Friday, March 20, 2009

You Say Salumi, I Say Salami

If you are anywhere within 1,000 miles of Seattle, I think it's worth the trip to visit Salumi.  This place knows what it does and it does it well.  Don't expect a fine dining experience, this is a lunch counter, but it's a lunch counter with a halo and wings.  

You will wait to get into the place, the line forms before it opens, so expect to wait.  Salumi is open from 11am to 4pm Tuesday through Friday.  What are they doing the rest of the time?  I don't know... probably making amazing salami.  This is not walking into a Subway to order a sandwich, there is a path to enlightenment here.  First, as you approach the door, the menu in the window presents a great challenge.  This is definitely one of those menus where you want to have one of everything.  As you approach the counter, you are provided a preview of the feast that awaits you.  
It's very clear as you approach the counter that this is a family run establishment complete with the ribbing and jokes.  For those who watch the Food Network, this place is expertly run by Mario Batali's father. They seem to have a lot of fun talking with customers, handing slices of salami to kids and generally joking around.  When I visited Salumi, I was on my way up to the San Juan Islands and explained that these sandwiches were for the trip.  It was a great pleasure to hear them banter about the pros and cons of this trip.  I love places where I feel like I'm in a kitchen with friends and the familial tone here is warm and fun.  

I decided on the porchetta sandwich...  to start.  As I said, it's difficult to decide, so I made it a little easier by deciding on a few things.  First the prochetta sandwich.  The menu explained that this sandwich is their tribute to the pig.  SOLD!  That was on the must have/eat list and it did not disappoint.  Imagine a sandwich with chunks of pork, peppers, carrots and onions in a sauce dripping out of it and running down your arms that you would want to bathe in if it was available in large quantities.  This sandwich was amazing.  
Now as I said, I couldn't walk out with just that porchetta sandwich, though that was certainly a more than adequate lunch.  I also had my interest peaked by the fig and prosciutto sandwich.  I ordered this as well.  It was also good, though anything following the porchetta is really on shaky ground from the get-go.  

Walking by the window and seeing all those meats curing was too much to take, so in addition to the sandwiches, it was necessary to order a sampler of their cured meats too.  I'm a sucker for a sampler as I love having something where I can compare the variety of options.  The meats were excellent offering a wide variety of flavors.  
Now all of this has swirled around the many pork-ey options available.  But if you are not a pork eater, there are some excellent options for you as well.  The lamb 'prosciutto' was excellent.  Overall, this place offered great food and great service.  Highly recommended. 

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