A Sandwich a Day: Fu Man Chu at Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria in Orlando
In a constant quest for superb sandwiches, I simply had to try a place with "Sandwicheria" in its name. The whimsical Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria could easily be a place in the Magic Kingdom, but instead sits in an inconspicuous strip mall near the Executive Airport in Orlando. It's a hangout with a youth vibe, sort of a hip Hello Kitty scene.
Seduced for a second by the specials board, I decided to instead try one of the standards: the Fu Man Chu ($8). The flavor combinations attracted me, as the sandwich includes the slight spiciness of Asian pulled pork, the bitterness and peppery notes of watercress, the tanginess of goat cheese, and the sweetness of red onions. Add to this ginger cranberry chutney, which incorporates all of those flavor profiles plus fruitiness, and the fillings stand up well to the hardiness of the suggested pumpernickel bread (though you can opt for white, wheat, or rye).
You can customize any of the standard sandwiches to your desires, or create one from scratch. Pom Pom's has some soups, salads, and other sides to accompany your sandwich choice. They also brew an interesting array of black, red, and green teas—available hot or cold—as well as milk teas. Best of all: You can get sandwiches until 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, until 5 a.m. on Thursday night/Friday morning, and then all night long on Friday and Saturday nights, when the shop doesn't close until 6 p.m. on Sunday for its only evening off.
Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.