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.