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Chase The Submarine - A Joint Venture Between Maple Ave Restaurant and Caffe Amouri on Church Street in Vienna - Closed

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On 4/16/2015 at 12:01 PM, DonRocks said:

Effective Feb 15, 2015, Tim Ma is no longer cooking at Maple Avenue Restaurant.

"Chef Tim Ma Steps Back From Maple Ave. Restaurant As He Plans A D.C. Opening" by Maura Judkis on washingtonpost.com

In the "every cloud has a silver lining" category, I am now eagerly awaiting the opening of his "Chase the Submarine" on Church Street!  I had not heard that this was in the works.

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In the "every cloud has a silver lining" category, I am now eagerly awaiting the opening of his "Chase the Submarine" on Church Street!  I had not heard that this was in the works.

A good sandwich place nearby would be great.

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A good sandwich place nearby would be great. 

Oh, *hell yes*.

"Opening Next Year: Chase The Submarine, A Joint Venture From Maple Ave. Restaurant and Caffe Amouri" by Stefanie Gans on northernvirginiamag.com

EDIT: What the hell, I'll save everyone the click:

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Link includes a 'Draft Menu' for Chase the Submarine.  Seems he'll have a 'Classic' menu and a 'Maple Ave' menu, where you'll be able to get a sub crammed with sweetbreads.  *Definitely* not my thing, but anyplace that's serving an old-fashioned Steak & Cheese alongside Bulgogi and Banh Mi will get my (and pretty much everyone else's) business.  I'm really liking what Church St. is becoming food-wise, even if I'm not thrilled as to what it does to the *traffic* along Church St.

Oh, there's also a place going into the spot that the Vienna Jerry's Subs & Pizza used to occupy called "Basillini Italian Cafe."  There's *no* information about it online other than a barren Facebook page, and no statement of when it'll be opening.  Seeing as I kind of feel Pazzo Pomodoro's a bit overpriced, hopefully this place gives them some competition in the "we're not Bonaroti, but we're not Sbarro either" space.

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That looks good! Hopefully the cost will be reasonable to make it a good standby option. 

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Nice that they are going to source some meats from Polyface farms. No words on prices but can see this being popular if it is kid friendly.

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A Facebook post relays that they were sold out of goods by 2:00 this afternoon (10:30 open), and were beginning to prep for tomorrow!  Sounds like a pretty good first day...

Also, I would expect it to be kid friendly, not only because of the multitude of young ones in Vienna, but also because the establishment is named after their 3 year old son, Chase>

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The Wagyu Pastrami in the "draft menu" sounds good. But every time I go to Vienna for something, I feel like I get sucked into a temporal black hole as I seem to spend a lot of time getting there and out again due to traffic.

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A Facebook post relays that they were sold out of goods by 2:00 this afternoon (10:30 open), and were beginning to prep for tomorrow!  Sounds like a pretty good first day...

Also, I would expect it to be kid friendly, not only because of the multitude of young ones in Vienna, but also because the establishment is named after their 3 year old son, Chase>

Thanks for the tip on how busy the first day was.

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Stopped by and picked up the chicken salad sliders and pork belly sandwiches. They were very good and throughly enjoyed. Prices were reasonable at $8-9 each.

More interesting was the design of the sandwich space. Actually it seems like a high end test kitchen whose usage could be towards creating a new chefs, new foods or special dinners. It looks very versatile for a wide range of possibilities.

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Had a Virginia Italian today.  Virginia ham, mortadella, proscuitto, coppa, (sharp) provolone, etc.  I ordered "no onions".  Top quality meats.  They do an "emulsified Italian" oil and vinegar, and also put on a separate oil.  I was not a huge fan of the "emulsified Italian", but it was not awful.  It might, however, make me keep this rated a little lower than the Italian Store subs, and even the old "The Deli" (Herndon) Hot Sicilian (it has gone downhill).  Still a great sub.  $9.75, $10.60 with tax.

I definitely want to try their bulgogi sub with kimchi puree, as bulgogi is starting to find its way into sandwiches in the place of plain old sliced ribeye (they have one of those also).  Will be back to try this and others.

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I stopped in last week, while I am not really eating bread these days, I had a bite of the pull pork with house pickles and a taste of the bulgogi sub with kimchi puree. Both were excellent and I plan on returning to try the rest of the menu. The ingredients are top notch, a very polite and engaged staff and a nice build out. Really a worthy addition to Vienna!

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Fri-Sat text message exchange between Dad and Matt:

"Go to 'Chase The Submarine' in Vienna for sandwiches when you're here. It's owned by Tim Ma (Maple Ave Restaurant) and is a terrific sub shop on Church Street near Pure Pasty Company"

"That sounds so good"

"If you go, get the steak and cheese and french fries. I know it doesn't sound like much, but it's unbelievable."

