getting all arty with the sandwich

stumbled upon this beauty of a website. its dedicated to tastefully depicting the color, design, texture, shape, and image of one of my favorite things in the world ... the sandwich



food that fell off a truck ... vol. 2

people please do not worry, i'm still eating sandwiches, and i am still on our ever evolving sandwich quest. i'm just a little side tracked this summer with all the delicious summer bbq's, my new excuse to eat pizza all the time, the summer happy hours where dinner is just a blurry afterthought soaked in spirits, and of course with all the hip and happening food trucks that are popping up all around town. so here's another sandwich quest distraction post ...

at first it was a small blip on twitter. then it became noticeable via facebook. but now, baltimore food truck fervor has reached new summer highs, and these trucks are all around town, infecting bored lunch crowds, adventuresome diners, and the baltimore foodie scene with “the non malignant street food fever". it seems like these trucks are breeding like rabbits. it used to be just the burger wagon from koopers, now there's a wagon for crepes and even a truck for grilled cheese sandwiches (could this be an elusive double post in the culinary making ???). i personally believe it's getting a little out of hand, but at the same time i am in love with the idea of inventive mobile food distribution vehicles pushing the proverbial palate of the entire city. it's creative, quirky, fun, and as i'm finding out, a good source for great cheap eats.

what!? now you really have my attention
most of these trucks have a weekly schedule of places where you can find them, or if you are a glutton for long lines, big crowds, and slower service, then there is always the newly created monthly food truck gathering. seriously, these gatherings are kind of out of control. since i am all over the place slinging pastries and cakes during lunch time, it's hard to nail down a visit to a truck. and since i hate the mob scene, i avoid the gatherings. this leaves me with a fantastic option for indulging in these four wheeled food dispensaries, the wednesday night food truck food court on central and eastern ave in little italy/fells point.

there aren't as many trucks at the food court as there are at gatherings. less choices and less fanfare mean short lines, interaction with the chefs, food not running out, and an all-around nice mid week evening activity. this week there were only 2 trucks at the food court. there was probably my favorite, the gypsy queen, and the 'permanent fixture' at the food court, the silver platter. since i had had already pigged out with the gueen i decided i was going to be all about the platter. the first thing that grabs you about the latest venture of the czar of fells point is that plastered on its jetstream silver exterior is a giant sign that shouts 'lobster rolls & pit beef'. 

ooops, i think i was supposed to take
a before, not after ....
now if you know me at all, you know that if you need to pique my interest or get me all hot and bothered, all you need to do is mention lobster rolls or pit beef. but here is the kicker ... upon reading the silver platters menu i realized that there was more on the menu that i wanted to try besides the pit beef and lobster. what instantly jumped out at me was the sweet chili bbq ribs. what!?!? ribs from a truck? i needed to see this and, more importantly: needed to eat it!
seeing how the ribs were of the sweet chili bbq variety it was a pleasant surprise to see them served up with an over-the-top asian theme. there were 4 ribs that were piping hot, covered in that all telling, orange hue of thai sweet chili. to add to the asian theme they were garnished with sesame seeds and finely chopped green onion, and they were stuffed into a chinese takeout box! the ribs were still on the bone, which had me wondering about how tender they would be, but when i was handed the rib filled chinese take away box with a plastic fork, i got excited. and these bad boys needed a fork. there was no way i was going to be able to eat these with my hands, because they were the exact definition of "fall off the bone". they had a nice spice to them, and despite being so soft and tender they had a little crunch on the outside, as a result of a quick pan fry to re-heat and subtle pop of the sesame seeds. but there was even more crunch in my take away box. underneath my sweet and spicy asian ribs was a bed of onion straws that were super thin, breaded, and fried to a golden brown. trust me, these were the best possible compliment to the juicy, fatty, sweet, and spicy ribs. the only critique i have towards these bad boys is that i would not recommend eating these during your lunch hour, because these ribs will bring on an instant onset of the 'itus' ... can you say: nap under the desk!?!

in case you are keeping score at home, its 2-0 in favor of the food trucks ....

The Silver Platter on Urbanspoon


baltimore pizza institutions: 'the far eastides pizza pie' ...

this summer has been a very successful food based summer for this sandwich loving blogger. lobsters in maine, surprisingly outrageous sandwiches in st. croix, some tasty eats off food trucks around town, and the occasional pop up downtown bbq with good friends. while all of these are truly wonderful summertime culinary sensations, last week i traveled due east from downtown baltimore and crossed over to year round generational culinary sensation; pizza johns in essex, md.

up until last tuesday pizza johns had been merely a folk legend. a place that people talk about in undescriptive absolutes like, 'its amazing' or 'i love that place' and my favorite 'you have to go there.' dont get me wrong its all great publicity, but lacking in description or a seriously convincing or compelling reason (does this have to do with its location? i kid, i kid) to travel from the pizza rich environment that is baltimore city and venture all the way out to essex for a pie. so after being on my urbanspoon wishlist for nearly a year, i finally hopped in the mazda with a reoccurring culinary adventurist companion, dj g:/ (read: gee prompt), and struck out for this essex pizza institution of legend.

essex is amazing. eastern ave goes on forever, there are no turns. main street is an actual main street. there is water, boats, and docks everywhere. crabs arent $200 a bushel. and we even saw a green dodge challenger, like for real! drunk with our newly discovered affinity for all things essex (full disclosure: after opening up our zillow app, there have been a couple of inquiries into the essex waterfront real estate market) we were only thrown into a deeper stage of giddy inebriation when we pulled onto back river neck road and were quickly greeted by a larger than life 'pizza john' who stood out front of an italian-american chic villa/restaurant mega complex.

'italian-american essex villa chic'
instantly upon entrance we were greeted with table after table of patrons gobbling pizza, wolfing down sandwiches, and slugging tall sodas on this blistering summer day. excitement and hunger were brewing and i my lunch time essex traveling companion and i werent going to let the army of all white dressed 1960s era johnny rocket looking counter staff get the best of us, we were going to order big! there isnt any waitress service at p.j. its an old school trow back. you order everything at the counter, get a number, and take your own seat in one of the three massive dinning areas they have for pizza smashing. after little debate we decided to go with a pepperoni and green pepper pie and a half chicken parm sub to split. with a couple of large drinks our lunch cam out to $11 and change for each person. score another for essex.

before we could make ourselves too comfortable in our over sized booth that could a fit a family of 6 our first number was called. the chicken parm was first at bat. the parm was one large chicken cutlet fried, drenched in sauce, covered with cheese, and slapped on a white roll. the chicken had a crunch and was still a bit juicy, the sauce was fantastic (foreshadowing of the pizza perhaps?). the cheese was a mozzarella and there was a lot of it and it had been melted to allow for it to reach optimal stringy-ness. and finally the sub roll had been toasted to perfection; golden brown. this allowed for the sub to pack a little more crunch, absorb some of the sensational sauce, and not compromise with over the top sogginess. solid 1st at bat for pizza john.

now batting clean up ... pizza john!
a couple of bites into the sub our other number was called. our pizza kind of sauntered to our table like a clean up hitter. it knew it was the star, and it look every bit like one. golden brown crust flecked with tiny bits of over cooked cheese. green peppers glistening with the oils of cooked pepperoni. cheese that looked like it could stretch all the way back to baltimore, well at least back to dundalk. the pizza was the star. after doctoring a slice up with the usual, crushed red pepper, oregano, and a dash of salt, i took a bite of the piping hot pie. wow. the crust was crunchy and had an oven taste to it, but not over the top. the sauce was the star with a good zip to it, but at the same time an amazing tomato feel as well. the cheese could of streted back to dundalk, and the toppings were the perfect size and as a result didnt drag the cheese off the pie at all.

pizza johns was a total success. worth the trip down eastern ave and it truely deserves to be considered a baltimore pizza institution. from now on, anyone who asks me how i feel about pizza john's im going to simply tell them something like ....... 'its amazing', 'i love that place', or 'you have to go there.'

Pizza John's on Urbanspoon


hold the pickle vol. 16 ...

summer has besieged us. its hot. its humid. air conditioners are running non stop. pools, always at a premium, are over crowded. however the days are longer. work is slower. beers quickly overflow coolers. and most importantly the searing sizzle of meat on the grill can be heard all over. and since bbq'd meat is kind of a passion of mine, its the focus of this weeks sandwich quest.

after my most recent endevours of crossing land, mountains, seas, and valleys all in the name of the mighty sandwich, i decided to do the exact opposite. i went 6 blocks down the street to a relatively new take out shop in fells point called hungry andys. hungry andys recently sprung up on the fells point north-south bisecting broadway street just above the water, across from the much maligned, barren, and neglected broadway market. this is what i always assumed was not an ideal location when it came to foot traffic. with that all taken into consideration over the past three months since h.a. (w/r/t the abbreviation i apologize, but ive been reading a lot of d.f.w.1) has been open i have heard multiple endorsements from sources that i feel posses a lot of sandwich street cred which in my book warranted a sandwich quest stop.

