10/01/2010

hold the pickle vol. 4 ...

it wouldnt be a successful week without another update about my city/county/pseudo-state wide sandwich quest.  youre adventurer has been getting some positive feedback which has spurred the quest to go on and on and on. also the deliciousness that i have been experiencing along the way has not hindered my quests progress.

cant judge a sandwich by its wrapper
this weeks stop on my 'quest del bocadillo' (spanish for sandwich quest) led me to another baltimore italian hot spot, but this time i was on the west side of town to indulge in the culinary concoctions created by trinacria foods on paca street. trinacria is a no nonsense and no frill italian bakery/deli/grocer that has been in existance for more than a 100 years, and many of the blogs faithful readers have urged me to stop here on my quest. like any good hero i have to do what the people want .... thanks wily and chas.

this was my 1st time at trinacria, and i had some interesting 1st impressions. upon finding a parking spot directly across the street i noticed the 1960s era exterior, the grates around all of the windows, and for a moment i thought that this was just another vacant building that had seen its hey day, but succumbed to the west baltimore blight. that fleeting thought was quickly banished from my head when a gentleman (pictured with out permission ... shhhh) came barging through the front door in full ravens gear carrying a case of wine and a box of groceries that was nearly overflowing. this guy wasnt you, small, or stupid and right then and there i knew i was in for a treat.

upon walking into the cramped deli/grocery store your eyes cant avoid the rows and rows of italian cookies behind the counter or the rows and rows of house made and bottle sauces to the right. beyond the counter in the front and easily visible in the back half to the store is the deli and sandwich counter, so i headed straight back to gaze at the menu before stepping up to slay one of their culinary beasts. mistake. i waited to be helped only to realize how much of a trinacria noob i was because i didnt grab a number from the ticket machine right at the front door. after that hiccup i was ready to draw my line in the sand and grab a sandwich ....
but wait i cant decide .... so much to choose from ..... '

number 47' ....

oh no! .... 'ummm ill take an italian with everything'

'lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, and hots?'

'yes please .... and can i also have a fresh mozzarella sandwich'

'you want both?'

'yes ma'am'

ahh sweet compromise. why make set in stone ultimatum filled decisions, when you can order 2 sandwiches. after all its just a sandwich, and i will need something to eat before going to the orioles game tonight. it didnt take long for the sandwiches to come out, but i had no problem killing that small amount of time browsing through their product packed isles. there was marinara sauce, puttanesca sause, fra diavolo sauce, pomodoro sauce, vodka sauce ... you get the idea! there was every shape, color, and size of imported dried pasta. but the best of all were the freezers all the way in the back. these bad boys were chalk full of lasagna, ziti, various parmesans, marsalas, ravioli, and calzones. i made a note to myself that next trip down panca st would result in a tv dinner trinacria style!

the sandwiches came, and i had to take them to go since there is no place to eat at trinacria. i floored it all the way home because a. these little parcels wrapped in deli paper smelled outrageous and b. i hadnt had anything since my special k at 445 in the morning. once at home i was able to unwrap these bad boys and just stare in awe for a while all the time wondering which one i was going to sink my teeth into first. the italian sub won.

best value purchase in baltimore???
this little 6 inch sub roll (dont know if it was baked on premises) was packed full of thinly sliced meats and cheeses, topped with fresh tomatoes, long cut white onions, and smattered with hots, oil, vinegar, and mayo. when you close your eyes and think of an italian sandwich this is what youre thinking about. the lettuce was shredded so it didnt slide everywhere. the hots were not over powering. the oil and vinegar were applied in perfect proportion. the meats and cheeses? forget about it. the only draw back on this sandwich was that there was too much mayo. normally i wouldnt complain, but the sub roll was soft, and italians are moist, and too much mayo really over saturated the roll and made it a little too soggy at times for my liking. this issue can be easily resolved. ask for light on the mayo. oh and let me not forget the best upside to this sandwich, the cost. this might be the best deal in all of baltimore .... its a $3.29 sandwich. bang that just just happened. seriously.

you need to try it ...
even with too much mayo, i had to stop myself at half the italian so i could dive into the fresh mozzarella sandwich. unlike the italian, the mozzarella sammy was served on what was obviously house made tomato foccacia. i need to let you know that i am always a bit hesitant to eat of focaccia sandwich because focaccia tends to dry out easily, and when you through a bunch of other things on it it gets really dry and becomes a hindrance to what should be an enjoyable sandwich experience. well obviously the folks at trinacria have thought this one through. the mozzarella sandwich has three ingredients: mozzarella, proscuitto di parma, and pesto. the 'too dry focaccia syndrome' is easily avoided by the application of the pesto, which wasnt too oily and had a mild basil flavor, on both pieces of bread. next the house made mozzarella was sliced super thin and wasnt too milky and actually had some serious flavor to it. and finally they obviously knew i was going to be talking about this sandwich for weeks to come (no they didnt) because there was easily a quarter pound of di parma on there. this might be the best sandwich ive had so far on this quest (ive had 6). at $5.99 its one of the most expensive sandwiches on the menu, but well worth it. just look at that bad boy.

the long of the short on this adventure ... great place and awesome recommendation from chas and wily. this reminds me of dipasquales, and therefore has been affectionately dubbed the west side dipasquales. but trinacria stands out on its own despite its nickname (that only i use, and have only been using for the past 2 hours). the market selection is similar, but the house made products set is aside. the deli section is stocked with imported meats and cheeses that would make any of the cast on jersey shore proud. the prices on their sandwiches are sooooo affordable that if i worked in or around midtown i would be there at least once a week (man city im looking at you). and finally in all seriousness i think that the best value purchase in baltimore might be the italian cold cut at trinacria for a whopping $3.29 ... thats less than a domestic bottle at field house!

**always looking for feedback and suggestions. have an awesome weekend and just an fyi, im in love with fall, the season.**

Trinacria on Urbanspoon

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