Chef-owner Ed McIntosh’s anticipated carryout Eddie’s Little Shop and Deli opened on Friday, February 17 with all sorts of sizable sandwiches built with Italian meats and cheeses.
The beloved bodegas McIntosh used to frequent as a kid in the Bronx are the muse for his old-school namesake store (1406 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia). Hours are Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Sunday and Monday).
The CIA grad, who’s worked at Great American Restaurants and Hillstone Restaurant Group, was most recently affiliated with Chop Shop Taco—the edgy Mexican eatery he opened in a converted Alexandria auto body garage in 2019. He parted ways during the pandemic to pursue his dream of opening a nostalgic neighborhood takeout that conjures memories of “going to a tiny local butcher, fishmonger, and salumeria” while growing up in NYC, he tells Eater.
At his breakout deli, hand-pulled, marinated mozzarella made every two or three hours is rolled around on a mid-century tea cart. The cheese, sold by the pound behind the deli counter, also makes its way into an array of sandwiches.
A slow-roasted prime rib is the best sandwich seller so far, he says, with the option to dip the hefty hoagie before it’s wrapped up. An opening list of six signatures also includes a “Sausage Roll” (freshly-ground sausage, peppers, onions, and balsamic glaze on a pretzel roll) and a “Co’Bano” with thinly-sliced corn beef. Five “Classic-ish” options include a mortadella and provolone on focaccia, BLT, and “Grilled Threese.” A creamy kale salad loops in chickpeas, roasted red peppers, radicchio, Parmesan vinaigrette.
Patrons can also build their own sandwiches with an array of meats, cheeses, spreads, toppings, and breads to choose from. That includes banh mi baguettes, brioche with onion, Italian, marble rye, rustico, and multigrain. Hyattsville, Maryland’s repected Lyon Bakery contributes the carbs, which are also sold in bulk on-site.
The Italian-Scottish chef also plans to host cooking classes on the art of making mozzarella and handmade pastas on one side of the 1,100-square-foot shop. The same dairy and carbs will also be available for sale “to replicate at home with friends and family,” he says.
In a post-pandemic world, he ditches QR codes in favor of face-to-face interactions to build a regular customer base.
“I want people to think they’re coming into my home; it goes back to the idea of coming into ‘Eddie’s place,’” says McIntosh, noting his dad always went by “Ed” and he went by “Eddie.”
Checkered vinyl flooring, Tiffany pendant lights made of stained glass around the counter, and drapes add to the homey vibe at Eddie’s.
“I want to make it feel as warm and comfortable as possible,” he says.