Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The 21st, 22nd and 23rd Sandwiches

It has been pretty hard to find time to blog about sandwiches between learning, working, sleeping, dancing and whatnot. But... I guess a picture is worth a thousand words?

1) DeLaurenti's Parma - very good
2) Pork Belly Banh Mi at Matt's in the Market - candidate for #1 sandwich
3) Chicken Pesto from Grinder's in Shoreline - much tastier than it looks

-- Rose

Monday, September 27, 2010

The 20th Sandwich

A week before last Thursday, I visited Tat's Deli, which is located in Pioneer Square, and had my first cheese steak sandwich. Later in the evening, I told a student about my sandwich of the day. She was surprised at the fact that I had never had a cheese steak sandwich before. The reason I am new to cheese steak sandwiches is that the only cheese steak sandwich deli that I am familiar with is notorious not for its sandwiches but for the multiple homicides that have been committed at the location. Because of the association, I used to think that cheese steak sandwiches were sketch but now I know that they are actually pretty awesome.

When it was my turn to order, I was overwhelmed with the number of options. What kind of cheese? What kind of meat? Onions? I asked for an authentic cheese steak sandwich, which included "cheese whiz", steak and grilled onions. The sandwich was very hot but appropriate for the grey weather. The meat was peppery and the "cheese whiz" was mild. It was a messy and delicious sandwich. When I finished, I felt sated and warm. When I go again (probably on another grey day), I might try different cheese. I'm glad that my sandwich adventure challenged me to reconsider some of my old assumptions.

- Rose

PS: I'm behind schedule on my sandwich eating and am not completely caught up with my blog posts. But I WILL finish my sandwich adventure.

Tat's Deli
159 Yesler Way
Seattle, WA

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Eighteenth and Nineteenth Sandwiches

I am a meat lover. I am wary of vegetarians and I am especially wary of vegans. I agree that meat production in America is not ideal and sometimes unethical but I do my best to avoid fast food places and to purchase organic meat products when I am grocery shopping. When I was in middle school, my parents made me watch a documentary on meat production in America. I was totally horrified when I saw footage of cows stuck in crowded stalls and cows being slaughtered. After I saw the movie, I decided to become a vegetarian. The next day, I made a salad for lunch and my mom made me a vegetarian meal for dinner. My mom went grocery shopping to purchase soy milk and other vegetarian friendly foods. The next afternoon, I felt weak. After school, I went home and I had my first taste of not Asian soy milk and I threw up. It was gross and I hadn't had enough protein over the past two days. I was a vegetarian for less than 48 hours.

My eighteenth and nineteenth sandwiches were both vegan sandwiches. The first sandwich was Plum Vegan's Jamaican Tempeh Wrap. The fresh spinach leaves and onions were very tasty and the tangerines were delightful. But tempeh, which is a soy based meat substitute, is not my jam. The texture is unappealing and the taste was hard to figure out at first and then just gross. I think Plum Vegan did its best using only vegan products but it only served to affirm my assumptions about vegan food (inferior)... and it was kinda greasy.

The second vegan sandwich was Sage Cafe's Purple Haze sandwich. The sandwich had seitan, which is a wheat based meat substitute. I prefer seitan to tempeh because it straight up just tastes less foul. The sandwich also had tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. I do not really like eggplant that much so that was not very great. The peppers were quite tasty and the tomato didn't seem quite ripe. I think that I am pretty picky about tomatoes and I prefer cherry tomatoes to the standard heirloom tomato. Overall, I guess the sandwich was not unpleasant and the quinoa was quite tasty.

I'd like to clarify that I don't hate on vegetables or the occasional vegan meal. I love fresh summer salads and quinoa. But I don't enjoy vegetarian/vegan food that has substitute meat/protein. You can't fool the carnivore inside of me.