"That sounds so good to be honest."

---

I stopped by Chase The Submarine for a late lunch on Friday, and knew as soon as I walked in the door that this was much more than your ordinary sub shop. Anyone who has set foot inside will know what I mean - the DC area may have a new benchmark for subs, and if not a new benchmark, then a peer to Earl's Sandwiches, G Sandwich, Bub & Pop's, SunDeVich, etc.

A little overwhelmed by the chalkboard on my left, the cashier in front of me, and the display case on the right, I found myself turning my head in all directions. Veal sweetbreads? Is this a sub? (I was assured it was.)

So I calmed down, and ordered two of the most basic things I could see on the menu: a Steak and Cheese Sub ($10.75) and Beer-Battered French Fries ($3), and as hungry as I was, resisted the temptation to eat them there and took them home. The Steak and Cheese was one of the finest I've ever eaten - it's thinly sliced rib-eye, peppers and onions, cremini mushrooms, provolone cheese, aïoli, and lettuce on a soft white sub rolland what makes it so special is the cremini mushrooms, which taste like truffles (I have confused creminis for truffle oil several times in the past) - it's a perfect mushroom for this sandwich, and I can't remember seeing them on any other steak and cheese subs in the DC area - I'd remember the taste. In fact, I almost wrote Tim Ma to ask if he uses some sort of ultra-high-quality truffle oil on his steak-and-cheese, but I'm going to go with my gut and say no: This taste was the cremini mushrooms. Well, it was a great sandwich, and the fries are great too, but they don't travel as well - they were at room temperature when I got home, so I had to extrapolate what they were like when they were hot. There's something special about these fries, and it's more than just "beer batter" - I don't know what it is, but I liked what was in front of me.

Needless to say, after that exchange of text messages, Matt and I ended up there for lunch on Saturday, and we pretty much cleaned the place out.

Matt *loves* chicken wings, and we split an order of the Crème Fraí®che Wings (8 for $6), and they were everything we both hoped they'd be. Tim Ma does great wings, and these seemed like high-quality wings and drumettes, with a sauce that was probably a mix of Sriracha and crème fraí®che (it had "that" characteristic orange color). If you like Buffalo wings, get these - all that's missing is the celery, and it wasn't even missed.

Per my suggestion, Matt duplicated my order from the day before, and loved his sandwich (I would have had my hand bitten off if I had reached over to cut a piece for myself). The fries Saturday had rosemary, and honestly, I don't remember rosemary from the day before. Tim was at the restaurant on Saturday, and things might have been a little different - I noticed visually that the steak and cheese seemed like it had the peppers and onions cut slightly larger than they were the day before, which I'm not sure is intentional, or if the restaurant was just busier; although I didn't try it Saturday, I most likely prefer a smaller cut; regardless, Matt loved his sandwich.

We split the fries, and I got the Fried Veal Sweetbreads Sub ($10.75), a very generous portion of sweetbreads, bathed in a sauce not unlike the chicken wings (similar, but not the same), and what I noticed is that since the contents of the sandwich didn't have a chance to "sink in" to the roll, I noticed the roll more. That's neither good nor bad; just an observation, but I didn't notice the roll at all the day before, and I think that might be my personal preference. Still, if you like sweetbreads, this is pretty much mandatory - the sauce is billed as Korean chili paste, and there are finely, vertically sliced dill pickles (which I would have called marinated cucumber), and green cabbage on a soft white roll.

I got my usual can of Diet Coke ($1.50), but I want to mention that Chase the Submarine has put a great deal of thought into their beverage program. In addition to a nice, small selection of beer and wine, they have an outstanding array of non-alcoholic beverages. In fact, this prompts me to create a new tag for restaurants that go above-and-beyond the norm with their non-alcoholic beverage program (over time, when you click on that tag, you'll be presented with a list of places that do it right - there are quite a few, and I wish I had started this before now, but better late than never).

Matt was coming over later that evening, so we got a couple more subs for dinner - the only two cold subs on the menu.

The Virginia Italian ($9.75) is based on a classic Italian cold-cut sub, with Virginia ham, mortadella, olli prosciutto and coppa, provolone, Italian dressing, red onion, sweet peppers, and lettuce on what they call a rustico sub roll (I'm assuming they mean rustic, and not from the restaurant Rustico). This was a toned-down version of what you get at The Italian Store. I can easily see someone saying the flavors are "muted," but I prefer to think of them as "refined." When you go to The Italian Store, you're going to get vinegar, salt, sweetness (if you get the peppers), etc.; in this sub, those flavors are all there, but they're dialed way down, and honestly, I have a strong preference for this version; the wrong person from New Jersey would probably bury me underneath a parking lot for saying that, but I also feel bloated and thirsty after gorging at The Italian Store (and God help me if I have a Muffaletta there).

