Today I had lunch at Potbelly Sandwich Works for the first time in eight months. I had my favourite, The Wreck, followed by a chocolate shake. It was sheer bliss. 30 minutes later when I got hungry again, I started thinking about all other wonderful sandwiches I’ve had in years past and decided to write this blog for other weird people to whom eating is their favourite activity. (Disclaimer: I didn’t get hungry after just 30 minutes because Potbelly’s sandwiches aren’t satisfying. Oh, no! They’re perfect. I’m just always hungry…)
Here we go! Top five sandwiches I’ve ever had, in ascending order.
Some of the simplest things often taste the best and bruschetta is one of those yummy treats that’s super easy to make, as long as you use fresh ingredients. My favourite way to make bruschetta is to use super fresh sourdough bread (which in Sydney I buy from Bourke Street Bakery), lightly toasted. I put some high quality olive oil on a plate and lightly rub the toasted bread in the olive oil. Next I add thick slices of room temperature super ripe, super sweet tomatoes and very thin slices of red onion. I drizzle lightly with garlic olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar and finish off with salt and pepper. Yum! When I eat out, I love the bruschetta at Il Baretto, my local Italian restaurant in Sydney. The best bruschetta I ever had was at a restaurant on Capri, but I don’t remember the name. Ah, memories of food…
4. Grandma’s farmers’ cheese and radishes sandwich
When I was little, we lived with my grandparents so every morning I had breakfast with my grandma and grandpa (who, coincidentally, were the best grandparents in the world. Don’t bother challenging me on that because you will not win.). Since we lived in a small village in Poland, it was not uncommon to go to the store early in the morning to get the basics like milk, bread and cheese. The most wonderful thing that we used to have for breakfast would be twarozek (farmers’ cheese mixed with a bit of sour cream and salt to season) on a slice of fresh from the oven Polish rye bread, topped off with thinly sliced radishes, green onion (both freshly picked from the garden, off course!) and a bit of salt. It’s still one of my favourite things to eat.
3. Hot dogs
But not just any hot dogs! Hot dogs from the hot dog stand in from of Pedet, a department store in Lublin, Poland, which is the nearest city to the village that I’m from. Unfortunately neither Pedet nor the hot dog stand exist anymore. Both got replaced by poor imitations. Too bad because Pedet used to have a couple awesome silver and amber jewelry counters. But back to the hot dogs… They were made in Poland, and as the country with the best sausage in the world, naturally the sausage itself was phenomenal. They were served in a fluffy, sesame seed bun. For condiments, you could have locally made ketchup if you wanted to, but I always opted in for the slightly spicy Polish mustard. For toppings, there were three different kinds of cabbage salads (all different colours cabbage). Whenever my mom and I would go there, we’d also always get a Coke in a glass bottle each. After having hot dogs, we would go across the street to have ice cream. Here’s the location for you if you ever end up in that corner of the world. The hot dogs aren’t the same as when I was a kid, but they’re still pretty freakin’ delicious. http://bit.ly/RbFqn
2. Potbelly’s The Wreck
Ahhh, Potbelly’s. How do I love you? Let me count the ways. First of all, I love The Wreck. How can you not love a sandwich with roast beef, salami, ham and Swiss cheese? Oven roasted for extra deliciousness. Topped off with to die for mustard, lettuce, onion, tomato and thin slices of Polish pickles? It’s like a dance in your mouth! You don’t care when the mustard drips on your chin while you eat it. Nope. You’re too entranced by the taste to notice that your shirt is covered too. Potbelly has been growing a lot in recent years so it’s now in quite a few states in the US. Find the one near you and get your butt over there NOW! You don’t have to have The Wreck. I’m allowing you to have other sandwiches as well. But you should trust me. You should have The Wreck.
1. Bread and kielbasa
As I mentioned in the beginning, simple is best. And what’s more simple than fresh bread and triple smoked Polish sausage roasted on an open flame? The coolest thing about my parents’ holiday home is the fire pit my dad built outside. I don’t make it out there often (since I live literally on the other side of the world…) but when I do go home, we build a fire, get some sticks, cut up some kielbasa, and roast them on the open flame. I like to make small incisions in mine so more of the fat melts out and the outside becomes a bit blackened. When it gets how you want it, you wrap a slice of bread around it and pull it off the stick. It’s best when accompanied by Polish beer like Perla.
There you have it. The best sandwiches I’ve ever had. Happy eating!
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