Arts & Entertainment

Restaurant Spotlight: Nourish Market

318spotlightStumbling upon the deli at Nourish Market feels like finding a hidden gem. Here, in the back of a little health food store in a little strip mall on Broad Street is a spot that serves big, tasty sandwiches. But this deli and its stellar sandwiches are no secret to locals. The deli has even won Best of Falls Church honors a few times now for the quality of its sandwiches.

After walking past shelves stocked with all manner of food for healthy and responsible living, patrons find themselves at the back of the shop and in front of a short deli counter. Vegan “chicken” salad and other good-for-you grub can be seen through the glass case, but it’s the made-to-order sandwiches that are the big draw.

Tiny slips of paper on the countertop let customers place their order by choosing from nearly 20 sandwiches and placing a few checkmarks next to their preferred options for a supremely customizable sandwich. The bread options are more than just wheat or white – this deli has sourdough, seven-grain, sprout-rye, wraps, and pita bread as well, and even gluten-free slices for those with wheat sensitivity.

Condiments are few – mustard and mayonnaise, a garlic sauce with some bite, and vinaigrette – but the toppings and extras are many. Lettuce; slices of tomato, red onion, and cucumber; thin strips of crunchy carrot; a sprinkling of sprouts; sweet peppers; and some tangy banana pepper rings with mild heat make up the team of available toppings added at no extra charge. The first option on the toppings list reads “EVERYTHING,” and it’s not a bad selection to make as these fresh vegetables work well together and, when added to already hefty deli creations, make for a meal of a sandwich. For an extra dollar apiece, diners can tack on some avocado or sun-dried tomato, or provolone, cheddar, dill-havarti, and Swiss cheeses (most of the deli’s sandwiches don’t include cheese slices, so it’s a welcome option). Vegan mayonnaise and hummus are 50 cents more.

The sandwiches range in price from the $7.29 Dill Havarti and Sun Dried Tomato to the $9.95 Baked Atlantic Salmon with Roasted Peppers and Onions. Most cost $8.29, and some are served in a half-portion with a cup of homemade soup for the same price. It may seem steep, but the price tag comes with peace of mind. These are health-conscious sandwich recipes: Of the nearly 20 sandwich options, half are vegetarian, and two are vegan. And they’re made with quality ingredients, like fresh produce, locally sourced eggs and chicken, and Boar’s Head deli meats. But those benefits don’t come at the loss of great taste.

The Local Virginia Chicken Salad sandwich ($8.29) isn’t weighed down by the taste and texture of mayonnaise. The chicken salad actually tastes like chicken, and the flavor and smooth texture are a delight. It’s nice, too, to split the sandwich and find an inch-tall stack of the stuff packed between two slices of bread. The Smoked Turkey Breast and Cheddar sandwich ($8.95) is generously made as well, with many thin slices of turkey breast. The smoky smell of the meat sets taste buds to water as soon as the butcher paper is pulled back. A thick slice of cheddar cheese boosts the sandwich’s taste.

The vegetarian sandwiches may forgo the meat, but not the flavor, as meat substitutes like lentil and black-bean burger are used to make unique sandwiches. The Organic Garlic Tamari Roasted Tofu sandwich ($8.29), for example, adds slabs of a lightly seasoned and slightly salty tofu that invites the addition of different tastes through toppings. The Power Veggie ($8.29) lets avocado take the focus, fresh and creamy with a downright buttery flavor.

The deli serves a variety of coffee house drinks, as well as a range of organic juices and juice blends that – with add-ins like wheat grass, chia seed, and spirulina praised for their nutritional benefits. The Chia Fresca ($2.99) is listed as a signature drink of the house. Chewy jelly-coated seeds bob around in a cup of the drink, made with water and citrus juice with a slice of lemon and orange. It’s so tart one might consider its utility as a disinfectant, but it’s purportedly an energy drink of Latin American origin.

One might not expect a health food shop to be one of the leading spots in Falls Church to grab a sandwich, but the tasty eats in the Nourish Market deli make it so.

Nourish Market is located at 1053 W. Broad St., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-533-8484 or visit Restaurant hours are Monday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.