A Sandwich a Day: Tat'strami from Tat's Delicatessen in Seattle
In this great nation 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.
Tat's Delicatessen has been earning kudos for nearly a decade by reproducing East Coast sandwich favorites better than most anybody else in Seattle, but the best sandwich is the one that is most unique, the one that carries the Tat's name: the Tat'strami. The menu instructs diners to think of it as 'pastrami cheesesteak,' but that's like calling okonomiyaki a Japanese pizza: you get an idea of the vague shape, but no understanding of the combination of ingredients that make the dish become more than just the sum of its parts.
The just-right bread is made to the owner's specification, and it perfectly hugs the house-smoked meat. After a week in the brine, a quick cure, and some time in the smoker, the meat is grilled and topped with Swiss cheese. The final two toppings set the sandwich apart: coleslaw and a Russian dressing, which are both excellently made in-house. The sweet slaw, tangy dressing, and salty meat are the triumvirate of sandwich brilliance, and the bread has just enough texture to hold the whole thing together for scarcely enough time to get the whole thing shoveled down.
About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food writer and marketer. Find more of her musings on her food blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. You can also follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome.