Who knew Richmond Heights needed a sandwich shop? The folks who opened Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium last summer did, or thought they did, and it looks--so far--that it has paid off. Across Big Bend from the Richmond Heights Post Office, it's a small spot where the kitchen is bigger than the dining room.
Yes, sandwiches, but salads, too, a daily soup and what the menu calls “spreads.” Their definition of sandwiches includes burgers and hot dogs and five vegetarian choices. We kicked things off with some hummus and tzatziki, each served with warm, crisped-up pita wedges. The hummus had a touch of roasted red pepper, more a visual note than a major flavor component. Rather, we got lemon and a light garlic note in it. Very pleasant. Tzatziki, the Greek yogurt-and cucumber sauce, was flecked with dill, all cool and creamy, the sort of reassuring food it's hard to stop eating.
Who ever heard of stuffed pepper soup? Fozzie's has, and we're glad. Thick and flavorful, diced sweet peppers mingled with hamburger, rice and onion. Worth looking for.
The chili dog was knife-and-fork food, with plenty of mild chili (with beans, for those to whom this is significant) piled on top. Pleasant but not remarkable. The Juicy Lucy, however, an inside-out cheeseburger with the cheese inside the meat (we chose pepper jack of the three that were offered), was extremely tasty, living up to its name. We had been concerned about a Vesuvian eruption of cheese, but it was just nicely gooey and not preparing to fly out of the bun and onto an unsuspecting shirt.
Miss Piggy, the pulled pork sandwich whose name is the only Muppet reference that we saw (and a tasteful bit of underkill it is, too), perhaps might not meet the purists' standards for que. Nevertheless, it was a little smoky, a little spicy, definitely porky, and topped with tangy slaw in proper Carolina style. Another knife-and-fork job, by the way. And since we think that the addition of good, ripe avocado is a proper gilding of the bacon-lettuce-tomato lily, we sampled one, found it a dandy lunch selection. The additon of some tasty garlic mayo was another asset.
Housemade chips sound like a good idea, but arrived soggy in a closed paper bag, cooked that day, but not too recently. However, it's quite annoying that they still tasted good, but then, grease, potato and salt is a combo that lures so many people.
The featured drinks are a collection of shakes. The Foz-o-licious combines roasted apples, caramel and goat cheese. That sounds like a great combination, but we were disappointed that it was so lightly flavored. It would have been difficult to identify the components in a blind tasting. Nice and thick, however.
All our food came as ordered, but on both our visits, we heard folks returning to the counter to discuss mix-ups in what they received. Until the activity and pressure of being a new kid eases, check your order. Only eight seats inside, four deuces, but more outside, behind and alongside the building. There's also a delivery service; details on their website.
Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium
1170 S. Big Bend Blvd., Richmond Heights
Lunch daily, Dinner Sun.-Fri.
Credit cards: Yes
Wheelchair access: Difficult