Friday, May 8, 2009

Sandwich Consolidation

After a brief vacation (well deserved) and a break from blogging I've done some stomach/soul searching and decided to consolidate my blogs. Epic sandwich will now be a frequent feature on Hungry in Southwest. When I started blogging it was simply a hobby. Now that I've added a second personal blog, and the City Pages gig, it seems like I've really fragmented my content and lost track of why I got into blogging in the first place. A wise man (Shefzilla himself) once stated that he envisioned blogging as simply an art project and ideally, I feel the same way about what I do. I think I can make that all happen in one concentrated effort that will hopefully lead to a better user experience. The new and improved Hungry in Southwest will benefit from the additional content and readers can still find all the sandwich goodness in its new home starting next week when I head over to Clancey's Meat and Fish to see if they can deliver beyond their killer (bad pun) butcher business. I've heard from numerous sources that they haver serious sandwich cred (no doubt they have impecable ingredients) and I plan on putting it to the test. Thanks all, I'll see you over at Hungry in Southwest and you can still catch me every Wedensday morning here.

Happy Eating,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Epic Sandwich: Jasmine Deli

Turns out Jasmine Deli is a great cheap lunch spot. Full review here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Epic Sandwich: Surdyk's Deli serves up a surprise

The outside of Surdyk's in NE Minneapolis is about as uninviting as an insane asylum. The inside however, is quite a different story. Although Surdyk's is mostly known for their wine selection they also boast an amazing cheese shop and a pretty kick-ass deli. It's sort of a food lovers Disneyland. You can pick up a nice hunk of cheese, some nice meats, olives and breads and then pick out a nice vintage to wash your lovely meal down with. Of course if you're like me, you'll need a snack to tide you over until you get home so you might as well grab one of their creative sandwiches from their deli.

They rotate a few hot and cold featured sandwiches from a huge list of awesome creations everyday. They also serve up some tasty salads and soups in case you're looking for something beyond the sandwich realm. I'm always up for a good panini and although many things looked good that day, I immediately locked eyes with the pork and caramelized onion panini. How could I possibly pass up such a masterful combination? The anchor of this awesome sandwich is the grilled marble rye - I don't think there is a better bread for grilling. They layer on this awesome parrano (an aged gouda) that melts well, yet has much more flavor then your classic melting cheeses. They whip up a balsamic mayo special for this particular sandwich, and there is simply nothing that goes better with a slow roasted, rosemary infused lush, tender pork loin then a good hint of balsamic. Surdyk's also throws on some caramelized onions to help bridge the sweetness of the balsamic and the savory pork. Lastly, the arugula mellows nicely under the heat of the grill and adds a final aromatic element to this superb sandwich. Everything is perfectly melded together and the flavors are simply fantastic.

My only wish is that the sandwiches were grilled to order. I know that take a few extra minutes, but it would be well worth it. I was able to get in and out fast which was appreciated, but when it comes to a panini there is a certain romance associated with hearing your very own sandwich sizzle and ready itself for your satisfaction.

Sandwich Rating: Killer. The flavors on this sandwich were deep and rich, but managed to work really well together despite their respective boldness. This was simply a well-crafted 'wich with thoughtful pairings and sterling ingredients. At $6.99 I think it's beyond reasonable and will head back across the river soon to peruse the wine selection and get myself a nice thoughtful lunch.

Happy Eating,


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Warning: Epic-ness

Had a sandwich worthy of the "Epic" rating at Manny's Tortas the other day. Complete and total flavor explosion. It's a monster of a sandwich. I highly suggest allowing for at least an hour long nap after it's all over. Complete review here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Corner Table and Rustica: Confit Chicken Salad

Rustica bakery is one of my favorite places to stop and grab a sandwich. They've partnered with Corner Table Restaurant to put together fresh and inventive sandwiches made with superior ingredients and amazing bread. You've got to check it out. Full review here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Red Stag: WI Grilled Cheese

I ran over to the Red Stag to check out what they have to offer for lunch. Get the full review here.

Check back often for more sandwich reviews...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Hell's Kitchen

Check out my full review of the Ham and Pear Crisp from Hell's Kitchen here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Hell's Kitchen Ultimate BLT

I've been trying to get to Hell's Kitchen for quite some time and figured Sunday brunch would be a chance for me to gorge on a few different menu options. The local food scene has been oozing with buzz about he place lately so I jumped right on that train and ordered their Ham and Pear Crisp in addition to some Sausage Bread (some one had a few too many the night before). Jess decided on the Ultimate BLT (sounded pretty good to me, too) and we settled in to share a nice little smorgasbord. I'm going to focus on the BLT for this post as I'll have a full Ham and Pear Crisp write-up posted on City Pages the morning of 3/18.

I thought Hell's BLT was actually quite good. When executed well, a BLT can be extremely satisfying, yet at the same time, a weak BLT can be easily identified and called out immediately. Thankfully this wasn't the case at Hell's Kitchen. It's essentially your classically crafted BLT with no extra frills. No chipotle Mayo, no fried eggs, and no peppered bacon, although you can pay a bit more for a cheese upgrade.