The Mushroom Mellow ($9) is Chase the Submarine's only cold, vegetarian offering, with portabello, cremini mushroom duxelle, mushroom aïoli, truffle oil (*there* it is!), alfalfa sprouts, roma tomatoes, and sweet piquillo peppers. As mild as the Virginia Italian was, this was milder still, and that might be my only real criticism with Chase The Submarine - if they err on the flavor register, they err on the mild side. Now, this is not a flaw; it's just a choice, and I'm not sure it's an incorrect one (how's that for a passively written clause?)

If Chase The Submarine does nothing else but exist-and-maintain, it will always be crowded. I have initialized coverage in Italic, and now have it ranked ahead of every restaurant in Vienna and Oakton except for Clarity Bistro (things quickly break down when you start making comparisons between, say, Chase the Submarine and Ristorante Bonarotti). Regardless of where it's "ranked" or "placed," just know that Vienna has a winning sandwich shop, the best one that I can think of outside the beltway. Chase the Submarine is off to a terrific start.

post-2-0-08353200-1450721938_thumb.jpgpost-2-0-81372700-1450721903_thumb.jpg

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Now, this is not a flaw; it's just a choice, and I'm not sure it's an incorrect one (how's that for a passively written clause?)

:)

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On ‎12‎/‎20‎/‎2015 at 1:19 PM, DonRocks said:

The Virginia Italian ($9.75) is based on a classic Italian cold-cut sub, with Virginia ham, mortadella, olli prosciutto and coppa, provolone, Italian dressing, red onion, sweet peppers, and lettuce on what they call a rustico sub roll (I'm assuming they mean rustic, and not from the restaurant Rustico). This was a toned-down version of what you get at The Italian Store. I can easily see someone saying the flavors are "muted," but I prefer to think of them as "refined." When you go to The Italian Store, you're going to get vinegar, salt, sweetness (if you get the peppers), etc.; in this sub, those flavors are all there, but they're dialed way down, and honestly, I have a strong preference for this version; the wrong person from New Jersey would probably bury me underneath a parking lot for saying that, but I also feel bloated and thirsty after gorging at The Italian Store (and God help me if I have a Muffaletta there).

I'm one of those no bread guys these days, except when I get a hankering for an Italian sub.  Usually I just go to the Santini's a mile down the road in downtown McLean.  Yesterday, I went to Chase for a Virginia Italian.  My description would be bland.  None of the ham, mortadella, prosciutto or emulsified Italian dressing had much flavor.  The wings and fries were good though.

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Went to Chase on Saturday around 7:30pm for a carryout. Ordered  the Steak and Cheese (spouse enjoyed). I had the pork and pickles. Very good, like an Asian inspired barbecue, without sauce but the pickles gave a great crunchy texture. 

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Before Chase the Submarine opened, there was some talk of a butcher-shop component (in addition to the sandwich shop).  For those that have gone - has this come to fruition?  I believe there was an interview with Tim Ma where he was discussing selling housemade pates, cured meats, etc.  Don't make it to Vienna very often but just curious.

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I finally tried this place out tonight around 7:15pm.  I ordered a Steak & Cheese with 75 cent tomatoes ($12.75), with a side of fries and a bottle of Cheerwine - for $20.99.  Just for me.  There wasn't a mouse in my pocket or anything. >.>

Now, I'll be the first to say that it was a good sandwich.  What it was not, was a *large* sandwich.  A S&C at Ray's is/was $10.99...in the middle of Rosslyn.  Even with Vienna's draconian take-out tax and the 'tax' of merely being an eatery on Church St. in Vienna, charging $12 (+.75 cents for tomatoes) for an ~8" sub seems exceptionally excessive.  Again...I have no qualms about the product itself.  The bread was good, the steak was good, and the onions and peppers evoked the taste of a good fajita.

The only other downside to eating *anywhere* on Church St. is that you invariably run into people who feel like they have to eat as if they were in the Pacific Northwest.  No lie, I was caught behind the worst type of 'foodie.'  The type who had to try ~samples~ of all the beers, and then look at all the *bottled* beers when the IPA (big shock) he wanted was out.  Even after he'd cleared the register he came BACK to manhandle all of the stuff for sale adjacent to the register and ask the poor guy manning the register about practically every little thing.

I know we're all to some extent 'foodies' here, but there's a point where you go from being passionate about what you eat to becoming Randy Marsh in the "Creme Fraiche" episode of South Park.

