Restaurant Review: Taste

Taste in Virginia Beach's Bayville.

Taste in Virginia Beach’s Bayville. Looks more ghetto than it really was.

Taste is a small family-owned gourmet deli chain based around the Norfolk, Va., area that started as a wine and cheese shop about four decades ago before branching out to sandwiches. I was told it would be nearly criminal if I failed to have a sandwich there before leaving the area, so I obliged.

Six locations are scattered across the Chesapeake Bay area, as far north as Newport News and as far south as Chesapeake. The one I chose – in the Virginia Beach neighborhood of Bayville just outside the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base – was staffed by young people who greeted customers with a smile and offered suggestions for Taste rookies like me. Genuine conversation and good customer service are unfortunately the exception rather than the norm in D.C. eateries, so I enjoyed the friendly banter.

I took the manager’s recommendation and ordered the Northender, featuring honey smoked turkey, applewood smoked bacon, havarti, avocado, lettuce and basil mayo on a French roll.  The Taste location in Bayville currently has no indoor seating and I didn’t feel like freezing my ass off on the wooden tables outside, so I took my order to go and bounced (that’s hip-hop for “exited the location or situation“). Aight?!

I don’t recommend eating a sandwich like this while driving on the highways. I should’ve been cited for reckless driving a few times while sludge plopped into my lap as I bit into my Northender, but it was worth it.

Eat me.

The Northender: “Eat me.”

The havarti, avocado and basil mayo gave my sandwich the kind of tasty, creamy texture you don’t ordinarily get when you make a sandwich on your own. The turkey was fresh, and the lettuce and tomato were crispy.

And that was just one of a couple dozen sandwich combinations. Additionally, there are plenty of sides to choose from – potato and pasta salads, chips, cookies, etc. My only complaint is that this location needs indoor seating (I’m not hanging around to eat outside when it’s 20-some degrees) and a bathroom (I’m not hanging around to hold my wee-wee like a schoolkid). This won’t be my only trip to Norfolk, and this won’t be my only trip to Taste.



About Chairman Mao

I like fomenting socialist revolutions and purging my homeland of pseudo-intellectualism and capitalist dogma. I also like sports, dogs and food (although I wouldn't consider myself a foodie).
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