The sandwich is built on a solid foundation of expertly toasted sourdough that gets a good splash of mayonnaise on top. They layer in nice crispy bacon, with just a bit of chew and enough salt to slap your hangover around a bit. They serve it with delicate butter lettuce, and layers of rich, sweet and perfectly ripe tomatoes of a quality that I haven't enjoyed in quite some time.

Sandwich Rating: Tasty. I'll be back to Hell's Kitchen to sample some other goodies in the very near future, but will probably bounce around the menu a bit more. Like I said, a good BLT is satisfying, but I like to try and push the envelope a bit more when I sit down to the table.

Happy Eating,


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Epic Sandwich: Blackbird Cafe

Check out my latest City Pages post on Blackbird Cafe here. I've also got some fresh content below. Enjoy!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Sandwich Club

I go out to lunch surprisingly little for someone who contributes to three food blogs. I stay pretty busy at work and don't have a lot of time to run out and eat. I also like having control over my meals so that I don't eat junk all the time or spend too much money. I love to cook and pride myself on being a frugal but adventurous shopper.

The only problem with making your lunch every day is the ease of boredom. Eating leftovers from the previous night may be tasty and convenient, but it doesn't do much for variety. I'm also a huge fan of sandwiches in case you didn't notice, but that gets old after a while. You buy a loaf of bread, some lunch meat, cheese and accompaniments and by Wed. you are sick of the sandwich you'll be eating the rest of the week.

That is until now. I work in a pretty creative environment and have identified a few other sandwich enthusiasts, and last week these colleagues approached me with an offer I couldn't refuse. They too, get bored eating the same thing several days in a row so we came up with and idea. We would each buy enough sandwich provisions for one person for the week and then share those provisions with eachother: The sandwich club was officially formed. We'll do this one week/month to not only help alleviate the boredom, but to also pick up on some creations we normally wouldn't on our own. Each guy brought in somerthing today I'd never had before. One was a wasabi sauce that when paired with roast beef was really good. The other added some sort of a cranberry mustard sauce that was awesome with some fresh turkey and toasted bread. I brought smoked Gouda and Virginia ham to round things out. Now for the next four days I have the choice of three breads, 3 kinds of meat and three cheeses from which to construct my sandwich in addition to a whole list of sauces and toppings as well. Variety is back in my lunch diet and sharing a good sandwich with some friends while saving some coin is pretty enticing too. Give it a whirl at your office, I promise you won't be disappointed.
Happy Eating,


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Linden Hills Co-op Deli Heats It Up

I frequent the Linden Hills Co-op once or twice a week in search of fresh, organic produce and sustainably raised meats. I love walking into the place without a list in hand and purchase whatever looks good or inspiring. Their produce is incredibly fresh and amazingly flavorful. They have some really nice purveyors in their dairy case, and I love picking up Thousand Hills grass-fed ground beef for burgers and chili or grabbing a few steaks from time to time.

I typically stay away from the deli case to help ease the cost of buying locally and sustainably, but couldn't help but notice that they now offer hot sandwiches in the same area as their killer juice bar. Needless to say, I was intrigued and decided that I'd reward myslef and buy a little something to eat quickly since I would be making scratch soup all afternnon (I had to use up the rest of the heavenly smoked ham hock I grabbed at Clancey's).

The deli has a lot of tasty sounding sandwiches on the menu, but I was interested in creating a little ditty of my own. I was pleased to find that they'll make you a half sandwich (Co-op folks are the best) and I quickly decided on wheat bread with oven roasted chicken, mozzarella (I soon found it was not the fresh, but the grated kind - bummer), peppers, tomatoes, Dijon and arugula. Arugula is my favorite green, hands down, and it's too expensive to buy on it's own right now, so I was pleased to get it through another outlet. There's something about arugula and a spicy Dijon or fragrant aioli that really does it for me.

The sandwich was really quite large - probably bigger as a half then the sandwiches I typically make for my lunch at work. It was piled high razor thin, and incredibly tender chicken breast, snappy peppers and bold arugula. The mozz was a bit lost among the bolder flavors. The sandwich fillings were hearty and fresh despite the fact that the whole wheat sort of dried out in the toasting device - I'll go Challah or baguette next time. The Dijon alleviated the dryness a bit, but I longed for just a little dash of fresh ground pepper to round out its big flavor.

Sandwich Rating: Tasty. It will be the perfect meal or snack for me to kick off my many long wintry Saturday afternoons of cooking ,but won't replace any of my favorite local sandwich haunts. I'm ecstatic they put the hot sandwich bar together and will eat there again for sure. I'm eyeing "Brenda's Baguette" for next time - toasted baguette with Brie, tomato and arugula - simplicity at it's boldest.

