Dec 10, 2009

Sandwich City, and I Don't Mean New York: Argan and Arbol Cafe

You know what Liz Lemon says about Americans, that we are all the same, all of us searching for a great sandwich. She would like Philly, and not just for its cheese steaks. If she ever finds herself walking along 17th St. at lunchtime, she would discover, just a couple of doors south of Bonte with it's insanely delicious sugar waffles, Argan. I got a very fresh,delicious veggie sandwich there last week. The bread had semolina flour and reminded me a little of cornbread. You order your own custom sandwich, and mine had an eggplant spread, roasted green peppers, onions, white beans, and lettuce.

Then two days ago I was walking through Northern Liberties and spotted Arbol Cafe, where I got a Paraguayan sandwich or "lomito" with a fried egg, one slice of ham, one of beef, one of cheese, lettuce, mayo, and tomato on brioche. Juicy and fabulous. I don't like sandwiches with a big old wad of meat. The proportion of meat should be modest. Arbol is run by a married couple, and the husband/sandwichmaker is from Paraguay. It has a corner garden with a grill ("parilla") and it would be a lovely place to linger on a summer evening with a bottle of Chilean wine, watching the neighborhood action. It's on Poplar, very close to North Bowl and Standard Tap.

I don't usually spend my days wandering about the city in search of international sandwiches, but it does seem like it, doesn't it? I'm working on a new writing project that has nothing to do with food, and for inspiration I went to hear Amy Goodman at the Free Library. That was the Moroccan Sandwich Day. Then I interviewed someone about my next project. That was Paraguayan Sandwich Day. Today is the day I realize I should get a job to support the sandwich habit, let alone the writing habit and the April AWP Conference in Denver. Maybe one of today's batch of five query letters will result in a jackpot. Then again, perhaps Liz is hiring a sandwich lady?

1 comment:

Jill said...

I actually know of somebody who is literally on a quest to find the perfect sandwich. He's even in a US Cellular commercial advertising it. (He's married to somebody I knew from high school and sometimes "comment" with on FB). That veggie sandwich sounds fabulous, but I have to say, you'd hate Jewish deli style sandwiches!