- Rose

Plum Vegan Bistro
1429 12th Ave E
Seattle, WA

Sage Cafe
324 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA

The Seventeenth Sandwiches

On Monday, I started this week by treating myself to one of the top 5 sandwiches the Cornmeal Crusted Catfish sandwich at Matt's in the Market. When I arrived around lunchtime, I faced a 45 minute wait. Finally, Raleigh and I were seated at a window table and we appreciated the lovely view while we were eating. It was also neat to see Matt making drinks at the bar and casually strolling around his restaurant. The sandwich was very hot when it came out. Luckily, we were able to snack on the tasty seafood chowder while we waited for the sandwich to cool down. They definitely did not skimp on the fish for the seafood chowder. Yum! Finally, when the sandwich had cooled to an edible temperature, I took my first bite. The fish was cooked to a perfect level and the cornmeal crust was flavorful and added an enjoyable texture. The aioli had a subtle spiciness - almost like an afterthought sort of taste. It was not a hot spice but the spice was still present. The potato bread was nice but it might have preferred it if it had been toasted. The sandwich was definitely lacking in the crunch factor. Otherwise, it was a lovely sandwich and a beautiful restaurant. I am looking forward to visiting it again.

- Rose

Matt's in the Market
94 Pike Street
Seattle, WA

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Looking forward to...

Monday: Matt's in the Market - Cornmeal Crusted Catfish
Tuesday: Sage Cafe - Thai Curried Gyro
Wednesday: Melt Cafe - Ham and Cheese
Thursday: Tat's Deli - Cheese steak, Rizzo's French Dip - French Dip
Friday: Plum - Jamaican Tempeh wrap, Grinders - Chicken Pesto

Who wants to join my adventure?


Friday, September 17, 2010

The Sixteenth Sandwich

Today, I visited Kiss Cafe in Ballard to try the Monte Cristo sandwich. A Monte Cristo is made with french toast, ham, turkey, cheese and... strawberry jam. I appreciate the concept of the sandwich the savory and the sweet - very yin and yang. I thought about the sandwich throughout the day and I wondered... can you have it all? After my friend Whitney and I went on a (wet) afternoon walk in Discovery Park, we went to Kiss Cafe. I ordered the Monte Cristo and she ordered a wrap. It was fun to observe the people at the cafe. One of the cafe patrons brought in his 15 month old, 175 lb Mastiff puppy. When I got my sandwich, I was very... confused. I like French toast. I like ham and cheese sandwiches. But the combination was very bizarre. It didn't taste bad but I just didn't enjoy it. I guess I'm conventional like that.

- Rose

Kiss Cafe
2817 NW Market St
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Fifteenth Sandwich

I have eaten past the halfway point of my sandwich saga and I am a little sad that it is almost over. The primary reason why I am sad is that it means that I have to start school in two weeks. I am also sad because it has been quite rewarding to eat a sandwich every day. People who know me know that I like to set goals. Not stressful goals like acing a test or abstract goals like "eating better". I like to set goals that are easy enough to accomplish but require some planning or breaking from a routine. Sometimes I set goals for the week such as getting a manicure because I find that when I get really busy I forget to set aside time to relax and chill. A sandwich has been a really cool thing to look forward to and something fun to share with other people.

Yesterday, I celebrated the halfway point of my sandwich saga by treating myself to one of the sandwiches from the Bucket List: The Rajun Cajun from The Other Coast Cafe in Ballard. The sandwich was hot! I started the sandwich with a stuffy nose and by the time I was halfway through, I could smell the grilled onions and spicy cajun mayonnaise. The bread was not too crunchy which was perfect for taking huge bites. It was absolutely delightful. I definitely recommend it!