heres a little sandwich quest inside info, i normally despise going into places that i want to blog about during the actual lunch hour. sandwich places by their very nature are designed for the lunch crowd, so are naturally the busiest during said hour. but on this particular day, a skipped breakfast and a hectic morning of pastry selling/delivering meant the lunch hour was unavoidable. this turned out to be a not so terrible thing. i walked into h.a. right around 1215 on a wednesday and was immediately greeted by big and bright retro-ish decor. a hanging mcdonoalds style menu board that had everything you would think a characterless local sub shop would normally have. wings, poppers, fries, burgers, wraps, a couple of sandwiches, and some fried seafood platters. it didnt look promising. but there was a substantial line of folks waiting to place their order. each one stepped up individually looked to a 'specials' chalk board on the righ hand wall and began barking out aurally delicious orders.

'pulled texas beef, on white, horseradish, and onion'

'pulled pork, roll, bqq sauce'

'beef brisket, bbq sauce, horseradish and onion on the side'

whooooa! after glancing to my right to see where the orgin of these orders was coming from i quickly went from disappointment to excitement. hungary andys is a sneaky bbq joint! it all started unfolding like reverse origami. the line of 7 people ahead of me were all men. the 4 people sitting were all eating bbq'd pork, beef, ham, or turkey. and of course were all men. the chalk board read that the daily special was a sandwich of either pulled pork, texas pulled beef , bbq ham, bbq brisket, or bbq turkey with horseradish, onion, and/or bbq sauce all with a side of fries and a drink for $7.50. yahtzee.

it was my turn to order. decisions, decisions. as i stated before bbq is a favorite of mine (3 stops so far on the quest, not including this one, have been bbq stops) and i didnt have a companion (no halfsies) so i had to choose carefully. while i was in the decision making process 3 more men walked in for lunch. i dediced to throw a bit of a curve ball to andy (and subsequently my taste buds) and ordered the bbq'd turkey combo with bbq sauce and onions to go (the place is small and was quickly shrinking with the entrance of what seemed like half of fells points male population).

it was upon my arrival at home that i realized thoughtfulness and quality that is hungry andys. the fries tell this story. the fries were still hot and crispy w/o any soggyness when i took them out of the bag. someone had taped the containers shut and then poked 6 holes in the top with a toothpick. this was pure genious. the holes allowed for the steam to escape which meant there was zippy condensation which meant zippy moisture which lead to zippy soggyness.   
hello bbq turkey, meet crispy fries ...
 the sandwich was still warm and wrapped tight in heat retaining aluminum foil. it was a soft white bun which contained the small mountain of translucent white shavings that were coated with just a faint squirt of bbq sauce. the bbq sauce squirt meant that there was a sauce aspect to the sandwich that didnt get you messy and that didnt drown out the pit turkeys bold smokey flavor. the onions were shaved white onions and were pretty pungent, but provided a little kick in contrast to the smokey turkey flavor and the sweeter bbq sauce flavor.

it was an almost perfect bbq sandwich. the turkey, like a blank canvas, had soaked up the smokey flavor to creat a bbq master piece. the onions didnt over power and were there in a perfect supporting role (and also sliced the right way to accompany any sandwich). the bbq sauce was a bit on the sweet side, but didnt mute the turkeys flavor. but the roll was was not good. it was soft and it was white, but it was on the dry side, had some mealy qualities to it and just simply couldnt stand up to the sandwich.

with one minor change, different bread, h.a. could become a must for undercover food in fells, a quick $7 lunch special, or the go to spot after a couple of pints on thames street.

david foster wallace see attached

Hungry Andy's on Urbanspoon


food that fell off of a truck ...

unless you live underneath a culinary rock you are sure to know that the food truck craze is sweeping across america with pandemic like speed and fervor. here in baltimore we are not immune. weve got a burger truck, a burrito truck, a bbq truck, a cupcake truck, a soup truck, a hot dog truck, a grilled cheese truck, and even a crepe truck. in other words we have a bunch of trucks. and last sunday after over indulging on saturday i awoke with a craving for something greasy, filling, cheap, and fast ... in other words i was looking for some truck food.

