Tagged: sandwich

Shao Bing? Sure Thing!

I was expanding the horizon and expanding the parameters of my on and off sandwich obsession and found myself at Foumami, an “asian sandwich bar” on Franklin street. I had been thinking that the scallion pancake sandwiches at Mei Mei were the best thing since sliced bread, at least in the asian sandwich arena, but Foumami’s shao bing has given me something else to chew on, as it were.

I had the Braised Beef Brisket shao bing, with chilled braised beef brisket, scallions, kirby cucumber, and cilantro, for $7.95.

shaobingfoumami

Foumami explains their bread thusly:

Shao Bings, the unleavened bread somewhere between focaccia and pita that makes all of our breakfast and lunch sandwiches special. Two separate sets of dough are combined and rolled out again to create a consistency that when baked at a high temperature is crisp and flaky on the outside, while soft and chewy on the inside.

Two different doughs? Color me impressed. As billed, the bing is flaky on the outside like phyllo and pancake chewy inside. The brisket was tender and not overcooked (though maybe a little overportioned) and nicely balanced with cool cucumber and scallions. The always-controversial cilantro, I could take it or leave it. The sandwich looks small in plan but it’s large in profile and quite satisfying. I will be back for more bing, that is certain.

Lucky locavore lunch on the Greenway

I’d stayed up late making a week’s worth of lunch boxes, each one a work of nutritious bento art, and naturally I left all of them in the fridge at home. How serendipitous, I thought, the Boston Public Market on the Greenway is right next door, I’ll just get lunch there!

As it turns out, a farmers market is not the best place for ready to eat food, but I took it as a challenge and cobbled together the a very local lunch:

Locavore lunch on the Greenway: the components

I gathered smoked salmon pate from Matt’s Amazing Smokehouse, grapefruit soda by Spindrift, from Union Square Donuts, spinach from Foppema’s farm, and a roll from Pain D’Avignon, and thanks to a couple of wooden tasting spoons from Matt’s, I was able to roughly slice the roll and spread the pate on it for a pretty good sandwich. A bench on the greenway served as both seat and table.

The locavore sandwich: salmon pate and spinach

Some farmers markets have more ready to eat food or accompanying food trucks, but with a little effort you can have a nice lunch and have plenty of leftover material for future meals.

Lunch at the solar breakfast truck

There’s just enough uncertainty in the food truck world that catching sight of the telltale profile of your favorite truck as you round the corner can still be a rush. Green Bean Mobile Cafe has an unusual profile because there are solar panels on top of the truck, in this case optimistically yet pointlessly tilted toward the grey sky of a City Hall Plaza spring day.

Green Bean Mobile Cafe Breakfast Menu Green Bean Mobile Cafe Lunch Menu

Breakfast – served all day – is the focus of Green Bean, but they also have some nice pressed panini on the lunch menu. Despite the presence of a waffle sandwich (!) I chose the turkey bacon panini, and took the cucumber salad side rather than the chips.

Turkey bacon cheddar tomato panini with cucumber salad, from Green Bean Mobile Cafe

This is a high-functioning sandwich. Perfectly griddled bread with a nice ribbed texture. Bacon, not too thick or overwhelming, cheddar cheese sharp enough, thin sliced tomato that didn’t try to escape, and BBQ aioli throwing in some creamy smoky stuff, too. What about the turkey? What a about it, it’s turkey, not much to say except that it didn’t get in the way and wasn’t too dry. All in all a harmonious bundle. I usually decline mayo or aioli, but this time I’m glad I forget to ask for it with without. What with the bacon and cheese and aioli on buttered bread, you’d have to have some kind of death wish to add chips, so I recommend the cucumber salad as a nice change of pace, palate-cleansing and touched with dill.

It’s a shame Green Bean doesn’t do breakfast (hello, Nutella bacon waffle!)  at City Hall. In fact, I don’t think any truck has done the breakfast shift there since Clover a year or two ago. I’ll have to make an early morning field trip to an earlier-rising truck zone.

Three siblings, one truck, double awesome, local eggs

My tour of Boston City Hall food trucks is winding down. It looks like I won’t catch them all in April as I’d planned but it was great to catch up with the estimable Mei Mei team this week and finally sample their signature sandwich, the Double Awesome.

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I don’t know if Mei Mei invented the scallion pancake sandwich, but I’m glad it’s here. The Double Awesome is filled with sharp Vermont cheddar, pesto, and two slow poached then fried eggs. I don’t usually dig on poached eggs or eggs in non-breakfast sandwiches, but this next sign meant I just had to go there.

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Yes, these eggs were from happy vegetarian Rhode Island chickens from a family farm. And if you’re feeling a little edgy about eating poached eggs, these are the sorts of eggs you should be seeking out. Most of Mei Mei’s ingredients are locally sourced (where practical, it’s not 100%), but this little chalkboard made the point and connected it to that day’s menu. I couldn’t not get the eggy double awesome now.

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It looks innocent enough, right? At first, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich on scallion pancake with pesto. The fried outside and the the white of the egg don’t make much initial impression as you savor the sharp cheese and garlicky pesto. But then, at some point, you get to the heart of the matter.

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Now you’ve got a situation on your hands. The sandwich has gone full eggy on you. I hope you took some napkins. I’m not sure I’ll be ordering poached eggs straight up any time soon, but in this context, I can’t imagine them any other way, it just seems to pull the whole sandwich together.  Be warned though, I have to classify the Double Awesome as a Hot Mess since a scallion pancake just cannot contain things like a crepe or burrito can,.

One last note on the Mei Mei truck, check out this sign. As helpful and seemingly obvious as it is, I don’t think I’ve seen this info on any of the other trucks. Where to find them on other days, and where to find their restaurant, which I’ll write more about another time.

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Operational Efficiency at Roxy’s Grilled Cheese

Two weeks later, I kept my Cheese Weasel Day date with Roxy’s Grilled Cheese truck. You know how I like a simple menu: they offered five sandwiches, two add-ons and a single side.

Menu at Roxy's Grilled Cheese

What I really wanted was a grilled cheese sandwich made with sharp cheddar, ideally with bacon and avocado, most of the Green Muenster but not quite all of it. I just don’t dig the muenster cheese, and owing to the partially pre-assembled nature of Roxy’s sandwiches, some substitutions just can’t be made. I settled on the Rookie Melt, which was served up in just seven minutes.

The Rookie Melt at Roxy's Grilled Cheese

Behold the Rookie Melt. I wonder if I should be offended by the name? It’s cheddar and tomato, griddled up just right. The cheddar could be sharper (but it’s certainly not as dull as muenster) and the tomato runs the risk of sliding out of the sandwich, but no grilled cheese rookie would let that happen.