-- Rose

The Other Coast Cafe
5315 Ballard Avenue NW
Seattle, WA

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Thirteenth and Fourteenth Sandwiches

Yesterday, I visited Mawadda Cafe in Ranier Valley to try their renowned lamb shawarma. The restaurant was an intersection between Middle East and Pacific Northwest. The owner and his all male staff were extremely gracious and sat Raleigh and me in a booth between a lesbian couple and a family dressed in traditional clothing. The sandwich was quite large and dripped with juices. The sauce reminded me of a very spicy ranch. The lamb was served in really generous portions. I like lamb but its not one of my favorite meats. The taste of lamb was powerful and lingered for several hours, even after I brushed my teeth! After our meal, the owner offered us a cup of Middle Eastern chai and baklava free of charge. The combination of the sweet flavor of the baklava and the spice of the chai was delightful. In conclusion, I am glad to have visited and experienced this cross cultural gathering place. It was an experience far from what I am used to when I eat chicken shawarma at Vios Cafe in Capitol Hill.

This afternoon, I visited Roy's BBQ in Columbia City. I have never been to Columbia City before and I was completely caught off guard as I entered this cute neighborhood on Ranier Avenue. While I was looking for parking, I explored the neighborhood and stopped in front of a house that had a border of tall sunflowers. How charming and unexpected! One evening a couple of years ago, I was offered drugs in front of an establishment on Ranier Avenue and, since then, I have avoided the area because I thought it was sketch. I gazed at the house and I really appreciated this sandwich saga for giving me an opportunity to revisit an old assumption. The Oyster Po' Boy sandwich itself was not as exciting as I had hoped but I should confess that I might be coming down with a cold. The coleslaw was not very special and the only innovative thing about the sandwich was the fact that it had barbecued oysters in it. I plan to revisit Columbia City soon and I'll probably revisit Roy's BBQ but I definitely plan to order something else.

I am one sandwich away from crossing the halfway point of my sandwich saga!

- Rose

Roy's BBQ
4903 Ranier Avenue South
Seattle, WA

Mawadda Cafe
4433 South Graham Street
Seattle, WA

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Sandwiches

On Thursday afternoon, I ate Three Girls Bakery's meatloaf sandwich, which has been featured in the National Geographic Magazine. I ordered the sandwich with tomatoes, lettuce, onions, pickles, pepperoncini, mayo, and mustard on white bread. The sandwich was stuffed with a one-third pound slice of housemade meatloaf and felt heavier than my brother's netbook laptop. I brought my sandwich to work and shared it with my student, Alex. He was also impressed with the weight and size of the sandwich. At first, we were intimidated by the quantity of meatloaf but it turned out to be quite pleasing. The meatiness was balanced out by the flavors of the onion, pepperoncini, and mustard. The bread was quite mushy and the last bite of my sandwich was an unpleasant blob of meat+mayo+soggy bread. Next time, I will probably skip the tomatoes and go lighter on the mayonnaise and mustard.

Later that evening, I went to Dinette with my friend Nick, who is spending the next few months in Jordan. We shared the chicken liver mousse, goat cheese stuffed dates and corn cakes with fresh cherry tomatoes. While I enjoy the taste of pâté, I am not the biggest fan of the texture. The chicken liver mousse was spread thinly on crispy crostini. I was able to enjoy the taste without becoming grossed out. The pâté was topped off with hot pickled peppers, which were very spicy. The spice complemented the mousse but was borderline overwhelming. I do not think that I would've been able to finish the entire plate of chicken liver mousse on my own. Overall, the dinner was very enjoyable, especially because I got to share it with my good friend.

On Friday afternoon, I bit into Beecher's Dungeness Crab Grilled Cheese Sandwich and exclaimed, "Mother fucker. Holy shit." I was lost for words. I totally respect the fact that they did not skimp out on the Dungeness crab. The combination of the crab and Beecher's flagship cheese was very rich. Still, I think that there was room for a bit more cheese. The sandwich was surprisingly filling and I wasn't really hungry for the rest of the day.

