Twenty-six year old John Schaible keeps true to his nickname “Johnny Meat” at Ivy Provisions, named for its home on Charlottesville’s Ivy Road. Schaible’s passion for butchery is rooted in his penchant for deer hunting with his father and processing his own venison, a love that has led him to the head of the kitchen of this bustling sandwich joint near the University of Virginia.
The sandwich may be the quintessential American food, and Ivy Provisions is a heaven for its true fans. “Sandwiches are my favorite food by far, and we have the most provocative ones in town,” quips manager Matt Monson, a former baker.
The Gobbfather (roasted turkey, pepper jack, spicy mayo, housemade pickles and arugula on sourdough) seems to be the most popular item on the menu, but Monson has his own suggestions. “If you are feeling sad,” he says, “maybe try The Sack”—a baguette loaded with fried chicken, bacon, pimiento, pickles, and onion. “If you have to go to the river, take the Jamaica,” with its sweet and sour jerk chicken, “and if you are hungover go for the Notorious P.I.G.” -a pork-filled sandwich with salami, prosciutto, capicola, provolone, peppers, onion and lettuce. Ivy Provisions isn’t just for carnivores, though: beyond the lush sandwiches, there are tasty vegetarian options, salads, yogurt, granola, and a hefty selection of specialty foods and local wines.
Saturday and Sunday are naturally the small deli’s busiest days, and summer weekends find the chefs grilling outside whenever possible. If you’re craving a mighty sandwich filled with the best local meats and melting cheeses, swing through Ivy Provisions, and say “hi” to Johnny and Matt!
Hours: Mon-Sat 7am-7pm. Sun 8am-4pm
Text and photo: Edu Bayer