Friday, October 23, 2009

Shrimp Salad - Koco's Pub

Sandwich Contents: Shrimp salad served on a sesame-seed bun with tomato and lettuce.

Kate’s Review:
Our first attempt to taste the Shrimp Salad at Koco’s was a complete and utter failure. After dragging two co-workers with us, we discovered Koco’s was sold out of the sandwich which left us in less than a good mood. We were starving and needed food ASAP so we settled for the Greek salad. We learned our lesson and decided to call the next week to ensure they had it before making the hike. When I made the call I was informed that they don’t usually allow for take-out on this sandwich….why will remain a mystery but thankfully I was able to convince them otherwise . The sand looked delectable with large shrimp piled on a fresh bun with a red juicy tomato and lettuce. After the picture was taken, we were ready to dive in after a week of anticipation. Perhaps the buildup was too much because although the sandwich was tasty, I didn’t think it was anything to write home about. Honestly, I was more excited about the tomato. It was swimming in mayo which I think is unnecessary when the ingredients are fresh; no need to mask it with mayo. Don’t get me wrong, I finished every bite but wasn’t overly impressed. I would rate the sandwich with 3 baguettes.

Nicole’s Review: It took two tries to get this sandwich, which was a bit frustrating, but worth it. The first time we went they were sold out. The second time we smartened up and placed our order over the phone for take-out (which apparently they don’t normally do). The sandwich was delicious, albeit a bit messy. The shrimp salad was a little heavy on the mayo, but perfectly flavored with Old Bay which complimented the flavor of the shrimp, not over powering it. The roll was fresh and surprisingly tasty, almost kind of sweet. I think the one thing that I remember the most (I’m writing this a week late) about this sandwich though, is the tomato. It was a vibrant red and so delicious. The sandwich was great, however, I’m not sure it is really worth the $15 we shelled out for it. We’re not grading it on value though, so I’m going to rank this one up at the top of my favorites list.

The Real Italian - DiPasquale's Italian Marketplace & Deli

Sandwich Contents: Mortadella, capicola, salami and prosciuttini. provolone cheese, olive oil and vinegar, lettuce, tomato, onions, and a smattering of hots—served on a Italian roll.

Kate’s Review: Man, Italians sure know how to make an AMAZING sandwich. My favorite one so far is still the Porchetta from Isabella’s, but this is a close second. The meats were incredibly fresh and they added just the right amount of olive oil and parm mix. It didn’t drip out of the sandwich and the crust remained crispy, just the way I like it! The entire experience made me want to hop on a plane and eat my way through Italy. It enticed me enough to want to come back and try their other creations. 5 baguettes!

Nicole’s Review: Yummy. Honestly, what is there at a traditional Italian Market & Deli that isn’t yummy? Sure, it might not be great for the heart or the hips, but on the lips, its amazing! I’ve got to be honest, its been quite a few weeks since we had this sandwich so I don’t exactly remember all the details, but I do remember that it was quite good. The bread was crunchy and soft and although I was worried that the giant pile of meat might give me a migraine, (it didn’t) it would have been worth it. I liked this sandwich and this place so much I’m headed back there this coming week! Definitely a good choice to add to the list and has found a place on my list of favorites.

Greek Veggie - Atwater's

Sandwich Contents: Two slices of kalamata olive bread, layers of marinated cucumbers, Vidalia onions, tomatoes, green-leaf lettuce, and an olive- and-artichoke-heart tapenade.

Kate’s Review: The Greek veggie is not made the same way at Atwater’s now as it is described in the magazine, so we did our best to have them recreate the original. It was a hybrid of the current and former which probably wasn’t the best idea. Too many strong flavors made the sandwich overwhelming. I think the current version without the tapenade would have been just right, but of course we wanted what was in the magazine. I’ve learned my lesson with modifying, so I’ll go straight off of their menu next time. I give it 3 baguettes with our mistake

Nicole’s Review: Not a fan. It wasn’t terrible, but it certainly wasn’t a favorite. I think the strong flavor of the tapenade (which I don’t love) overwhelmed everything else the sandwich had to offer. In all fairness, I don’t think we had the exact same sandwich that was written up in Baltimore Magazine. The version of the Greek Veggie they now offer is a bit different and although we tried to alter it, I don’t think we actually got the same thing. It was also a few weeks ago and I don’t remember it that clearly! I do remember that it wasn’t a favorite though…I’m glad I got a cup of soup in addition to the sandwich.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Land and Sea - Beach Bums

Sandwich Contents: Roast Beef and Shrimp Salad

Kate's Review: This visit to Beach Bum’s Café was a first for me. Depending on the day, reading the description of the “Land and Sea” sandwich either made me salivate or my stomach turn. Thankfully when it came time to try it I was having positive thoughts and the sandwich didn’t disappoint. The sandwich was a double-decker with one side overflowing with shrimp salad and the other loaded with roast beef. My favorite was the shrimp that was very peppery and well balanced by the Rye. The roast beef added a subtle flavor boost. It was a bit messy so I consolidated mine to a one layer sandwich which I destroyed within a matter of minutes. One thing not to skip at Beach Bum’s is their ice cream; they had 4 different flavors that included Peanut Butter (my favorite food ever!) which made it difficult to decide but after sampling 3 I choose the PB Oreo……Scrumptious!!! I rate this sand with 4 baguettes.

Nicole's Review: The combination of shrimp salad and roast beef isn't something I would probably have put together, but I was rather excited to try this sandwich. I was definitely not disappointed! The sandwich was huge, a double decker with a slice of bread (we chose rye) serving as a divider between the roast beef and the salad. The shrimp salad was delicious. It was more peppery than I've had, but I think thats what made it so good. The sauce from the salad also help to moisten up the roast beef and make it a bit more exciting. I was surprised that the sandwich wasn't very messy. A couple stray shrimp fell to my plate, but nothing like some of the sandwiches in the past. I think the addition of the rye bread rather than white just made the combination of flavors that much more exciting. I highly recommend this sandwich and hope to return for another. Don't forget to get some ice cream after your sandwich. I couldn't resist a black and white milkshake!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Beef Brisket - Miller's Delicatessen

Sandwich Contents: A mound of meat and gravy and thick-cut fries.

Kate's Review:
This place is a little overwhelming during lunch rush hour even when you know what you have to order: I recommend coming for a later lunch if you dare. Apparently we should have requested the Beef Brisket “Platter” because just ordering the beef brisket gets you bread with some beef on it…no gravy or fries. We were able to get the gravy on the side but it wasn’t the big production I was expecting. Of course my first bite was fatty which turned me off to eating the rest. I guess if I was a huge beef fan I may have felt differently but for me this was nothing to rave about. Thankfully I ordered a Greek salad which was a generous portion and the dressing was excellent with tons of feta piled on top. I rate the sandwich with 1 baguette.

Nicole's Review:
This is one of those places where you feel like you must have your ordered rehearsed in order to not be yelled at by the counter staff. The menu is huge (not to mention in a terrible location – behind where people stand in line) and we weren’t sure which beef brisket to get – the platter or the sandwich. I think we chose wrong since ours didn’t come with gravy or fries. We did ask for a side of the gravy when we realized the error. The sandwich was pretty good. The rye bread really helped it along. There was plenty of beef and the gravy was really good. I can only imagine how fries would have tasted in that gravy. I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say its one of Baltimore’s best sandwiches, to me it was a little boring. If you venture to Millers, I highly suggest not wearing anything that requires dry cleaning as you may notice later in the day you smell a bit like a grease fryer.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lobster Roll - Crossroads Restaurant

Sandwich Contents: Lobster, diced and tossed in lemon aioli on a buttery, toasted roll.

Kate's Review:
The priciest sandwich on the list did not disappoint. The lobster chunks were plump and big with crisp bites of peppers and other veggies to add the crunch. Served on a butter potato roll which was the perfect bread choice although the bottom part became soggy quickly because of the aioli. I would suggest serving on the side so you could put on the bread each bite. An added bonus was the tranquil outdoor seating area. With light music and chirping of the birds this was a very relaxing lunch which was perfect for a Friday work getaway. Shhh; don’t tell anyone, we want to keep this all to ourselves.

Thanks to Missy Martin, the best HR director EVER for sponsoring this delicious sandwich.

