cafe, there are a suitable number of tables for those who choose to stay to eat lunch. Patrons order their lunch at a counter and wait for their number to be called, and I found that while waiting for your food to be ready, the market serves as a perfect place to poke around. I felt like a kid in a candy shop among the olive oils, cheeses and snacks. The staff all seemed very knowledgeable about the different types of food sold in the shop and were all very friendly. There were more adults and middle aged people present than college students, but also a handful of young children running around.
I went to Feast! on a breezy fall Friday afternoon with two of my close friends who are on different ends of the food preference spectrum. One of my friends has a very simplistic approach to all things food and got a grilled baguette with mozzarella and prosciutto, essentially a “boujee bacon grilled cheese.” The mozzarella on this sandwich was amazing, and I think that is one of the best food categories here — cheese.
While this wasn’t my idea of culinary perfection, my friend said the simplistic grilled cheese was still great because of the quality of the ingredients — you didn’t need anything more than bread, cheese and meat for an amazing taste.
My second friend went for the more exotic option and chose the chicken, cheddar and fig sandwich, made up of chicken, cheddar, fig jam and mayo-mustard on grilled focaccia bread. The components all blended together perfectly into a warm, crunchy masterpiece. The bread used on the sandwiches is from Albemarle Baking Company, a local bakery and, in my opinion, home of the best baguette in Charlottesville. Both of these sandwiches were $9 each, which is not a bad price for the quality of the ingredients such as the meats and cheeses Feast! is known for. Each sandwich is also available in half sizes that can be paired with a homemade soups.
To quench your thirst, Feast! has a selection of homemade juices and tea combinations such as the $3 “Activated Charcoal Lemonade Detox” that I tried. Listed on the front of the bottle are the few ingredients used to make the lemonade — water, lemon juice, sugar, coconut activate and charcoal powder. With a drink like this, you can be confident that you are not putting any toxic or processed additives into your body. Importantly, the drink tasted amazing. Instead of an overly earthy or bitter taste that many current health drinks have, it tasted just like fresh-squeezed lemonade.
Some of my favorite other snacks that Feast! has to offer are the house crostini, the olive oils — particularly the lemon — and the variety of cheeses — particularly the bries. Not only is Feast! the perfect place to shop for a housewarming gift for a gathering, it’s also a reasonably-priced, casual lunch for anyone who loves good food in its simplest form.