Wednesday, February 17, 2010

meat and the city

Well, we've been squeezing into tiny bathrooms again.

That can only mean one thing. The country mice have been back to the city. And we have had some very good sandwiches.

This week is a bit of a New England tornado around here. We are driving here and there, celebrating this and that, and not doing very much eating from the ground up. But I would never forgive myself if I didn't tell you about this roast beef sandwich I had in Cambridge the other day. In fact, if you are with 300 miles of Cambridge, MA, I think you should get one for lunch, now. And you can pick me up one too.

The joint is the All Star Sandwich Bar, another prize of But unlike Teo's, this one was very worth the drive. We sat at the counter and people-watched out the window while our bellies growled. Three hours in the car, forty minutes trying to find a parking spot, and we were hung-a-ry. The girls filled up on lemonade and took it all in stride.
Like the equally American Duck Fat in Portland, the All American Sandwich Bar takes a stab at poutine, the sidewalk treat that is second only to universal healthcare in terms of the good things that Canada has to offer. Fries, soft cheese curds, and gravy. Turn your nose up if you will, but you know you'd love it, or at least I know you would. All American Sandwiches puts scallions on their poutine, a touch that complimented the mozzarella curds brilliantly. We finished the whole plate, and then my sandwich arrived.

This is called the "Beef on Weck". Apparently a Buffalo specialty, this sandwich is layered, perfectly cooked roast beef. That's all. Flanking the sandwich are two dainty sides, one of spicy horseradish, one of real au jus from the roast beef. The bun is light and brioch-y, and it is covered with a little snowfall of sea salt crystals. The sides go on the sandwich, the eyes close, the mind is blown. Done.
There are so many lovely looking sandwiches coming out of the friendly, shouting kitchen, but I don't know if I could ever bring myself to order anything other than this, the perfect roast beef sandwich.

We're home now for a day or two, and the fridge is a bit naked and sad. I'm going to go make some pb and j's for lunch, and I'm hoping if I close my eyes I'll be able to imagine a little bit of that perfect sandwich, all the way across the state. I have a pretty good imagination, but I don't think even I can turn peanut butter into perfect roast beef. But I will certainly try.


  1. You guys know about poutine?! I am so pleased! There's a place here in Vancouver that makes it with an unbelievable miso gravy. I kind of want to fly right over and give you some.

  2. oh yes! I bet it would have just the perfect sog by the time it got here