There are so many restaurants in the GNO and I only have so much belly room, not to mention limited funds. I have long, long list of restaurants I need to try on my desktop, and there’s always those spots which were so wonderful (and affordable) that I can’t seem to resist visiting again and again, and again.
Last Saturday, John and I went down to the Bridge House Thrift Store on Airline to check out furniture and to look for any additions to my kitschy-cute animal plate collection. We missed breakfast with the intent of dining out somewhere in the burbs and decided to hit The Larder Gourmet Market + Eatery on Veterans Boulevard.
Located in front of the strip mall that houses the oh-so popular Trader Joe’s, Larder is the brainchild of longtime friends and chefs Alison Vega-Knoll (of Vega Tapas and Station 6 fame) and Chris Wilson (Emeril’s home base kitchen). The restaurant opened almost two years ago in late 2020 and seems to have been going gangbusters ever since.
It was scorching hot when we stopped in and yet the restaurant was packed both inside and out. Though there were products for sale here and there about the casual, yet uber-clean space — wines, prepared foods in the cold case, high end pastas, honeys and jams — The Larder is definitely more eatery than market.
We placed our order at the counter, scored a two-top inside, and sat down to wait. Before long, our order arrived. Along with an iced coffee made from French Truck beans, I chose to try their version of a Cubano — a pressed sandwich made with roast pork, ham, Swiss, pickles, mustard and garlic aioli. It came out hot and the crust was buttery and crisp. For a side, I tried a cold chick pea and feta salad from the deli case.
John opted for a burger, the “Larder Whoppa” featuring American cheese and bacon-tomato jam, and served with fries. While everything was good and filled our bellies in a satisfying manner, there was a pervading flavor in almost everything we ate that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Was it in the suburban air? The water? The less-than-polite looks we got from affluent diners that surrounded us while we munched? I’m not sure, but the unusual homogeneity alone would likely deter me from dining there again.