A Sandwich a Day: Shaved Beef Sandwich at Épicerie in Austin, Texas
The menu described the sandwich simply enough—wagyu beef, horseradish sauce, arugula, housemade ciabatta. Beef with horseradish is, of course, nothing new, and Épicerie's sandwich arrives on the plate looking modest, if a bit larger than you might expect. But let this be a lesson in judging sandwiches by their covers, because that banal appearance belies some major flavor.
First off: the sauce. This isn't just sour cream with a timid touch of pungency—the horseradish is nice and bold, strong enough that you'll feel the pleasant burn in your nostrils as you bite into the sandwich, pleasantly amplified by a peppery layer of fresh arugula.
And then there's the ciabatta, pillowy-soft and chewy like a good Neapolitan pizza crust. The inside, spread with butter, is lightly toasted and served warm; the edges of the bread are just slightly browned, for a crisp contrast to the perfectly tender paper-thin slices of wagyu beef. The meat's judiciously seasoned with black pepper, delivering a faint herbal flavor that only serves to complement the full, rich flavor of the rosy pink beef.
If you go to Épicerie early enough on a weekday evening, chances are you'll have your choice of tables in the bright dining room, full of natural light. And, while nobody will make you feel the least bit self-conscious if you grab a sandwich dinner, it's worth considering their choice of entrées, too. Either way, just be sure to grab one of their giant salty chocolate chip cookies for dessert before they run out.
About the author: Meredith Bethune is a writer who of course likes feeling hip and cool at the latest trendy restaurant, but she feels most comfortable tracking down the best tacos, pizza, and barbecue. Follow her on Twitter (@MeredithBethune).