A long time ago in a sandwich shop, far away…
I best most of ya’ll thought I had forgotten about the sub & sandwich tour. Truth is, I just got a bit worn out on sandwiches. While I did grab a few sandwiches in the past few weeks, my rate of consumption plummeted. The time off has rejuvenated me and I hope to have this thing wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.
To get things back up and running, I elected to visit the Highland Bakery in Inman Park. In true Foodie Buddha fashion, the meal let me down. While many people revel in the fresh baked goods and the variety of options on the menu, my meal just didn’t come together as I had hoped. Services issues aside (they aren’t factored in on the tour), I found both of my sandwiches disappointing.
Though it does not factor into the score, my service from today is worth noting. It took me over an hour to eat, the wait staff, while friendly, would disappear for 10-20 minutes. In addition, my order was screwed up causing yet another delay. Usually, I do not find service there to be an issue.
Perhaps the problem was that I chose to sit outside on Highland Ave. However, several other outside tables were filled. I was surprised that we were left to our own devices. Alright, enough of that – onto the sandwiches.
Sandwich 1: The Crab Burger
Ingredients: crab cake, red leaf lettuce, tomato, & remoulade on a Kaiser roll
When the sandwich arrived, I had to do a double take. Somewhere, hidden under mounds of lettuce, I was sure there was some crab. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t see it until I pulled off about 3/4 of the red leaf lettuce. Even then, I found the sandwich to have waaaay too much foliage. I wasn’t impressed with it anyway, the leafy stuff was just a bit on the bitter side. There are any number of reasons for this. Most of them will fall squarely on the grower and not on the restaurant. However, the restaurant is ultimately responsible.
The other big failure here was the roll. Given that this is a bakery, I was pretty bummed here. By nature, a Kaiser roll is going to be hard … so that was not the problem. Rather, this yeasted roll seemed dry and lacked any real “personality.” Oh well.
Meanwhile, I thought the crab cake was fairly tasty. It was cooked just right and therefore, it maintained its moistness quite well. It’s too bad it played second fiddle to the lettuce. Though my first bite came and went without so much as a hint of spice, the remoulade was “relatively” well represented. I use quotations for the simple fact that the lettuce was overwhelming. If you remove that ingredient from the formula, the remoulade was well portioned for the amount of crab on my bun.
Though I actually tossed some extra Tabasco on my sandwich, I would say that the remoulade had a nice kick to it. If you have a more sensitive palate, be aware that you might go so far as to call the condiment “spicy.”
After the last bite, I sat back with a perplexed look on my face. Nothing about the sandwich was obtrusive, though nothing really stood out either. The crab and the remoulade, which should have been the driving force, ended up being pretty decent. The vegetables and bread were disappointing, but not horrible.
Sandwich 2: The Mediterranean with Turkey
Ingredients: basil pesto, goat cheese, spring mix, tomatoes, & turkey on rosemary garlic bread
Easily my least favorite sandwich of the two I ordered. Nothing worked here. The basil pesto was over used and drowned out most of the other flavors. In fact, I would say it was caked on most offensively. The goat cheese really hard to pick up on. I managed to extract a little bit of it for an independent tasting. It had the expected tanginess, but was so poorly portioned that I can’t exactly give them a thumbs up for it.
The turkey was dry and the bread just didn’t play well with it’s buddies. Given that there was already basil, pesto, and goat cheese in the play pen – I’m not sure why they went with a “flavored” bread here.
Better execution here would have given me a better feeling. I have half of this sandwich chilling in the fridge. I almost went to pull it out again, but decided against it. It’ll probably find its way into my trash receptacle.
I’m almost inclined to walk into the kitchen and snap one more picture just so ya’ll can see how badly the basil pesto was used. However, it’s not worth the energy at this point. Oh yeah, this puppy was weighted down by heavy greenage … but by the time I got around to thinking about it, I was already beaten into submission.
Conclusions & Notes
Something kind of funny happened on my way back to my car. Having already scored the grub, I was trying to figure out where this would fall on the scale. Without the benefit of reference list, I postulated that HB was about as good as the Mercantile. As luck would have it, that’s exactly how it worked out.
If you look at the scoring chart, you’ll see Highland Bakery with one of the lower scores to date. There were some some pretty big problems with this meal; however, there were also some good things. Remember that the scores take into account both the quality of the product and the use of said ingredient.
Highland Bakery had some decent ingredients, but the execution came up short. Still, if you are in the ‘hood, it seems fine for a visit once in a blue moon.
Tour Ratings (Explained Here)