Nicole's Review:
What a hidden gem! I fell in love with this place. The atmosphere and food were great and I can’t wait to go back! The sandwich was great. This was my first lobster roll and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It was delicious. Not too much mayo and the chunks of lobster were huge. The addition of red bell pepper was nice and the buttered roll was very yummy. I ate this open face since it was a little tough to split, so I can only imagine how much better it would be between 2 pieces of buttered roll. I highly recommend Crossroads, if not for the Lobster Roll, but for the atmosphere!

Monday, June 1, 2009

The 98 Rock Hercules - Pickles & Chips

Sandwich Contents: Ham, bacon, Swiss, mayo, tomato, hot peppers, Old Bay, and pickle slices on pumpernickel.

Kate's Review:
Surprisingly tasty. I’m not a fan of hot peppers or mayo but combined with the ham and sweet pumpernickel I really enjoyed it. They were generous with their ham portion which was thinly sliced…just how I like it. I could have done without the bacon which was rubbery and seemed a bit raw so after the first bite it was removed. To add back the crisp I expected from the bacon I piled on the home made potatoes chips which where the perfect compliment. Thank goodness they aren’t bottomless or I could have downed a pound or two.

Nicole's Review:
Surprisingly good. This sandwich definitely consisted of things I would not normally eat on a sandwich, particularly pickles and hot peppers but I was pleasantly surprised with how delicious it was. In fact, since eating this sandwich I’ve been adding pickles to sandwiches! I don’t recall seeing any cheese on this sandwich, which was fine with me since I’m not a fan of Swiss. How great that I was able to enjoy a sandwich without cheese! While I think this sandwich is a bit overpriced ($7.59), its nice to know they donate $.25 per signature sandwich to charity. Oh and you do get some delicious potato chips.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sandwich Contents - White cheddar, Granny Smith apples, field greens, homemade honey mustard and multigrain bread.

Kate's Review - For something with such few ingredients and so simple this was a very tasty Sammie. The bite of the mustard with the cheese and apple made the sandwich very light and refreshing. Definitely added to my list of faves with 4 baguettes.

Nicole's Review - I was a little skeptical with this sandwich because of the mustard. I love every other part of the sandwich on its own, but mustard is something that is pretty far down on my list of favorites. Per our challenge though, I tried it and was pleasantly surprised. The mustard was quite tangy and really added to the sandwich. In fact, without the mustard, I probably wouldn’t have been able to eat the sandwich because of how dry it would be (I have a thing about dry sandwiches). Although I could have gone with more cheddar, it really was a decent amount and it was just my head wanting more, not my stomach.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sandwich Contents - Sliced turkey, melted Brie with mango chutney spread on top.

Kate's Review – This has been one of my favorite sandwiches for a few years so I was definitely excited to share the experience. The mango chutney adds extra sweetness to the turkey and Brie and the warm freshly made bread melts in your mouth. On this particular day the bread was a little harder than usual which made the sandwich more difficult to eat and didn’t WOW me as it usually does. I will still continue to eat it because I know its potential and am chalking this one up to a bad batch of bread. Warning, they don’t have it on their Sunday brunch menu so don’t go in with your hopes up and leave disappointed as I had too on another occasion. Good thing is they have a lot of other good options.

Nicole's Review - I was really looking forward to this sandwich. I love brie and turkey and had fond memories of mango chutney accompanying my dad’s homemade turkey curry. It was a terribly rainy day when we tried this sandwich and I expected it to really warm me up and make me feel all fuzzy inside. Instead, it made me ill. The chutney was too sweet, the bread too dry and the turkey sliced too thick. I really didn’t enjoy it at all and as the day went on it made me feel worse and worse. I was really disappointed that I didn’t like it as much as I expected, but I am eager to go back and try some other things on the menu. I just hope it isn’t as cold in the restaurant next time!

This sandwich was shared with a couple co-workers and Kath who is now a former co-worker. We miss you Kath!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Main Street Muffuletta - Savona

Sandwich Contents - Flat loaf bread with olive spread, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts, lettuce, tomato, and sliced onion.

Kate's Review – Italian sandwiches are always scrumptious to me and this one stood up to the test. Per the magazines recommendation we ordered it warm. The combination of the fresh mozzarella and olive tapenade helped to keep the other ingredients together all though the hard crust of the Ciabatta made it difficult to keep in with each bite. As a bonus they had a wine tasting at the store so we got to wash it down with Reisling.

