In my opinion, Broders' Pasta Bar serves the best and most creative pasta dishes in all of the Twin Cities. The only problem is that their reputation and no reservation policy can make it difficult to get in from time to time. I dine there frequently, but sometimes when the wait is long it's just easier to get my Broders' fix by heading across the street to Broders' Cucina, a quick service version offering classic Italian entrees, less re-fined (but still good) pastas, sandwiches, pizza, salads and a great business plan to capitalize on the Pasta Bar overflow.
I decided to run over to the Cucina to pick up a quick lunch last weekend. Despite the temptation, I managed to bypass their monster pizza slices and settled on the South Jersey Hoagie - a local favorite. The better-than-most baguette softens itself by soaking up the wonderful oregano flecked dressing and juices from the peperoncini which in tandem create an aromatic and spicy dressing for this east coast sub.
The sandwich boasts a surprisingly powerful provolone that provides a creamy contrast to the crisp romaine. Paper-thin onions and some ripe and flavorful (unexpected this time of year) tomatoes helped to cool off the heat from the peperoncini and provide some balance. I would have expected the Genoa salami and capicola (one of my favorite deli meats) to rise above their counterparts, but they were actually relatively muted despite their typical bold flavors. The sandwich still worked even though the proteins lacked the expected individual talent, and the freshness of the ingredients were a nice compliment to Sunday's cleansing spring rains.
Sandwich Rating: Tasty. Close to Killer, but the sparse cold cuts kept this one from moving up the spectrum. I'll be back at Broders' Cucina because it's a great go-to spot for Italian and I know that I'll be able to get something fast and good, even if I want to step beyond the boundaries of pasta.
Epic Sandwich copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins