Week 23 of 52
Type of Establishment: Delicatessen
Visit: A Monday without work provided a great opportunity to get lunch at this very new sandwich shop in Pioneer Square, aka – The New Sandwich Center of Seattle.
BEERS ON TAP —>
Scuttlebutt Brewing Tripel 7 Belgian Ale
Hale’s Ales Pale Ale
Elysian Brewing Immortal IPA
Pike Brewing Tandem Double Ale
Pike Brewing Pale Ale
Terminal Gravity ESG
Full Sail Session Lager
Full Sail Session Black
This is a Deli. They have sandwiches here. Amazing, amazing sandwiches!
Allow me to quickly state, right from the onset, that this is not a Seattle beer destination. This is, however, a serious Seattle culinary destination. If you like sandwiches, this place is a MUST visit. I think, after reading this article, you will be very willing to take my word for it.
Luckily for us, they offer a few local craft beers to sip on whilst chewing.
Let’s get down to business. I’m an East Coast guy. I grew up just south of Philadelphia. There is nothing that I miss more about home, other than a few superior humans, than sandwiches. Breakfast sandwiches from street vendors, Tony Luke’s and John’s Roast Pork, Italian hoagies from Sarcone’s, Cheesesteaks from Jim’s. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. I am totally serious when I yell you that the last time I went to Philly, my absolute first stop, before seeing family or friends was Sarcone’s for an Italian, everything sweet. That was shortly followed by a trip to Philly Soft Pretzel Factory. Food is even above beer for me when I go home, and that is surely saying a lot.
In Seattle, Tat’s is my savior. I can get a 12″ Italian hoagie there and all that is required to make it authentic is to request oil over the menu subscribed mayo. For those that don’t know, the piece of the puzzle that is very rarely attained in the West is the bread. Philly has good Italian bread…period. It makes the sandwich. Tat’s has the bread. Tat’s also had Tastykakes, but I won’t get into that now or this will be far too long of an article.
Most sandwich joints worth while in Seattle have good bread as well, just different from the bread of Philly. Many seem to use baguettes, which seems to work quite well most of the time. It is the opinion of this writer that there is no better sandwich in Seattle than the Cuban delights of Paseo. Just as an example of how highly I regard Paseo, I offer the following insight. My father is coming to town in a few weeks. He has never been to Seattle. My top-three list of non-nature related destinations to take him to, in order, are Pike Place Market, Brouwer’s Cafe, and Paseo. If I had to pick one place in Seattle to eat every meal of the rest of my life, it would be Paseo.
Moving on… Salumi is amongst my favorites, as is Tub’s and Honey Hole. Buffalo Deli is on my list of places to go, as is Homegrown. Delicatus, though I have only been there this one time, has been added to my list of favorites. I feel confident in doing this, not only because of the quality of the sandwich I had, but of the genius behind the available sandwich offerings. I implore you to brief the menu online, you will begin to salivate.
The only negative thing I have to say about Delicatus is that choosing a sandwich from the menu is impossible. I wanted everything. I initially narrowed my search to “spicy” sandwiches, I guess because I was in a spicy mood. The Pavo Diablo and the Fire of 1889 became my finalists, and the braised pork won me over in the end. Fire of 1889 it was. This little firecracker consists of spicy braised pork (as I just mentioned), jalapeno-lime aioli sauce, shredded cabbage, shaved and pickled red onions, hot peppers, and cilantro on a toasted Italian roll.
I can honestly say that I have never had a sandwich quite like this one. A unique marriage of flavors that worked ever so well. The cabbage gave a bit more of a crunch than your average run-of-the-mill lettuce. The aioli and cilantro mingled like royalty and reminded my of the special sauce of Paseo. Hot peppers have me the kick that I needed and the picked onions fought through all that stood in their way to shine but not overpower the flavor. The shaved pork, though not all that spicy, was still shaved pork, which is awesomely delicious.
I chose a beer that would wash a bit of the heat down but not overpower the flavors in the sandwich. Hale’s Pale worked wonders. The carbonation and light floral hopiness sliced just the right amount of heat out of the jalapenos in the aioli and the hot peppers on top. This was a Monday moment to remember.
As much as I find it a bit embarrassing that I speak so enthusiastically about sandwiches and have yet to hit all of the most respected spots in the city, it’s places like Delicatus that continually stand in my way. Once I find a place that I know I like, and they have a massive menu of mouth-watering, bread flanking treats to ingest, all I can think of is conquering the menu from front to back.
