So, in March, Janelle and I went to L.A. for a little vacation. On our last day in town, we stopped by Paramount Studios to say goodbye to a friend and thank him for his hospitality. The three of us had lunch at the cafe there and I enjoyed the best cold sandwich I've ever had in my life. Simple yet grand: thick slices of swiss cheese, avocado wedges, sprouts, tomatoes, and dijon mustard, all piled high on soft, chewy 9-grain bread. The slices of bread were so thick and the sandwich itself was so generous, you could hardly fit the thing in your mouth.
Now that summer is upon us and I'm no longer craving huge bowls of spaghetti marinara or spicy lentil curry, I've been obsessed with finding another fantastic sandwich like the one I had at Paramount Studios. In the process of tracking one down, I've discovered a few other really killer items at local deli and takeout counters:
- The veggie enchilada at Gigi's Cafe. The sheer size alone is enough to intimidate you, but go ahead and dive in anyway. Spicy grilled vegetables, kidney beans, and monterey jack cheese, all rolled up and topped with a delicious homemade enchilada sauce.
- The spring potato salad at Lucia's Bakery & Take Home. Why I would even be surprised by the awesomeness of something from Lucia's, I don't know, but I was caught a little off-guard by this one. The creamy red potatoes, zesty greens, and housemade mustard create the perfect example of why Lucia's kicks so much ass: perfection in simplicity.
- The seven grain salad at Byerly's. Okay, this wasn't a recent discovery. I've been buying this stuff for a couple of years now and I love it. A great cold salad of grains like cous cous and quinoa, tossed together with olive oil, some diced peppers and scallions, and just a little spicy kick.
- The "Veggin' Out" pita sandwich at Urban Harvest. So the name is a little unfortunate, and the pita bread is storebought (for shame!), but I ordered one of these yesterday and it really hit the spot. The price for a half-sandwich is just two dollars and some change, and it was the best two bucks I've spent in a long time. Sprouts, greens, tomatoes, and cucumbers are stacked up between two pita slices and slathered with a tasty hummus (which was probably storebought, too, but oh well). These sandwiches are a steal, plus you get to gaze through the big open wall to Rosacker's Stems & Vines next door, at all the pretty flowers and plants, and think to yourself, "man, it's really too bad gardening is such absolute hell on earth, because I could really get into that."