lucky for me the gypsy queen food truck (follow her on twitter for info and locales) just happened to be parked at the can company building which is a 3 block stroll (all downhill) for me. it was just what i wanted. the menu was broad with quirky items like the crab cone, little crab balls in a cone a la belgium frites style, there were truffled sliders, and a falafel sandwich (this is next on my list to get from this four wheeled food dispensary). not exactly sure on what to get (there were easily 10 items to choose from) i decided to go for 'the chubbie'. the chubbie was a burger, two slices of neon yellow american cheese, fried onions, and mustard all on grilled texas toast (thick buttery white bread). the chubbie was exactly what this pretty hunger over food enthusiast needed to get back on track, salvage a sunday, and to pique my curiosity about all the food trucks in town!

the 1st bite

and for all of you baltimore food truck groupies, enthusiasts, skeptics, curious, doubters, and lovers please note that next friday - harbor east will be the home of an entire parking lot filled with trucks that will be filled with food. im pretty excited for this food truck rally

The Gypsy Queen Food Truck on Urbanspoon


hold the pickle vol. 15 ... sandwiches from other places

in this weeks edition of your beloved sandwich quest, you will find that the protagonist has been quite busy during the early weeks of summer. humidity, nuptials, work, and general vacationing have thrown our sandwichian hero all over the map. but do not fear because displacement upon ones journey does not always mean distraction from ones ultimate goal. and since the goal of this quest is to find badass sandwiches and the people that serve them, a change in locale provided this protagonist with an awesome opportunity to partake in some non-baltimore culinary treats.

this entry is special for two reasons. the first reason (alluded to in my 'grabber' paragraph) is this will be the first post where sandwiches were consumed outside the great baltimore metro area. and the second reason is that this post focuses on 2 different sandwich shacks in opposite corners of the northeastern hemisphere. hey when you are on a quest you will inevitably cover lots of map. 

maine: the way life should be
the first out of state stop on quest brought your hero to a familiar sandwich dispensery in the great state of maine. maine is a special state. frontier in character, breathtakingly verdant, boasting a state slogan that states that the state of maine is, 'the way life should be', and its also littered with the bounty of the northern atlantic. the most sought after seafood bounty in maine is the lobster, also affectionately known as bugs. the plump red and white meat can be found just about anywhere. roadside stands, fancy restaurants in portland, and even in mcdonalds. one of the most popular ways to enjoy a bug while on the run is the lobster roll. and one of the best places to enjoy one of these buttered hot dog bun stuffed sensations is on the main street pier in freeport (home of ll bean) at harraseeket lunch & lobster. harraseeket is everything you picture when you think of a maine pier. boats docked and on moorings, lobster pots stacked on the pier, red picnic tables with plastic checkered table cloths, and folks of all ages and sizes ooogling over a menu that has everything from lobster to clams to strawberry ruhbarb pie. tons of people pick the whole lobster supper, and most who dont definitely pick the lobster roll. ive been coming here for years and with these 2 items carrying a $21.95 and $14 price tag respectfully i opt for hands down the best value on the menu; the fresh fish sandwich for a whopping $6.50.

how 'bout that filet o' fish?!?

i apologize about the lobster roll tease, but at harraseeket the sandwich to get is 1000% the fresh fish sandwich. its super simple. and its simplicity allows whomever is eating it to revel in the seafood taste sensation that is the 'ffs'. this humble creation consists of 3 evenly cut  rectangular chunks (think french toast stick size) of fresh white fish (normally cod) that has been breaded and fried. the breading is simple and these cod crunchies are fried to perfection which results in flaky fish cubes encapsulated in golden brown crunchie goodness. these crispy poisson pillows are placed (maybe thrown) onto a toasted sesame bun, covered with tartar sauce and then topped with a piece of melted american. yes you are correct, its a 'filet o fish'. only this 'filet o fish' is the freaking rolls royce of fish sandwiches. packed with seafood freshly plucked from the ocean, prepared by main-e-aks who have been cooking fish for generations, and served on a picture-esque waterfront pier. dont believe me? then book a flight and go to harraseeket.

after firmly placing a conquering sandwich flag on the shores of maine, one week later it was time to turn my conquesting gaze towards the south. towards the us virgin islands. more specifically st croix. st croix was the sight of what could be declared as the most international/cross cultural gathering since the last failed round of the doha development talks, only this gathering was for a wedding celebration not an argument of domestic agricultural subsides and/or protection of patented technology. with a wedding in cards, golden sands all around, reuniting with friends from all over the globe, and rum that was practially free never in my mind did i think i would find time let alone an opportunity to sandwich quest in the islands. i was totally wrong.

