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Best Gourmet Sandwiches

Thursday, September 20, 2012

 

Ah, the sandwich. It can be as humble or upscale as you dare. A bad sandwich can sour you on a restaurant in an instant. A good sandwich balances flavors and textures to make a sum greater than its parts. Well we set out to find five unforgettable, upscale sandwiches and came back with these...

 

Slow-Braised, Barbecued Stoney Hill Farm Pulled Pork from Nick's on Broadway, Providence

There are lots of reasons to love Nick's on Broadway. Everything from the noisy, busy atmosphere to the thoughtful food make this restaurant one of the state's best. The pulled pork is one of the most popular sandwiches on the menu at Nick's and it displays the chefs' deft touch with something as un-Rhode Island as BBQ. If you are looking for a sickly sweet pork that is more like a dessert than an entree, this is not for you. If you like to be able to taste pork, smoke and sauce in your pulled pork, look no further than this tour de pork. The pork is slow braised in house then pulled and served with incredible caramelized onions and melty Vermont cheddar. The depth of flavor of all the components adds up to a winner. 500 Broadway, 421-0286, www.nicksonbroadway.com

Eggplant Caponata from Cafe Choklad, Providence

We wandered into Cafe Choklad, at the foot of College Hill, and found a current U.S. Senator and a current Mayor dining at separate tables. What was it that the political elite knew but we didn't? Well, as we found out, the food, the staff and the people watching were all excellent. We settled in with a salad and a wonderful eggplant caponata sandwich. Caponata is an Italian vegetable dish of eggplant, olives, onions, capers, raisins and tomatoes all roasted together to form a savory/sweet/piquante combo. Take all these great flavors and top them with a Sicilian chutney and fresh mozzarella on  ciabatta bread and you have an explosion of flavors. Finish it off with a black and white cookie and you have a terrific lunch! 2 Thomas St. 383-4764

 

Pastrami and Swiss from La Laterie, Providence

It is no secret that Chef Matt Jennings and his wife Kate run one of the area's top-notch food businesses. We eat at a lot of restaurants and the things that make this sandwich great are all the little details that slip through the cracks. The pastrami is made in-house, so the flavors are developed by the chef...not a chemist. The sauerkraut is fresh and delicious. If yours comes from a jar, you are doomed against this version. The pickles that chef Jennings makes are among the best we've tasted, and oh, the potato chips. Lots of chefs have house-made potato chips on their menus but nobody executes them as well as Jennings. And that's what it's all about...execution. 188 Wayland Ave.
274-7177, www.farmsteadinc.com

Bacon Wrapped Pork Meatloaf with Coleslaw and Spicy Fig Compote from Chez Pascal Wurst Window and Hewtin's Dogs, Providence

Another of the best chefs in the state is Matt Gennuso, purveyor of all things French at Chez Pascal. In the French tradition of using the whole animals that you bring in, Chef Gennuso began to experiment with house made hot dogs and sausages. Gennuso has two different ways to enjoy his wares...the mobile Hewtin's Dogs truck or the newly opened Wurst Window at Chez Pascal. We ventured to the truck for his incredible meatloaf. Not a humble mom and pop version this, it covers all the bases: meaty, smoky, sweet, spicy and just enough acid from the coleslaw to make it sing. Forget about your mom slathering ketchup on top and imagine the sweet and spicy flavor of fig-which pairs well with beef-as the balance to the smoke and spice. You'll never go back. And again, attention to detail, the acid from the slaw cuts the fat and richness of the dish perfectly. Follow them on facebook and twitter to find the loaf! 960 Hope St. 421-4422, www.chez-pascal.com

 

House Roasted Turkey Blt with Country Bacon from Not Your Average Joe's, Seekonk

What started as a small local restaurant has grown to almost 20 restaurants along the East coast and they've done it with consistency and quality. There aren't many chains that use local farms in their restaurants but this is one. They always feature a special menu that consists of locally-sourced produce and proteins. We ventured in and found delicious freshly baked foccacia bread deliverd to the table that set the stage for a great lunch. We were in the mood for a turkey sandwich and ordered the turkey BLT. We were expecting the usual thinly sliced turkey but instead found a tender and juicy roast turkey that was thickly cut. It was topped with local tomatoes, lettuce and mayo. The turkey was warm and incredibly tender, the ingredients fresh and the cibatta bread nice and toasty and soft. Add in the fact that that fires are hand-cut and nicely seasoned and you have a top notch turkey sandwich! 1125 Fall River Ave,
508-343-5637, www.notyouraveragejoes.com

 

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