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.