Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Italian Store Sandwich
I enjoy a good sandwich. But they're not always easy to come by. Don't get me wrong, Seattle certainly has a few "not to be missed" establishments, including Mario Batalli's father's meat shop, Salumi. Here you can get a sandwich carefully layered with hand-cured artisan salami, house-made mozzarella and fresh figs - simple, good ingredients without a lot of bells and whistles. There's also the newish Baguette Box which offers gourmet sandwiches on good baguette. And it's impossible to talk sandwich shop without mentioning Paseo Caribbean Restaurant's famous juicy grilled pork sandwich with caramelized onions. Certainly the best of its kind.
But sometimes I miss sinking my teeth into one of those loaded New York style Italian subs. Oddly enough, one of the reasons I was so looking forward to the Duck Dinner in Arlington, Virginia was to get one of those glorious sandwiches at The Italian Store.
Me admitting this is my way of eating crow. You see, most New Yorkers have a chip on their shoulders when it comes to finding decent pizza or bagels outside of state lines. I refused to listen to Tristan when he said that Arlington, Virginia had a little shop in a 1970's-era strip mall with killer Italian subs. Boy, was I wrong.
The Italian Store does it right. From the chewy crust hard roll to the medley of Italian meats and cheeses to the shredded lettuce, hot peppers and just the right amount of olive oil and vinegar. Not only did we gorge ourselves on Napolis while we were there, we took a couple of them on the plane back to Seattle, too. As delicious as they were, our last bites were hard to swallow since they were accompanied by the realization that we had to wait at least another 6 months before our next fix...