Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Seattle's Salumi

I unpacked my suitcase and the smells of Seattle come rushing towards me. No, not the salty sea and fresh mountain air – more like salami, fish, garlic and oil. That’s right, I went all the way to Seattle and all I got was some stinkin’ food stuffs.
Actually, I got a lot more than just stinkin’ food stuffs. I got 3 days with my best friend in the world; 3 days full of girl talk, good food, lattes on lawn chairs and beautiful mountain views.
But since this is a food blog, I’ll stick to the food. Emily and I started our adventures at Salumi, a neighborhood deli with big tastes and an even bigger reputation. Started by Armandino Batali (Mario Batali’s father) Salumi claims they draw inspiration from the traditional Italian Salumeria. After standing in line, waiting out Seattle’s blustery winter weather for half an hour, we huddled inside the door and waited another 15 minutes with half of Seattle’s local and tourist populations. Why the wait?
Slow, personal service may be the reason- and I’m not complaining. As the line nears the deli counter, patrons are offered free samples from friendly staff with helpful suggestions. I bonded with my server over rosemary salami (which she recommended, and I brought a stick home) and her upcoming visit to DC. I gave her a few restaurant recommendations (naturally.)
We settled on the cold meat platter with cheese, olives and bread and help-yourself-red wine. No sooner had we found a seat next to two gentlemen (they looked like father and son) at a communal table, when two men carrying photography equipment entered the room. It seems our well known hole-in-the-wall was being recognized as one of America’s best sandwich makers by Esquire Magazine. So, we freshened up our lip gloss, put on our best sandwich eating faces, and tried to get in the pictures. We haven’t made the cut on the web site yet, but here’s hoping for the magazine.
For the record, if the sandwiches are anything like the meat platter, the service or the authenticity of the mozzarella, then they are worthy of being recognized as the best sandwiches in America. And they're definitely worthy of our humble trip- my first meal in Seattle.

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