Destination delicatessens are few and far between in Rockville. And while some may have a great selection of sandwiches, their offerings of beer on tap and wine by the glass tend to be limited. Well, it just so happens that while a sandwich from Gilly’s Craft Beer and Fine Wine is itself worth a special trip, the place is first and foremost a well stocked and diverse bottle shop for esoteric international and domestic beers and wines. The popularity of their robust tasting program that promotes both mainstream and offbeat suds and juice has created a demand for some space within the shop to congregate and some delicious things to eat while one sips.
So ancillary to their beer and wine operation is a thriving deli, stocked with quality cold cuts and serviced by eager, hospitable sandwich makers. A vast chalkboard announces a quirky cast of house sandwiches, as well as the usual suspects.
TK’s tuna sandwich on wheat has already been featured in The Gazette as one of the best sandwiches in the county. The tuna salad, bound with mayonnaise is well-seasoned with a sweet pickle finish of relish, along with fresh parsley and minced red onion. The Italian also has received praise in the local press, made with sopressata, hot capocollo, Genoa salami, and ham with provolone, vinaigrette, lettuce, tomato and mayo on a soft baguette. As an accessory, hot chilies may be hostile to delicate wine, but de rigueur for hefty beers.
Wild Wally is a stylized confluence of a sandwich, made with sliced turkey, buffalo sauce, mayonnaise, blue cheese, and lettuce. You have to want it to love it. Captain Serious is as straightforward as the name implies; ham or turkey with Swiss or cheddar with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on wheat. Chicken salad is always open to interpretation, and in the case of the Billy B, chopped chicken is bound together with cranberries and walnuts in mayonnaise and served on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, and Swiss. The truly famished will be pleased with Tommy’s Tummy Buster, which is any of the sandwiches on the board served between two grilled cheese sandwiches.
Eaters of vegetables will be delighted with the Veggie Dave, which features sliced fresh mozzarella, tomato, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar on toasted wheat. Likewise, Steve’s Hummus Sub is filled with hummus blended with roasted red bell peppers, mixed Greek olives, sprouts and cucumbers on toasted wheat. Upgrade peanut butter to almond butter on the PB and Johnna for a $1, or substitute the jelly with M&Ms. All sandwiches are stuffed with a generous portion of whatever goes between the slices of bread.
A glass of wine in search of a good cheese will find plenty to choose from at Gilly’s. Cheese plates come with a choice of one single cheese, three, or five selections, accompanied by Sicilian olives and Spanish Marcona almonds. Croutons are grilled to order, though they could have less dried herbs and salt sprinkled on them.
During Happy Hour, 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, browsers of wines on the shelves either do-si-do with the revelers at the tiny bar, or are themselves lured into sampling select beers and wines for $1 off of their usual price by the glass. This space, which recently sprouted a few more live taps, is quickly growing into a busy and boisterous little neighborhood watering hole.