front porch
the entire wedding population (people from the west coast, mid west, east coast, and nyc coupled with folks from europe, turkey, and japan .... like i said a cross cultural orgy of fun in the sun!) stayed at a lovely beachside 'resort' called 'cottages by the sea' which is located in the town of frederiksted. frederiksted is tiny. and by tiny i mean microscopic, but its authentic islands. 19th century buildings, bright colors, and cobblestones on the beach front. behind the nice veneer even more authentic islands ... extreme poverty, serious unemployment, chickens running all over the place, and terrible infrastructure. 

 and just right between these two separate worlds lies a little culinary oasis in the tropics called turtles deli. turtles is everything i could ever ask for in a beach side deli. old ex pat couple running the shop. no shoes required. a dog leashed to the pole that holds the sign which clearly reads 'no dogs allowed'. a menu that includes both hot and cold sandwiches. and it was the closest place to grab a quick (nothing is really quick when you are in the islands) bite. 

half-sies: smoking chix & there is a blt
on top of my turkey sammy! 
i was introduced to turtles upon arrival at 'cottages' after my odyssey to the island which include ninja like exit from baltimore, flying out of the wrong airport, running through another airport (i guess i thought i was too cool for the intra-terminal train), being the last one on the plane, and catching a ride from the airport with unknown turkish people. there waiting for me in my older brothers refrigerator was a sight for sore eyes ... the 'turtle sub'. the thing was massive! over a foot of soft white roll that had been sliced at the equator and stuffed with (breath) turkey, salami, capicola, meunster cheese, american cheese, peppers, onions, cucumber, lettuce, tomato, hots, mayo, and mustard. again this thing was massive and i swear it had nuclear half life characteristics. with each bite there was a half bite regenerated. it took 2 people and multiple hours to eat the sub. 

with my first turtles experience a success i was determined to go to the source for a late brunch after a night of multiple bottles of rum in the ocean with turkish people. brunch was a blt. straight forward, but the bacon was beautiful and the bread was toasted rosemary bread. the blt performance earned the deli another return trip for lunch the following day. only on this trip i deployed the half-sie technique with the older brother. the half-sie'wich was comprised of the turtles turkey club and the smokin chix. the turkey club was like most things at turtles, large. essentially it was a blt the a turkey sandwich underneath. amazing. and the smokin chix (confession: i went back to turtles for a 4th time to get this bad boy again) was a taste sensation! soft sourdough bread that cradled sliced chicken, crispy bacon, tangy cole slaw, 1000 island dressing, and smoked gouda cheese. yep it was a good as it sounds and 100% warranted the 4th trip.

turtles and harraseeket, two sandwich spots in completely different states/territories/worlds, but both slinging sandwiches that are more than worthy of mention on this sammy conquest!

**up next a fells point, md 'hidden gem'**


hold the pickle vol. 14 ...

again this one happened a couple of weeks ago. since the inception of this project wedged between two slices of bread, ive had a 'cousin' who has been quietly recommending a sandwich shop thats no more than half a mile from my door step. he would come over for dinner (i live with his brother; another 'cousin') and matter of factly ask, 'have you checked out rosina gourmet yet?' we would run into each other on thames street, he diligently walking his dog and me smoking a cigarette and 3 magners deep at half time of a surely to be disappointing arsenal game, 'read your last blog. good stuff. been to rosina yet?' or i would post a link of facebook or twitter and then have the audacity to ask folks 'where should i go next?' his persistence would float to the surface again with a simple post/reply 'rosina gourmet'.

well i am happy to let you know that my 'cousin' finally achieved his goal of ultimate temptation/persuasion when he very simply sent a picture text of a magazine cover (see photo). as a semi pro sandwich super fan/aficionado/explorer i could not resist it anymore, so i made a lunch appointment with my 'cousin' and set out to place another stake in the rolling sandwich landscape of baltimore.

we went to the canton location of rosina, which sits opposite of a den of ill spoken about actions that most people simply refer to as portside. upon walking into rosina i instantly realized that just because there is only an alley entrance way separating these two places, there couldnt of be a bigger gap between these two neighbors. the portside tavern reminds me of crowded spaces, playlists from 104.3fm, soco and limes, and possessing an equal to or greater amount of bud light bottles than number of hands. rosina on the other hand is outlined with quaint tables for parties of 2-4. the walls a littered with local art and pictures of delicious foods, including a gigantic picture of the baltimore magazine cover that pushed me over the edge. the smell of toast/meats/spreads/veggies tickle the nostrils instantly. and a small battalion of women behind the counter greet you as you enter and make you feel like you just walked into a room full of moms, sisters, aunts, nieces, grandmothers (note: if any of you ladies from rosina read this i dont mean you look like grandmas, just that that maternal spirit was seriously permeating through the air) who wanted nothing more than to satisfy any sandwich hunger you might have.