Something tells me that I’ll make it back for the Pavo Diablo sooner than later.
I have been dubbed Timperial Stout for one simple reason: I love my beers deep, dark and mysterious. Lucky for me, the people over at Brouwer’s Cafe have created a night to honor that holy opaque beverage we call stout. I’d be remiss to not mention it and provide my take on how one would work up a game plan for such an event. I’ve posted the list below, that was so thoughtfully provided by the folks over at Seattle Beer Week. In this case, it has proven very helpful that two members of the SBW collective get a paycheck from Brouwer’s. After each selection I have provided some commentary. I’ve tried to be brief, but you know…I love this stuff.
Allagash Black is delicious and unique, but it’s not all that rare so I’d skip it here and get a bottle at the bottleshop if you’ve never tried it.
Avery Black Tot on the other hand…pretty damn rare. This is the third release in Avery’s Barrel-Aged Series and is an imperial oatmeal stout aged in Gosling’s rum barrels. I’m sure this wont be cheap, but I’d bet it’s worth every penny.
Avery Czar is, in my opinion, one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there, but for this event, “regularly available” = “skip it”.
Avery Meph Addict is Avery Mephistopheles with coffee added. I have never had (or seen for that matter) this one, so rare…yes. The original Meph is a beast of a brew. I recommend you tread lightly with these fellas, they are over 15% abv.
Avery Mephistopheles – See above
Beer Valley Black Madness – I’m either unaware of this beer or this is a mix up on words. Beer Valley makes Black Flag Imperial Stout and Leafer Madness Imperial Pale Ale, but I’m not so sure about Black Madness. The SBW site lists “Black Madness” again for the Firkin-Firkin event at Elysian, so I could be misinformed, or not informed at all as the case may be.
Big Sky Bottleworks 11 is going to be showing up at special events at Brouwer’s for a few years to come now I’d assume, considering the beer was made and kegged exclusively for them (Bottleworks, Brouwer’s, same difference). Never-the-less, it’s a very intriguing beer with some intense sour and vinous notes. Worth a taste if you missed out on the bottles.
Big Time Old Rip – Bill Jenkins knows how to make a beer folks. If you don’t make it to the U-district with much regularity, you may have never had this one. Go for it, drink local.
Boulevard Nitro Dry Stout – Boulevard out of Kansas City, MO has been doing a lot of experimenting lately. They seem to be really making things happen, and everything that I have had of theirs so far has been quality. They are still fairly new to the Seattle market…I can’t say that I’ve seen a lot a kegs come through. I would never get this because I don’t like dry stouts, but if you are into Guinness, Murphy’s, Beamish, Moylan’s Dragoons, etc, check it out.
Chuckanut Export Foreign Stout – The words “Export Foreign Stout” are not very commonly used, but they basically indicate a “bigger” stout, built for long journeys on boats and such. Considering the many recent accolades being tossed in Chuckanut’s direction, when I see that brewery name on something I want to try it. Seems like a great starter to the evening to me.
Dick’s Woodford BBN Oak Cream Stout – I, sadly, don’t know a lot about this one, but the words “oak” and “cream stout” get me excited. Worth a try, and possibly a bit more manageable in the abv category.
Dogfish Head Worldwide Stout – This one is extremely high on my list of best beers on planet Earth. ‘Nuff said. Oh, except beware of the strength – 18%.
Double Mountain Imperial Chaos is a draft only imperial stout from the impressive folks down in Hood River, OR. I’ve never had this one, but I have continually been impressed by 2x Mountain. I think I’ll be trying this one.
Elysian Dragonstooth Stout – One of the best single stouts in Washington, if not the country. Very underrated in this area, possibly due to its permanent availability and therefore lack of hype. Even still, I wouldn’t get it at an event like this. Get a bottle at Whole Foods and take it home.
Firestone Walker Parabola 10 is my number one on this list. I will scratch and claw to get it. It is a 13% imperial stout that was blended from all sorts of different barrels, vintages, what-have-you. It’s probably least rare this year then ever before in its existence, but still, very rare.
Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin is a fairly traditional oatmeal stout with a really great name. Decent beer by one of the premier breweries in America. I’d look for it on another day.
Full Sail Imperial Stout – Full Sail might be one of the largest breweries in the North West, but they still make really good beer, especially those in the Brewmaster Reserve series. This is not Black Gold, so it’s not barrel aged, but it’s a great beer. Worth getting on any other day, but there are better choices on this list.
