Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Darwin

I have driven by Darwin many times, but always at night, after they close. I had never taken the time figure out what they were all about. When fellow = local blogger, Margaret over at Eat First, mentioned a contest Darwin was having to come up with a new sandwich I had to give them a look.
Maybe my submission will make the menu.

After a bit of reading about their connection to Rileys and their philosophy on food it became a must stop.
I stopped by at about 12:30 on a Thursday afternoon and the place was full. There are only few small tables and a counter so don't plan on eating in. I'm sure you could, but especially in spring and summer I'd say find a nice place outdoors to enjoy your lunch.

I had a few minutes to look over the menu while I waited my turn to order, even as busy as it was, it was 5 minutes or less to place an order. The menu changes all the time so what you see will be different than my choices. Today there was only one choice for me, and that was the muffaletta. I'm an absolute sucker for muffalettas and good one will keep me coming back. I added a cup of the beef and cheddar onion ale because it sounded perfect for the day.

I placed my order and moved around the corner to wait. Again it was only another 5-7 minutes or so at most to get my sandwich and soup. The very friendly woman behind the counter asked if I wanted bread with my soup and I couldn't turn her down.

I grabbed my sack of delicious smelling food and headed home.

Once I got home I unwrapped my soup and sandwich and got ready to dive in. As I took the lid off my soup some spilled onto my finger and I was compelled to lick it off, it was delicious, off to a good start.

As good as the soup tasted form the lid, I wanted to dive in to the sandwich before I could have any more. The roll selection was perfect, nice and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and the ride home gave the olive spread enough time to soak into the bottom so that it was saturated with flavor. The olive spread was the star, bright, briny and a little bit of heat. The ratio of meat to cheese to spread to bread was right on and each mouthful was a complete bite. My only issue was the meat itself, don't get me wrong it was excellent, but it was a little too cold. I find meats like salami, cappicola, mortadella, etc are better when they have warmed up a bit and the oils start open up. I could have waited for it to warm up but it was too darn tasty as it was. No ones fault but my own really. And I'm sure the health department would have something to say if they weren't kept at the right temperature.

After a couple of bites I went for the soup for real. I scooped up some of the broth and a big chunk of beef for my first bite, the complete soup was even better than my initial taste. Rich and meaty with a great balance of cheese, onion and beer. I dunked a hunk of bread into it and was equally happy.

All in all this was a delicious sandwich and a great cup of soup. With this quality of food, outside of price, I can't imagine why anyone would go to the subway around the corner. My complete lunch was just under 10 bucks, and there isn't a 5$ footlong anyplace that would even come close to the delicious meal I had for lunch.

If you are downtown for lunch and need something great to take back to your office or  even eat in the car, get yourself to Darwin and enjoy.