In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
If the key to a truly great sandwich is in the bread, than the sandwiches from Tartine Bakery are pretty much guaranteed to be the best. Ever.
That country bread... poems could be written praising its perfect, airy consistency; its dark, crackling crust; and its superb, distinct, sourdough flavor. I would happily eat slices of it plain and call it lunch, but I'm not one to disregard the option to top it with high-quality meats and cheeses.
Their croque monsieur ($9.75), for example, takes one thick slice of the bread, covers it with gruyere, thyme, and bechamel, along with generous pieces of sweet ripe tomato and your choice of ham, mushrooms, or spicy turkey. We opted for the turkey, which lent a wonderful note of pepper to the sandwich and complemented the richness of the sharp cheese and rich sauce.
But the real revelation of my sandwich eating at Tartine came when eating their combination of sopressata, fontina cheese, and broccoli rabe pesto ($13), a sandwich so ample that it's cut into three pieces instead of two. Each of these elements alone would be superb to eat on hunks of Tartine bread—the fresh pesto, with the perfect hint of broccoli bitterness; the creamy, milky fontina; the spicy saltiness of the sopressata—but together, pressed between liberally buttered bread toasted to a crisp, was a combination of flavors so good that I'm close to attributing a sandwich to a near-religious experience.
Over-dramatic? Perhaps. But don't let my excitement detract you from trying this sandwich as quickly as possible. And I'm not one to play favorites, but these sandwiches may, indeed, be the best ever.
About the author: Lauren Sloss is a bicoastal food-lover who splits her time between New York (where she is finishing graduate school) and San Francisco (where she does most other things). She writes about food, music, travel, and everything in between. Some of her favorite things include The Black Keys, goat gouda, and guacamole. You can follow her on Twitter @laurensloss.