Take a peek at the rules page if you aren’t familiar with them yet!
Mike & Pete strike me as the Coen brothers of Castleberry Hills. They go together like apple pie and cheese (yeah – people do that!) and they seem to get into a little bit of everything. One of their endeavors is the Elliott Street Deli, a neighborhood pub down in Castleberry Hills. Backed by Boar’s Head meats and freshly delivered bread, the guys have been banging out sandwiches for the past few years.
Last Friday, the twelve o’clock hour arrived, so I picked up my good friend Alison and we headed out on our little lunch adventure. Despite my ineptitude, we managed to locate this joint, which is a smidge off the beaten path.
Elliott Street sports a sandwich menu that is eight items deep. In addition, the owners offer up at least two weekly specials. You have the option of ordering most, if not all, of the sandwiches hot or cold. The bread is delivered each morning and the options available are: ciabatta, white, & wheat. Alison and I are pretty sure they told us rye and multi-grain options were available; however, we didn’t have our listening caps on so don’t hold me to that!
While I normally require a vegetarian option, the available choice at Elliot Street is a tomato caprizi. Alison reminded me that most tomatoes are out of season right now, so we bypassed that sandwich.
Sandwich One: Elliott Street Ultimate
Ingredients: Maple Glazed Honey Coat Ham, Mesquite Wood Smoked Breast of Turkey, Londonport Roast Beef, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and Imported Swiss Cheese with mayonnaise and spicy mustard, and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, roasted peppers, and sweet peppers.
We had this one served up on hot ciabatta bread. While Mike was taking our order, he keenly suggested that we replace the lettuce with spinach. A sage suggestion as hot lettuce SOOOCKS!
While that list of ingredients seems daunting, Pete did an excellent job of portion control. The execution was just top notch. The temperature of the bread, and the sandwich as a whole, was ideal. The bread was perfectly toasted and immensely tasty. The crunch of the crust was balanced perfectly by the porous texture of the interior grain. It was light and soft … just like it should be.
The condiments were appropriately doled out and the veggies fit right in. I really can’t knock this sandwich for what it is. I think my biggest complaint is that Pete and Mike are guilty of their own success. I’d bet that they could whip up some homemade mayo or a gourmet mustard that would take this thing up a notch.
All in, a very strong sandwich that I plan on having more than once!
Sandwich Two: The Mad Italian
Ingredients: Maple Glazed Honey Coat Ham, Mortadella, Genoa Salami, and Cappy Brand Ham with Pesto mayonnaise, and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, roasted peppers, balsamic vinegar, and EVOO.
Alison suggested that we go cold with the Italian. In addition, we wanted to try their white bread. As with the Ultimate, this sandwich was quite enjoyable. Alison loved it and I really liked it; although, I found a couple of, albeit minor, hiccups.
The vegetables served a more prominent role in the flavor of this sandwich than they did in the first one. While the vegetables were far from bad, they did not scream “farm fresh.” They were good and that’s all that was needed to make this sandwich a success.
The meats were strong and flavorful. I think the very good rating I handed out for the proteins is as good as you are going to get from me with a mass market brand. It is nice to know that Elliott Street Deli buys the higher quality Boar’s Head products.
Much as I hate to admit it, I did have a small problem with this one. I thought the amount of balsamic vinegar and of EVOO was a tad on the excessive side. That can easily be fixed and I should note that Alison did not have that impression.
Conclusions & Notes
Mike & Pete are very affable, and though that doesn’t help the score, it most certainly does not hurt! For a variety of reasons, I did not have the opportunity to dissect each sandwich as much as I would have liked. Even if I had, I doubt my opinion would have been adversely affected. I feel I put in enough thought during my bites that I did a good job with this place.
The vegetables received the lowest score; however, I also feel they were really the least important component of our sandwiches. For the sake of consistency, this is a straight average. As you may guess, this is one instance where the score may not accurately reflect my satisfaction with the grub. Alison wanted to assign the place 4 stars across the board – so maybe I’m just a bit of a hard ass.
Mike gets the bread delivered every morning at 7am; that effort really shows! This is the first establishment worthy of being a destination. Until next time my little foodies!