Nicole's Review - This sandwich was good but very messy. It had lots of ingredients that squeezed out every time you took a bite. In the past the muffulettas I have had have always been stuffed into muffuletta bread so you don’t have things falling out the back and the side. I would have preferred this sandwich to be like that. I also would have liked the artichokes to be cut up a little smaller so I didn’t just get mouthfuls of artichoke.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Reuben Royale - Liquid Earth

Sandwich Contents - Tofu, melted Yarlsberg, warm sauerkraut and red onions with the restaurant's own Thousand Island dressing on toasted Jewish rye.

Kate's Review – This sandwich left much to be desired. After waiting 1 hour they hadn’t even started making the sandwich so needless to say we left without trying it. No lose on this end.

Nicole's Review - I was dreading this sandwich because of the tofu. I’ve only had tofu a couple times in my life and I didn’t like it. I was also a teenager and not as open to new things. Still, I was filled with dread. Fortunatly for me, I never had to eat it. We waited an hour at this restaurant for the sandwich and finally had to leave without trying it to get back to work. We had thought we’d just get it to go, but after finding out they hadn’t even started making it, we just called it a day and left.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Tuna Salad - Spoons Coffee Café & Roastery

Sandwich Contents: Tuna salad with minced broccoli, carrots, onions, celery and bits of apple on sunflower bread

Kate's Review: Boy do I love a good Tuna sandwich with every variation I come across. This one came loaded with veggies but it was the apple pieces that made the difference. It added a sweet crunch that was complimented by the toasted Sunflower bread; a good recommendation from Balt. Magazine. The only thing I would change is the amount of mayo. It wasn’t too much but I prefer very limited amounts. I give it 4 baguettes.

In addition to the sandwich the locale was quite cozy especially for this rainy afternoon and the cute server got things warmed up even more.

Nicole's Review: I love tuna salad, but I'm always a little leary to try it while I'm out. This salad proved me wrong. It is was delicious. I loved all the extras in the salad. The broccoli and carrots made it a little more exciting than plain old tuna salad and the little bits of apples were like sweet little surprises. The sunflower bread was perfectly toasted and didn't overwhelm the tuna in any way. I'm generally pretty picky about the ratio of bread to sandwich contents and this hit the mark. Spoons was a great little find and was the perfect choice for a rainy day. It was warm and cozy (okay, maybe it could have been a little warmer) and just really nice. I just wish it were a little closer to the office.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Porchetta - Isabella's Brick Oven Pizza and Panini

Sandwich Contents: Rosemary-spiked pork, fresh mozzarella, and tomato layered on an Italian roll and toasted.

Kate's Review: This delicate sandwich was perfectly constructed with just the right amount of every element. The rosemary added a fresh taste to the juicy pork which was complimented by thinly sliced fresh mozzarella and surprisingly ‘in-season’ tomatoes. There was just enough olive oil to bring out the flavors without soaking the crisp Italian Baguette that added the perfect crunch to the sandwich. And the slight sprinkle of parmesan just added to the excitement in my mouth . This sandwich was so simple yet delectable. One of my top favorites thus far and I can’t wait to back and try their other mouth watering creations. A definite 5 baguette status from me!
Note, make a to-go back-up plan if you go during peak hours. The 3 tables may turn quickly but there will be another taker if you don’t act fast. The staff was very welcoming and in true Italian fashion make you feel like part of the family.

Nicole's Review: Amazing. This sandwich is a winner. At first I was a bit skeptical, it didn't look like anything special. It looked like a ham and cheese sandwich on a really nice italian roll. Oh my goodness though, from the first bite to the last I was in heaven. It was fantastic. The pork was perfectly flavored with the rosemary, the mozzarella was just enough and the tomato was strangely delicious for mid-February. Oh and that bread. It was so perfect. This is defintly one of my favorite sandwiches and will certainly be enjoyed again!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cloak and Dagger - Eddie's of Roland Park

Sandwich Contents: Lean turkey topped with coleslaw, Swiss, and Thousand Island dressing.

