WARNING: Don't read this on an empty stomach!
This is the tale of two sandwiches. Not your basic P.B & J or tuna on rye. I'm talking about the kind of sandwich that makes you stop and take notice. The kind of sandwich that makes you say, “Mmmmmm.”
What really makes a sandwich an experience is how all the parts work together. It's about the combination of ingredients, flavors and textures. And, it is how they are enlivened by the condiments. Everyone’s favorites-- mayo, Dijon, relish, chutney or salsa—all work well smeared right on to the bread. But I like to create my own “special sauce”, a blend of ingredients that will serve to soften and combine flavors like alchemy. Think about how the tomato macerates with the mayonnaise on a classic BLT becoming the ultimate sauce. The components rise from the mundane to the magnificent. That’s what I’m talking about! A special sauce can take an average sandwich and push it over the top!
Here are a couple of my favorites from local eateries in the Hamptons; one, an artisanal bakery, the other an Italian specialty store, pizzeria and deli. The recipes I've included are the result of lots of yummy research and of chatting with the sandwich makers themselves. So, if you're unable to try the real McCoy, you'll be able to easily build your own.
Breadzilla's Hippy Dippy
This classic is a 70’s California vegetarian inspired creation. Made on their honey wheat bread, filled with cheddar cheese, avocado, carrots, sprouts and tomato all enhanced with their special sauce of grainy mustard and mayo. Toasted in their pizza oven, it delivers gooey goodness. (cue the choir singing). It’s damn good!
They offer a vegan alternative, substituting homemade humus for the cheddar.
It was named after a character created by George Carlin, the "Hippy Dippy" weatherman. Although this sandwich made cameo appearances on the menu from time to time, it was on the day that the comedian passed away that the sandwich was named and permanently placed on the daily menu.
Breadzilla's Hippy Dippy
Makes one sandwich
- 2 slices of honey wheat pullman loaf, or an alternative
- Sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
- Avocado, sliced
- Tomato, sliced
- Carrots, grated
- Alfalfa sprouts
- Grainy mustard
Smear both slices of bread with the grainy mustard and mayonnaise. On one slice of bread, sprinkle generously with grated cheddar. Put both slices in a toaster oven, toast until cheese has melted.
Remove from oven and top the slice without cheese with sliced avocado, tomato, grated carrots and alfalfa sprouts.
Place slice of bread with cheese, down on top of sprouts. Carefully cut sandwich in half, ensuring you do not lose all the goodness inside.
Located in Wainscott, Breadzilla was the new kid on the block back in 1996. Their food and baked goods have always been made from scratch from locally sourced ingredients. Co-owners Brad Thompson & Nancy Hollister, are both in the kitchen creating honest, interesting and delicious food.
Every morning (closed on Mondays!) they make an abundance of baked goods - muffins, scones, donuts, Danish and, hands down, the best bagels in town! Don’t forget to try their desserts - pies, cookies and cakes - they’re all delicious!
Each day their lunch menu is available on line at 11am. Its quirky handwritten offerings include over 20 unique sandwich selections and 5 soups. It's no wonder that Breadzilla draws a consistently large and enthusiastic lunch crowd.
Luigi's - F18
There’s no background story on this one. A no frills name— it stands for Focaccia 18—for a simple turkey and provolone sandwich that knocks it out of the park!
Let’s start with the bread…house made focaccia with flecks of rosemary on top…light, tender and airy. It's a touch of heaven! First down is the oven roasted turkey gathered into clusters. Next comes thin layers of provolone cheese & tomato. The crowning touch is a sprinkling of shredded, iceberg lettuce. And, then, of course, there is the special sauce to bring it all together. This time it is a balsamic dressing. Simple ingredients blending together to make this one simply delicious sandwich!
Makes one sandwich
- 1 focaccia round or wedge, or flatbread alternative
- Slices of roasted turkey breast, very thinly sliced, approximately 3 ounces
- 3 slices of provolone cheese, very thinly sliced
- Tomato, thinly sliced
- Iceberg lettuce (or crisp alternative) shredded
- Balsamic dressing (recipe follows)
Slice bread in half horizontally, yielding 2 rounds or wedge shapes.
Start by placing the sliced turkey, gathered into clusters, on bottom of bread. Next layer the provolone & tomato. Top with a sprinkling of shredded, iceberg lettuce. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and place focaccia on top and cut as desired.
Letting this sandwich sit for about 15 minutes will allow the magic to begin, when all the flavors combine.
My interpretation of Luigi’s dressing:
- 2 Tablespoons Balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- 6 Tablespoons virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon dry basil
- Pinch of sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt & ¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Luigi’s make their dressing in a mixer; this helps with larges batches, as well to emulsify it. At home it’s easy to mix by hand especially for small batches, but using a food processor works well too.
Combine all ingredients, except olive oil and whisk until combined.
Slowly drizzle oil into vinegar mixture until it is emulsified.
Originally from Palermo, Sicily, the Burriesci family opened Luigi’s in East Hampton 20 years ago. Their many selections include Italian specialties such as hot pasta dishes, classic entrees, and, of course, pizza. An abundant array of salami, cheeses, prepared salads & condiments, make it easy to create an antipasti platter of your own.
Let’s remember though, this is a tale about sandwiches and here Luigi’s shines. All sandwiches are made to order, but, in addition to their choice of heroes, Luigis menu offers a list of 17 hot & cold combinations made on their delicate & delicious house made focaccia. That’s right, these fresh, light & tender 12inch rounds are baked daily on premises creating a delectable & irresistable base for your choice of meat, seafood or vegetarian fillings. Take a bite…Buon appetito!