Glacier Jack Daniels Impy Stout – Glacier is without a doubt one of Alaska’s finest. Sadly, even though we are the closest neighboring state, we don’t see all that much of their work. If this is in any way even close to matching the quality of their Big Woody Barleywine, this will be amazing. Get it!
Great Divide Espresso Yeti – Yeti, like Avery Czar, is one of the best regularly available imperial stouts out there. The espresso version is not as good in my opinion, but it’s a must try for all coffee junkies.
Green Flash Espresso Stout – I think this might be a keg only one-off brew. Sounds rare. Green Flash makes great beer. I’d go for it!
Hales Machete – This puppy is brewed right down the street from Brouwer’s. I give them a big “f%&@ yeah!” for the name but I think I’ll have to skip this one, only because of better options.
Hitachino Espresso Stout – This is the best espresso stout I have ever had, but you can get it in the bottle pretty easily. Not appropriate for this event.
Laughing Dog Dogfather – This is one of the best beers to come out of Idaho. I will skip it only because I still have a few bottles in the cellar, but it’s worthy of a purchase.
Left Hand Oak Aged Imperial Stout – This one is released annually in the bottle, and can sometimes be found during the “off-season” at local bottle shops. This beer is really freaking good, but get a bottle.
Lost Abbey Serpents Stout is Tomme Arthur’s idea of a Belgian stout. If there is an actual Belgian brewed stout out there that is this rich and delicious, I have yet to find it. Alvinne Podge is about as close as I can think of. If you have never had this beer you need to get it. This is fairly commonly available in bottles so I’d skip it here.
Mad River BBN Export Stout – A quality California brew, but not up to par with some of the competition.
Moylan’s Ryan O’Sullivan – I don’t often think of this beer when I ponder the great impy stouts of America, but I should. It is a high quality brew, but yet again, a bit too common for this event.
Odin Sour Stout – believe it or not, I have yet to taste the nectars produced by Odin. I know, it’s crazy. I don’t know much about the sour stout but I must admit I’m intrigued. This night just might be my first dance with Odin.
Oskar Blues Ten Fiddy – One of the very few, if not only imperial stouts released in a can. That’s pretty damn cool, and it’s delicious to boot. If I was at Brouwer’s on a regular day, I’d get it, but not tonight.
Port Brewing Old Viscosity – This beer is great, but not as good as its older brother. Go with the older.
Port Brewing Older Viscosity – Regular readers will know that I’m mildly obsessed with this beer. It’s chocolate covered pretzels to a T. Get this and be like the stout fella above…meditate for a bit – you will go places. I will most likely only get this one late in the evening, well after my better judgment has evaded me. This is only because I have had it a bunch of times already.
Port Brewing Santa’s Little Helper is a good impy stout, but it’s a bit thin for my liking. I’d skip it.
Porterhouse Nitro Oyster Stout – This is a low abv dry Irish stout. Sorry but…not interested.
Porterhouse Nitro Wrasslers 5x stout – Sorry Ireland, your stouts are boring.
Sierra Nevada Fritz & Ken – This was recently reviewed glowingly on this site by yours truly. It’s a damn good beer with a damn good story to tell.
Southern Tier Jahva – This is a member of the ST Imperial series, which should read “AMAZING”! Easily one of Beer Blotter’s favorite breweries in the world. Their stouts are impeccable. This one is just slightly less impeccable than the Oat below, so get that one.
Southern Tier Oat – See above.
Stone I.R.S. – This beer is very unique. I have never had an impy stout with such a strong tobacco flavor, which is a good thing in my opinion. Like Ten Fiddy, I’d order this in almost any other situation, but not tonight.
Victory Storm King – You might have heard that this was the first impy stout I ever tasted. I owe it a lot. Luckily for me, it’s one of the country’s best, so I started off on the right foot. I’d get it if I didn’t already have a bunch in the cellar.
Walking Man Black Cherry Stout – Beer Blotter finds this beer to be like soda. If that sounds good to you, hop on board. Not so much for me, but I do love Walking Man.
Waterstreet Stout – Skip is gone. I have little faith.
In summary, since that was probably a bit of a task to read, I offer my top 5, in order of importance.
5) Double Mountain Imperial Chaos
4) Avery Meph Addict
3) Glacier Jack Daniels
2) Avery Black Tot
1) Firestone Walker Parabola