Kate's Review:
I’m already a big fan of any variation of the Rueben so this was a no brainer. The Cloak and Dagger aka ‘The Rachel’ or Turkey Rueben was accidentally made with corn beef which we didn’t notice until we brought it back to my house. Instead of bringing it back for the ‘real’ deal our stomachs told us otherwise and we dove right in. The deli attendant suggested we make it Panini style which would have also been my first choice. Since we brought the sandwich back to my house the bread did get a little soggy from the butter and thousand island but that didn’t stop me from devouring it. I enjoyed the saltiness of the beef along with the tang and sweetness of the slaw and dressing. I give it 3 baguettes.

Nicole's Review: I was a little hesitant heading into this sandwich because I'm not a fan of swiss cheese. I figured I liked everything else the sandwich had to offer (in fact, I LOVE coleslaw on sandwiches) to I'd probably not even taste the swiss. I was right! I hardly tasted the swiss at all and what I did taste, I actually liked. This thrilled me because there are quite a few sandwiches left on our list that include swiss and I was a little nervous about that. Anyway, the sandwich was delicious despite not being what we ordered. Instead of the lean turkey, they gave us corned beef. We were a little disappointed that the sandwich wasn't exactly what we were supposed to try, but it was still pretty good. If I had to comment on one thing, it would be that there was a bit more corned beef than I would have preferred. It was a bit messy too, but in a good way, not that annoying, liquide dripping down your hand, sandwich falling apart way. All in all, it was good, but not a favorite. The question now is, do we try this one again with turkey, or move on?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Salmon BLT - Dogwood To-Go

Sandwich Contents: House-made sourdough bread, a filet of wild-caught salmon, slices of heirloom tomatoes, strips of local bacon, hunks of romaine lettuce and a slathering of whole-grain mustard mayo. Comes with a side of house-made, russet-colored potato chips and a pickle. (Sorry, no picture this week)

Kate's Review: This week brings us to Dogwood; one of my favorite restaurants since it features local ingredients and the dishes are in season. The salmon BLT sounds good to me; I like salmon and bacon although I’ve never had the combination before. The mustard added a kick to the salmon which was really fresh. After my first bite I had to discard the bread; not because it wasn’t good but because the salmon fell out and didn’t want to fight with my food that day. I did enjoy the sandwich but it wasn’t anything to rave about. I’ve had better from there and elsewhere.

Nicole's Review: Since this sandwich was only available on the To-Go menu, we had to bring it back to the office to eat. I actually sat in the car while Kate went in to pick it up, so I can’t even comment on the atmosphere. Anyway, about the sandwich.... I hated it. I had one bite and spit it out. I’m a bias judge though, I don’t like salmon. I want to like it and I try to like it, I just don’t. If the salmon wasn’t on the sandwich, I would have probably liked it, but honestly, without the salmon, it just looked like any other BLT. Nothing seemed really special about it.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Chimichanga - Holy Frijoles

Sandwich Contents: A flour tortilla stuffed with cheese, poblano peppers, onions, and a choice of fillings, ranging from chorizo and grilled veggies to black beans and corn. The whole deal is dipped into the deep fryer, just long enough to give the tortilla a crunchy casing. Top it off with picante, salsa verde, and/or sour cream.

Kate's Review: Time for a little Mexican taste testing. How could you go wrong with anything deep fried let alone something stuffed with meat and cheese? Unfortunately I was starting my “diet” this week so I couldn’t go all in for this sinful creation. I limited myself to a quarter of the Chimichanga but that was enough to know I should stop before overindulging. We opted for the traditional version w/ Chicken, rice and beans but I’m sure any combo would be just as good. I’m a quac junkie so of course we had to pay the $4 for a side but that is always worth it for me. I also recommend a side of the grill veggies; add it to a side salad for a healthier option if your waist can’t afford all the heavenly cheese and fried food.

Nicole's Review: This was the only “sandwich” on the list that I had tried before. I have always been a fan of Holy Frijoles and chimichangas so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. How can you go wrong with a chimichanga? Meat, beans, rice & cheese wrapped in a tortilla and fried! It was delicious. The guacamole was a great accompaniment and of course you can’t go without the sour cream. The only thing missing from the meal was a beer. We were on our lunch break though, so I had a coke instead. Albeit it was a great sandwich, there wasn’t anything about it that knocked my socks off the way the Bistro Beef or the Crouque Misour did.