Monday, March 1, 2010
A Good 'wich'
A good sandwich. A good sandwich makes my day. It has to have the perfect balance of flavor and texture: something crunchy, something creamy, something sharp and something smooth.
The crunch. The crunch first and foremost comes from the bread. The bread is key. The bread is your foundation. Toasted and pressed is my preference. Fresh and grainy and dense. Another way to get your crunch is the lettuce. Lettuce adds a refreshing crisp crunch (maybe a little raw red onion, too?). Same with chips. I used to put potato chips in my sandwiches. I will admit that sometimes I still do, and this will always be a winner in my book. Just remember to add the chips just before you eat your 'wich' otherwise they will get soggy, and you lose the crunch. The crunch can come from a good fried chicken 'wich' too!
The creamy. The creamy can come from avocado, hummus, pesto, mayo, mustard, a spreadable cheese, some roasted bell peppers...I will also admit to you that I used to make my sandwiches dry-no creamy texture. Ack! What was I thinking? This is what I had been missing all along people! The creamy holds everything together. And the contrast of the creamy with the crunchy is just out of this world. Actually, the world stops for a second once you experience the creamy with the crunchy. With just one bite, the world stops.
The sharp. A sharp flavor, that is. Something spicy perhaps? A good sharp cheese maybe? A nice little sprinkle of salt n' pepper? A bit of fresh basil? A juicy sundried tomato? Some smoky or pepper-crusted turkey or gourmet gouda? Or even some kind of vinegar just to keep you on your toes? We need a little something extra to make that 'wich' really pop. We need that sharpness.
The smooth. Oh, the smooth. The smooth is what makes you close your eyes and smile with pure bliss radiating off of your cheeks. The smooth is what makes your tongue tickle with delight and your forehead wrinkle with satisfaction. The smooth. The smooth is, in a way, the entire entity of the sandwich experience. It is everything combined, joined together to make you feel great. Now that's smooth.
The sandwich pictured is one from Berkeley's Nabolom Bakery. A sustainable collective, Nabolom mostly sells fresh baked bread and pastries, but they do make a vegetarian sandwich, different everyday.
A few of my all time top favorite sandwich places are:
1. Mill Valley's Mill Valley Market sandwiches. Definitely order the special of the day. You will not be let down. Go for a hike in the beautiful Marin mountains and take your 'wich' along with you. Now you REALLY will not be let down.
2. Santa Monica's Bay Cities Italian Deli. The bread, the Italian dressing, the works. Do it. It is an experience to order there and watch the sandiwch makers prepare that 'wich' faster than you can say "let's hit the beach."
3. Temescal's Bakesale Betty. Fried chicken. Jalepeno coleslaw. Done.
Well, great. Now I'm salivating over my keyboard.