From Lark’s Jonathan Sundstrom a strong lunchtime contender opens.
By late spring, Seattle will have a buzzworthy, tale-of-the-tape, sandwich throwdown at East Seneca and East Union Street. It’s Meat & Bread vs. Slab Sandwiches + Pie.
Acclaimed chef John Sundstrom threw the first salvo by opening his spot in January, next to his restaurant Lark and his bar, Bitter/Raw. By mid April, Meat & Bread, which has a Paseo-Salumi-cult-like following in Vancouver, B.C., will open across the hall from Sundstrom’s spot.
The menu: Slab’s lineup features meaty, smoky, fatty cuts of meat, served either in a sandwich or pastry wedge “pie.” (Prices range from $7-$10, with the special of the day around $12-$13.)
Slab Sandwiches + Pie
1201 10th Ave., Seattle
Hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekdays
Etc: street parking, major credit cards accepted, no alcohol in the deli area
Seven to eight options are available, including briskets, pork belly and beef short ribs. Sandwiches can be souped-up with fried chicken skin ($2) or subbed with gluten-free flat bread ($2). A couple of vegetarian options and breakfast sandwich are listed.
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What to write home about: The smoked brisket sandwich gets amped up with smoked mayo and seared romaine lettuce, with pickled jalapeños to cut into the salty, smoky richness. Easily Slab’s best sandwich.
Its “Cubano” with pork confit, ham, and comté cheese and smoked pickles, is a crowd favorite, though the dollop of nasal-burning mustard can be overpowering.
For something quirky, try the special, “The Elvis” sandwich, with a charred, fatty cut of pork belly over smoked pickles, peanut butter and banana slices. Salty, sweet and smoky, it’s a surprisingly well-structured and complex sandwich.
What to skip: The beef shortribs were dry in what was an otherwise buttery and flaky pastry. The greasy sunchoke chips were just drowning in truffle oil.
The setting: It’s your typical deli-counter set up with espresso bar. Sandwiches are made to order, which makes for a fresh meal but can be painstakingly slow for the busy lunch-crowd on the go.
Summing up: Four sandwiches and a side of sunchoke chips totaled $52.56, enough to feed four.