-- Rose

1514 East Olive Way
Seattle, WA

Three Girls Bakery
1514 Pike Place
Seattle, WA

Beecher's Handmade Cheese
1600 Pike Place
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Ninth Sandwich

Today, I had a Thanksgiving Turkey sandwich at Bakeman's Restaurant in Pioneer Square. The restaurant is in a basement and the food is served cafeteria style on a tray. Within two minutes of entering Bakeman's Restaurant, I had already ordered and paid for my sandwich and started to dig in. My sandwich consisted of white meat turkey on wheat bread with mayonnaise, cranberries and lettuce. The sandwich fulfilled but did not exceed my expectations. I appreciated the quantity of turkey but otherwise the sandwich was particularly special. Pioneer Square is a little bit out of the way for me to get to just to eat a sandwich I could make at home. If I'm in Pioneer Square and the line at Grand Central Bakery is too long and I'm craving a simple sandwich, then I'd consider going again.

-- Rose

Bakeman's Restaurant
122 Cherry Street
Seattle, WA

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Seventh and Eighth Sandwiches

My two day sandwich hiatus refreshed my appetite. This afternoon, my friends Matt, Jamie, Zach, Raleigh and I visited Nettletown on Eastlake to eat the Elk Meatball sandwich. I had never tried elk meat before but I was excited to experience something new. In addition to the Elk Meatball sandwich, I ordered a mixed green salad with golden beets. When I received my salad, I was disappointed with the dearth of golden beets. Luckily, my disappointment was short lived. A nice employee, who had an awesome beard, brought more beets for everyone at the table. Next, they brought each of us our Elk Meatball sandwiches. I was surprised because the meatball sandwiches that I have eaten in the past have had red sauce. This meatball sandwich, however, did not have red sauce. Instead, it was decorated with bright orange pickled carrots and a medley of green herbs. The sandwich had a familiar, comforting flavor and left me quite satisfied. While we were eating our sandwich, we were visited by Nettletown's owner. We asked her about her menu, which includes miso soup and pbp&b sandwiches (peanut butter, pickles and bacon). One of her food philosophies is comfort. I definitely felt the vibe.

For dinner, Jamie, Matt, Zach and I met up at Quinn's Pub on Capitol Hill. We felt a bit under-dressed in our t-shirts and sweatshirts. I am embarrassed to admit that we were also acting like savages because none of us had eaten since lunches, seven hours before. I was really excited to try the Wild Boar Sloppy Joe for several reasons: 1) I have never eaten boar meat before and 2) I do not remember the last time I ate a sloppy joe but I remember that I enjoy eating them. I inhaled my sandwich as soon as I got it and, as a result, I wasn't able to reflect on the sandwich to my best ability. These are my thoughts: 1) The meat could be jucier, 2) Chewy, but not overly so, 3) Tomato sauce is rich, and 4) Using crispy onion to separate the bun from the meat is pro because the bread isn't soggy. When I had finished my sandwich I was on the precipice of becoming uncomfortably full and my hands were very dirty. I had eaten like a savage and now I felt like one among the other well-dressed, civilized patrons. Next time I go, my goal is to take breaths between my sandwich bites.

Lesson of the day: You can never have too much meat. Grr

Savage eating,

2238 Eastlake Ave East
Seattle, WA

Quinn's Pub
1001 East Pike Street
Seattle, WA


I didn't eat any sandwiches on Sunday or Monday. Look forward to some doubling up this week!

- Rose

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Sixth Sandwich

Yesterday's sandwich mission gave me an opportunity to explore my new neighborhood with my good friend Raleigh. We walked over to Volunteer Park Cafe to have lunch before the first Husky football game of the season. I ordered the Chicken Salad Sandwich ($8) and Raleigh ordered the Prosciutto & Mozzarella Baguette ($8.50).

I have two younger brothers who are always very hungry. Since my parents divorced when I was in middle school, my mom has raised my brothers and me on her own. Between her work and our schedules, my mom had little time to cook. Whenever I wasn't ready on time or late to an appointment, my mom would always say: You can waste money, but don't waste time. This line of thought has had an influence on how I organize my time. Those who are close to me know that I set my clocks ten minutes early and that I am always prompt. Anyway, my mom's cooking method is to cook two week's worth of food in one day and put it all in the freezer until it is time to eat. This method is very efficient but kind of redundant. One of the meals that my mom prepares in bulk is chicken salad sandwiches. Her chicken salad sandwiches becomes redundant less quickly than her other meals. She adds curry powder and raisins. It's good.

