I can’t really afford to dine at the fancy-pants Volt restaurant in downtown Frederick, Maryland. Well, I can afford it, but c’mon… I’m more likely to be seen eating a dinosaur-shaped chicken nugget than goat cheese ravioli and squab. Also the fact that you need reservations… well, that’s just not my regular style. So when Volt owner Bryan Voltaggio made the decision to open a casual lunch-time sandwich spot called Lunchbox just blocks away from Volt, I felt it was my time to get a chance to sample the goods.
Lunchbox opened today, and I stopped in to snap some pics and get a quick bite. The menu consists of sandwiches, soups and salads. Nothing on the Lunchbox menu is over $5.00.
The “About” section of the Lunchbox website reads:
Located just five blocks from Bryan Voltaggio’s flagship, Lunchbox takes the fresh, seasonal ingredients used daily at VOLT and transforms them into gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups and desserts. Located adjacent to the Frederick County Library on the beautiful Carroll Creek Promenade, Lunchbox makes for a great stop for parents to grab a nutritious lunch for the kids or professionals to grab a quick nutritious meal. This casual dining venue seats 30 people comfortably for lunch only. Patrons will be able to dine in the venue or take their meals to go.
Some of the pressed sandwiches on the menu:
- peanut butter & banana: peanut butter, sweet hawaiian bread | 4
- the pilgrim: turkey, orange-cranberry, sage, cream cheese, seven grain | 5
- reuben: pastrami, swiss, pickled cabbage, marble rye | 5
- muffaletta: capocola, prosciutto, gruyere, olive relish, classic roll | 5
Lunchbox is simple and charming with such wall decor as, you guessed it, lunchboxes on the wall. The location is nice being alongside picturesque Carroll Creek.
Since Frederick’s only Cuban restaurant closed down within recent years, I decided to go with the Cuban sandwich (jerk pork shoulder, ham, pickle, gruyere, mojo sauce, Cuban bread). It was $5.00 and deliciously toasty and packed with flavor. The pickles weren’t too sour and the Cuban bread was just awesome.
The sandwich was little on the smaller side for the price, but this was to be expected with the higher quality ingredients. I’d gladly pay $5 to try every gourmet sandwich on the menu over time.
Top Chef runner up Bryan Voltaggio was making every sandwich behind the counter too… not sure how long that will last, but it was nice for the opening day.
Also I must note… a crate of free apples, bottled Cheerwine in the fridge (love bottled Cheerwine), and tables topped with jars of free jellybeans and M&M’s. If you order your lunch to-go, it comes in a handy disposable lunchbox.
I’m hearing that Bryan Voltaggio has plans to open more eateries in Frederick including a diner and the tentatively titled North Market Kitchen which will feature “dining areas and separate seating in environments given over to charcuterie and salumi, raw bars and fresh pasta.” It may not seem like it, but I embrace the non-chains. I love that a place like Lunchbox is in my town and hope to see it succeed. I’m beginning to see Frederick more and more these days as a lesser known foodie friendly nice little community.