Happy Eating,


Friday, February 13, 2009

Wilde Roast Cafe

Stopped by the Wilde Roast Cafe to see what they had going on. You can find the full review here.

I'm cutting back to one post a week at City Pages so I can keep some focus on my other blogs, so expect more to come!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I just did a new post on City Pages for my favorite in-town lunch joint. Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Epic Sandwich: Bulldog Lowertown

I finally made it to the Lowertown Bulldog. Get he scoop here!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blue Door Pub: Shroom and Swiss

I wanted to follow up on the Blue Door Pub as promised earlier. I really dug this place and it's neighborhood feeling. I used to live a few blocks away, so it's good to see such a friendly neighborhood establishment there now, although I am a bit jealous that there wasn't something like that when I was around.

The staff was super friendly, and the menu small, but inventive. The Spam bites - think Spam and cream cheese breaded and fried - looked enormous, and all the burgers and sandwiches I saw looked great. The menu is fun and has a bit of something for everyone from a classic Juicy Lucy all the way to the darn-near absurd Jiffy Burger that features bacon, pepper jack cheese and a smear of peanut butter! Now that's seriously nuts. All there sandwiches can be served up with fries, deep-fried green beans or tots for a bit extra as well, so make sure you are in for a serious blast of comfort before stepping in this cozy and crowded spot.

While there I also enjoyed a few bites of the Mushroom and Swiss Blucy. Simply take the classic version of this burger, but mix the mushrooms in the beef and add a nice molten center of swiss. The mushrooms helped to further flavor the juicy meat, and the smooth swiss was perfectly gooey! Oh, and then there's the pickles. They offered a nice tangy and crunch to round the whole burger out. They may only do a few things at the BDP, but everything they do is done well.

Even if you aren't ready for dinner you can swing by to sample from their great craft beer selection and catch up with a friend or two. I plan on bellying up very soon with a good friend and a nice bubbly burger.

Happy Eating,


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blue Door Pub!

I'll be back here tomorrow (1/28) at 7 a.m. This week I'm reviewing the Blue Door Pub, and their Blucy of the Moment contest winner- the Frenchy Blucy. The burger was really good, and I'll have a follow up post and some pics from the other burger (shroom and swiss) I tried in a few days! Remember I'll be on CP every Wed and Fri at 7 a.m.!!!

Happy Eating,


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

City Pages Hot Dish!

So you haven't heard as much from me lately because I've been preparing to start contributing to the Hot Dish! Please stop by City Pages on Wednesday and Friday mornings (or any time) to check out my posts. I'll continue to post here as well, so no cause for concern. Your dose of Epic Sandwich has officially doubled! My first post will be up tomorrow (1/21) at 7 a.m. Talk to you soon!

Happy Eating,


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Don Pedro's Mahi Mahi Sandwich - Sayulita, Mexico

I'm going to tell you right now that this isn't really fair, but you have to give credit where credit is due. I had my first Epic Sandwich since I began this blog, and it's only a 4 hour plane ride away. I thought about not even giving mention, but that would not be in the true spirit of my fixation and/or mild obsession with sandwiches.

I spent the New Year in Puerto Vallarta and we decided to take a day trip to Sayulita, a really cool surf community just down the coast. The vibe there was very laid back, and I would even venture to say that there may have been some marijuana exchanging hands somewhere if you looked hard enough.

We set up shop at a gorgeous beach and had a few beers and drinks while perched in the chairs we rented for the day. Eventually, I got hungry (weird) and we decided to order some lunch. My eyes instantly gravitated to the Mahi Mahi sandwich. I had promised myself that I would get some good fish while I was down there, and since it was lunch I was craving a sandwich. The Mahi Mahi sandwich was pretty much the most ideal choice for accomplishing my gastronomic goals. I ordered the sandwich and another beer and baked in the sun as I awaited the feast ahead.

A huge sandwich arrived and was escorted by a pile of well-salted fries. The bread was quite rustic looking and as I dove in I was again impressed by the Mexican baking. I never associated Mexico with good bread, but I was quickly becoming a believer. The perfectly moist and meaty fillet of Mahi Mahi was well seasoned and wore a smooth suit of chipotle and lime mayonnaise which provided some heat and a nice citrus lift. The real winner here was the roasted poblano and cactus salsa - something that unfortunately, would be hard to find here. Poblanos have a very mild, sweet heat, and the cactus added not only a very intersting taste, but also a great twist of texture. Laslty, the sandwich had a mound of fresh, smashed avocado, which contributed a nice, velvety richness. The sandwiches flavors melded perfectly together and they get extra points for superior bread. Add in a nice cold Mexican cerveza, and it's hard not to be Epic.

Sandwich Rating: Epic. I'd love to be fortunate enough to be in Puerto Vallarta for the New Year several more times in my life and the day trip to Sayulita would be worth it just for the lunch alone. An amazing sandwich in an amazing setting with the closest of friends is tough to beat. Hopefully the next sandwich to get the Epic nod will be a bit closer to home!

Happy Eating,