Volunteer Park Cafe's Chicken Salad Sandwich was tasty. The chicken was chunky and there was not too much mayonnaise. The apples played a nice supporting role. The sandwich was a good size and I did not feel too full afterward. I would suggest adding a little more flavor such as curry or dill. The sandwich was worth $8 and I will definitely visit it again.

- Rose

Volunteer Park Cafe
1501 17th Ave East
Seattle, WA

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Fifth Sandwich

Tuna melts are another one of those classic sandwiches that I love. Yesterday, I went to Grand Central Bakery in Pioneer Square. I was excited to go to Grand Central Bakery because my friend Keeley works there and it would give me a chance to visit her. When I arrived at GCB, the line was out the door. I got in line and looked around for Keeley but I didn't spot her until I was already halfway through the line. She was bustling around the back room. I was torn between my desire to say hi to a good friend and my desire to order my sandwich. Luckily, I didn't have to choose. Keeley came out of the back room and I was able to give her a hug and get my sandwich. I ordered a Tuna Tosti sandwich, a cup of clam chowder, a triple chocolate cookie and a vanilla Italian soda. The total was around $16 - totally worth it.

Grand Central Bakery's Tuna Tosti was a delight. The bread had the perfect crunch and the cheese was at the point of meltiness where it kind of oozes out of your sandwich when you take a bite. The celery and capers added complexity to the tuna but it did not overwhelm the flavor of the sandwich. It was perfect. I am definitely going to return to Grand Central Bakery for some more.

I was not able to finish the whole sandwich and all of my delicious snacks in one sitting so I took the other half of my sandwich home. Unfortunately, the sandwich was not as awesome at home as it was at Grand Central Bakery. In conclusion, go to Grand Central Bakery get a Tuna Tosti and eat the whole thing there - even if you have to unbutton your pants.

-- Rose

Grand Central Bakery
214 1st Ave South
Seattle, WA

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Fourth Sandwich

I love grilled cheese sandwiches. They are one of the easiest and most efficient sandwiches to make - all you need is a pan. When I make grilled cheese sandwiches, I use two half-inch thick slices of multi-grain bread. Next, I not only butter the outside of the sandwich but also butter the inside of the sandwich. Once the sandwich has been slathered in butter, I add generous amounts of Gruyère cheese. I grill the sandwich until the bread is a little crispy and has a golden brown color. Finally, I cut the sandwich diagonally and bite into cheesy deliciousness. I like to keep my grilled cheese sandwiches simple.

Today, I ate Elliot Bay Cafe's version of the simple grilled cheese sandwich. The grilled cheese and my lemonade cost a total of $9.90. The sandwich has Fontina, goat cheese, cheddar, peppers and tomato on semolina bread from Seattle's Macrina bakery. The additional flavors of the peppers and tomato are wonderful but they overwhelm the cheesiness. Also, the bread seems a little dry and not as buttery as I like.

Honestly, I prefer my homemade grilled cheese to the sandwich I had today. I'm kind of narcissistic like that.

-- Rose

Elliot Bay Cafe
1521 10th Ave
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Third Sandwich

Today, Wally and I visited Saigon Deli in the International District. The deli was packed with sandwich lovers and the ordering system was a free for all. After I ordered my sandwich, I cowered in the corner and watched the aggressive Asian ladies push themselves to the front of the line. They wanted their sandwiches and they wanted them now. One woman ordered fifteen sandwiches. The soda and the sandwich cost a total of $4.00. That is awesome.