on that sun splashed afternoon in canton i did in fact have a serious case of sandwich hunger and instantly began to wage my internal sandwich decision war with rosina gourmet's menu. i could tell this was going to be a drawn out war of attrition. there were/are 21 sammies on their menu and 3 specials. 24 sandwich options?!? how can you pick just one when you have choices like 'basil pesto chicken salad', 'parma ham & fresh mozz', 'over roast beef', 'grilled veggie', and the special 'roasted red pepper chicken'?!?! quickly realizing that in this overwhelming initial skirmish with the menu could easily turn into brutal trench like warfare i quickly enlisted the help on my 'cousin' and we formed an alliance, also known as going half-sies. after much back and forth the special 'roasted red pepper chicken' and the 'rustic italian' were selected.

rosina is an order at the counter, take your seat, and the staff will bring it to your table. i like this approach best when it comes to a sandwich store. no congestions. no paper wrapping at the table. these are all positives for a superior sandwich experience. and my experience this time was highlighted by the clerk who took or order, delivered it to our table, and without prompting had placed a 1/2 of each sandwich on our respective plates (a woman after my heart!) the sandwiches were not jumbo, over stuffed, or piled high like i had imagined (the baltimore mag cover probably had something to do with this preconceived notion). they were simple and understated. the roasted red pepper chicken was on a diagonally sliced ciabatta roll (note ... well actually more of a rant. people who know me know that i have a couple of unconventional culinary quirks. like my disdain for pickles or my love of pizza in bed. but one of these quirks that not many people know is that i dont believe in slicing any sandwiches on a diagonal axis unless its a grilled cheese and in that case a grilled cheese is always supposed to be cut on a diagonal axis. the club sandwich is a double diagonal cut, but thats a whole 'nother bag of chips in and of itself) and the rustic italian was served on a crunchy baguette.

the chicken was first because it was a warm sandwich. the ciabatta was lightly crunchy with a soft pull to it. the chicken was skinless breast meat that (i think) had been lightly seasoned, roasted off in the oven, and then chopped for serving on the ciabatta. the chicken was then topped with paper thin slices of red onion (thats how they are supposed to be on all sandwiches people!) and thin sliced tomato. i mention all of these ingredients first because for me these were all pretty standard, but of me the real star of the sandwich was the roasted red pepper sauce. i love roasted red peppers right off the grill, but will also settle for a high quality canned or jarred pepper. i feel like the base of the sauce was the latter, but it was light, very red pepper-ie, and a perfect viscosity. if they sold it by the jar, id buy a jar. the sandwich as a whole was pretty pleasant, very fresh, the sauce had flavor to spare, but fell short of being a perfect sandwich. however, the italian stepped in and made a pretty persuading argument for perfection.

the baguette for our rustic italian was the perfect medium for this sandwich. it 100% encapsulated the feel of a rustic italian/peasant sandwich. it was firm with some pull, but also with a significant amount of crunch. it had the strength to hoist up the layers of dried salami, provolone, tomato, and paper thin slices of red onion (yes!). the theme of rustic simplicity continued in this easy bust sophisticated sandwich with the light drizzle of a tasy olive oil over the dried meat. but again there was one aspect of the sandwich that stood tall on the shoulders of all the other ingredients, and on this sandwich it was the olive tapenade that was the buffer zone between the meat & cheese and the bottom of the baguette. its saltiness was the perfect seasoning to the mild cheese and the dried meat. its smooth texture provided a good balance to the hard crunch of the baguette. and please lets just face it, a good tapenade is really really hard to beat. and this tapenade helped to seal the deal on this rustic italian being a top notch sandwich.

as a little bonus the role of side kick/companion to our sandwiches was played by a small scoop of fresh pasta salad with a dab of cheese, diced onions, peppers, and some olives. this was a nice touch not because it was 'the worlds best' or 'grandmas secret recipe' pasta salad, but rather because it wasnt fries or chips. it was fresh, no frills, not too much, and just the right thing to balance a plate of tasty sandwiches that were understated, but overstuffed with flavor.

Rosina Gourmet on Urbanspoon