Seattle might be known for its seafood, but perhaps the underdog of its food scene is the sandwich. I know, I say that as if I know anything about any food scene, let alone Seattle’s! Really and truly, though, in my exhaustive research of Seattle’s culinary options, two particular shops consistently rose to the top of the list — and both of them specialized in that unassuming hero (pun intended), the sandwich.
It’s a good thing Seattle’s sandwich game is on point, because Jay and I happened to need sustenance on our hike. The morning of, we stopped by Salumi, the acclaimed deli owned by Armandino Batali (Iron Chef Mario’s father). Even before its doors opened, there was an impressive line of people wrapped around the storefront.
The ladies at the counter were clearly pros, offering tastes, taking orders, and making sandwiches like it was in their blood. I asked for a meatball, which earned choice (life?)-affirming approval from the person helping me. One taste of the marinara-soaked morsel and I was wishing I’d been able to order a dozen of them as a hot sub.
It wasn’t until midway through our hike that we were able to try our actual sandwiches. They were rustic enough to survive hours of being knocked around in a backpack and substantial enough to totally re-fuel our bodies. Jay had the Muffo, a spin on the muffaletta, which came with assorted salami, olive tapenade, and provolone cheese. I had to go for the Agrumi, a bright, tangy salami (cured with citrus and cardamom) and served with peppers and house spreads on a ciabatta-like roll. Both absolutely hit the spot, although we both agreed that my pick, in all its simplicity, really showcased the salami. What a truly incredible salami it was…
Our sandwich endeavors didn’t stop there, however. Without fail, requests for food recommendations always brought up one very special place: Paseo. Food forums and personal friends alike sang out in worshipful praise of their roasted pork sandwiches. “I would go back to Seattle just for that sandwich,” not one, but two, people told me on separate occasions. Jay and I made sure to arrive before opening hours so that we could try these Cuban hits for ourselves.
We had their two most popular options which were, indeed, excellent: juicy, flavorful, tangy, spicy. I’ll let the menu do the describing for me. The Caribbean Roast (pictured at the beginning of this post) is “pork shoulder coated in Paseo Marinade & slow roasted ’til falling into succulent morsels, while the Paseo Press involves “succulent morsels of roasted pork nestled atop sweet banana peppers, draped with sheer slices of smoked ham, Swiss cheese, and caramelized onions; all melted together between a hot press.” Well, damn.
These babies were totally delicious, messy, and filling. I’m not sure I’d go so far as to buy round-trip tickets to eat them again, but I can certainly see why others would.
And now, to bring our bread-and-meat round-up to a close, I present to you a totally different type of sandwich — but one that was delicious, all the same. I stopped by Bakery Nouveau, purportedly Seattle’s best bakery, to pick up some breakfast goods and fell upon their Junction Croissant: bacon, scrambled eggs, and emmental cheese. This, I purchased for Jay, who devoured it and pronounced it delicious.
Mind you, I’m no fool. I also ordered a croissant in its natural, sugary form — but that I will share with you another time.
309 Third Ave South
Seattle, WA 98104
Paseo (multiple locations)
4225 Fremont Ave N
Seattle, WA 98103
Bakery Nouveau (multiple locations)
1435 E. John Ct, Suite 137
Seattle, WA 98112