The sandwich, Banh Mi Nuong, was more bready than I prefer but the baguette had a nice crunch to it. The pickled cucumbers and carrots were spicy and tasty. The pork was fine but not necessarily out of this world. Today, I appreciated the size of the sandwich because I was not very hungry. Had I been hungrier, I'm not sure that one sandwich would've appeased my ravenous appetite. For $2.75 this sandwich was worth every penny. However, I know that Seattle Deli, another deli featured in the top 48, offers delicious banh mi for only $2.00. So if you want the most bang for your buck, you should travel two blocks and hit up Seattle Deli (225 12th Ave S Ste 101, Seattle, WA 98144).


Saigon Deli
1237 S Jackson St Ste E
Seattle, WA

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Second Sandwich

This morning I woke up extra early to pick up a Reuben from I Love New York Deli before work. After the two sandwiches from yesterday, I woke up reconsidering whether or not it is possible to eat too many sandwiches. When I arrived at the deli around 10:45 am, I was surprised to see the number of people eating sandwiches before noon. The sandwich felt heavy in my hands and I was filled with dread. I wondered: how am I going to eat 28 more sandwiches? I brainstormed strategies on my way to work. One strategy I considered is to eat two sandwiches a day for one week. If I eat fourteen sandwiches in one week then I will be able to eat different food for a week. When I got to work, the sandwich sat ominously on the corner of the table. Finally, Kristin arrived with another Reuben in hand. How thoughtful! With her support and the support of my student, Thomas, I felt ready to take my first bite. YUM! Why was I worried? It was delicious. The sandwich had a soft texture but it wasn't too soggy (even though it had sat aside for two hours). The dressing was really really good and the proportion of meat to sauerkraut was perfect. The bite was dense but manageable. And the cheese, according to Thomas, was "there but not there". One thing that I had a little bit of a problem with was how wet the sandwich was. It wasn't soggy but it could've been less wet. I would definitely eat the sandwich again but I would want to try it there and not as take out. I look forward to tomorrow's mastications.

Love, Rose

I Love New York Deli
5200 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Hey by the way if you want to have a shout out on the blog, all you have to do is take me out to lunch. BONUS: spend time with yours truly

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The First Sandwich

It has been a long but sandwich packed day. Today, I met Wally for lunch at Homegrown on Capitol Hill. I was moving all morning and I was looking forward to my first sandwich. Homegrown's Crab Cake, Bacon + Avacado sandwich. As I walked up to the cashier, I passed by a woman telling her friend how delicious her sandwich was. I became super excited and I placed my order for the Crab Cake sandwich and a raspberry lemonade.

The sandwich I received seemed a little small. The bread was was firm and felt warm in my hands. The time that elapsed between my first and last bites is a spicy blur. By the time it was over I was able to appreciate the size of the sandwich. I felt perfectly sated. Had the sandwich been bigger, I still would've eaten the entire thing and felt less pleased. -_-

After lunch, Wally and I went to IKEA to get some knick knacks. Finally at 10 pm, post-IKEA and some organizing, we realized that we hadn't had dinner. We were really hungry and wanted to eat something that would satisfy our appetite. So I had my second sandwich of the day. One of my favorites - the lamb/beef gyro at Aladdin's Gyrocery in the U District.

You can't have too many sandwiches. YUM

1531 Melrose Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122

The Beginning

My name is Rose and I like food. Especially sandwiches. This month's issue of Seattle Magazine featured Seattle's 48 best sandwiches. As of now, I have eaten 17% of them. My goal between now and September 29 (the first day of Fall quarter at the UW) is to eat the remaining 29 sandwiches. During this month, I hope to gain a deeper appreciation of the sandwich craft and to explore new areas of the city I love. Much to my mother's dismay, I will also probably gain weight.

Tomorrow, I will be moving from my apartment near campus to a new one in Capitol Hill. When everything has been moved, I plan to reward myself by eating my first sandwich of the month: Homegrown's Crab Cake, Bacon + Avacado sandwich. Yum.

Happy eating,