I just can't see myself hitting this place up that often if it's going to cost me ~$20 just for me.  For $10 more I could've eaten at Clarity, left a nice tip, and still funded a local business.

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On December 21, 2015 at 1:19 PM, DonRocks said:

There's something special about these fries, and it's more than just "beer batter" - I don't know what it is, but I liked what was in front of me.

Best fries I've had in years.  There have been many others that tasted better, but the execution of frying here was 100% spot-on.  I don't know if it was the oil, temperature, fryer, or all three, but the texture was perfect at lunch today.

As for the sandwiches, the Pork + Pickles looked way better on paper than in practice.  Which isn't to say it was bad.  I enjoyed it, but was hoping for something less bland and a better meat to non-meat ratio (i.e., not enough condiments).  Banh mi was great though.  Not too salty or rich, clean flavors for so much ham and bacon.

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Here are my pics from my recent meal at Chase the Submarine.  About one month ago.  We tried going to the new Taco Bamba in Vienna, which just happens to be a stone's throw away from Chase The Submarine.  We were told there was a 45-60 minute wait to order and receive your food at Taco Bamba and decided instead to venture over to Chase, which we frequent and love the food too.

On this visit

angus pastrami – house-smoked angus brisket, whole grain mustard creme fraiche, carrot sauerkraut, pickled shallots, rye

steak & cheese – thinly sliced rib eye, peppers, onions, provolone cheese, diced lettuce, soft white

and French Fries in the background.

pics are also on Instagram (IG) @The_Gut

pastrami sandwich.jpg

Steak & Cheese with Fries.jpg

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Been here numerous times and had the steak and cheese repeatedly; perfect combo of lean, marinated steak, onions, peppers, lettuce and cheese.  They have a decent chicken sandwich as well and the pastrami is worth a solid mention; they accommodate  should you have dietary restrictions. Place is always busy, wait times are only due to the fact everything is cooked to order, but more than reasonable.  Weather permitting, sit outside.

 

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We just got back from our first meal here, and it was very good. While I'm headed off to Phily in less than a week, i couldn't stop myself from getting the cheesesteak. It was as good as Ferris noted above, and I'd add that the bread was excellent as well. We got an order of fries, which were crispy and tasty, and my 5 yr old loved them and he typically doesn't like things with visible herbs. They're beer battered, so he may also just be drunk. We also split an order of the creme fraiche wings. I thought they were delicious; a really unique taste for wings, not too spicy, that worked very well. In fact, I liked the sauce so much, I was dipping my cheesesteak in it (purists be damned!).

It was busy, but there was no wait on a Thursday at 1pm. Of course, it is right around the holidays. Also, they could use more seating: several single barstools, all 2 tops against the main wall, only one 4 top table, and only one 8-top that can be shared.

Parking appears to be hit or miss on the street, tho we parked (illegally, i guess) in the lot next to the building without a problem.

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20 hours ago, Dr. Delicious said:

Parking appears to be hit or miss on the street, tho we parked (illegally, i guess) in the lot next to the building without a problem.

I'm not saying to do this, but if you park in the lot near Pure Pasty Company, you probably won't get caught. (I've given Mike enough plaudits (and you should go, and buy a half-dozen "Traditional Style" to put in your freezer when you park - they freeze very well) where I don't feel guilty about saying this.) Whenever I'm in the area and have time, I stock up, and buy some to freeze - it's not *as* good as when they're freshly baked, but they're 90% as good - let them thaw overnight, and re-bake them slowly on low heat. Sorry to hijack your thread, Tim - just trying to help people park.

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Chiming in on the "help people park" aspect.  There is a small lot directly behind the Chase building that is for patrons of the four (?) businesses in that small strip.  Maybe about 10 spaces, but I have usually been able to park there.  The driveway to the lot is on the West side of the strip (to the right, when facing the strip, opposite the end that Chase is on).  There is no rear entrance to Chase, you have to walk back up the driveway to the sidewalk.

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On 12/23/2016 at 3:23 PM, JBag57 said:

Chiming in on the "help people park" aspect.  There is a small lot directly behind the Chase building that is for patrons of the four (?) businesses in that small strip.  Maybe about 10 spaces, but I have usually been able to park there.  The driveway to the lot is on the West side of the strip (to the right, when facing the strip, opposite the end that Chase is on).  There is no rear entrance to Chase, you have to walk back up the driveway to the sidewalk.

Actually there is a rear entrance to Chase and parking in the back is definitely the way to go.  The entrance is at the far right of the back deck, just past the pottery studio. It lets you into Chase in the back near the restroom. 

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