Epic Sandwich: Pizza Nea puts a pizza twist on focaccia sandwiches

Pizza Nea's Siciliana Sandwich
Pizza Nea's Siciliana Sandwich
Teddy Hobbins

The local Punch vs. Pizza Nea debate isn't a far cry from the Butter Battle Book of Dr. Seuss fame (minus the arms race). I personally relish both of the establishments and think it's a blessing that we have such a formidable dispute in the first place. I've tried the now "dead" sandwiches at Punch, and thoroughly enjoyed them, so I felt it was only fair to give the focaccia sandwiches of Pizza Nea fame a shot.

Nea has some really nice sandwich options ($11 including a generous side salad) including a "Con Funghi e Prosciutto" and a "Salsicce," but in the end I decided to order the veritable Mediterranean explosion they refer to as the "Siciliana."

Nea stuffs their fillings into a focaccia pocket born from the fires of their wood-burning oven. The flames lick at the crust and add an excellent crispy exterior to the robust and flavorful bread. They flood this little packet with a range of premium ingredients including rich San Marzanos, tender artichokes, and a briny combination of olives and capers. It's an antipasti mess surrounded by a blanket of melted mozz, gentle prosciutto, and ribbons upon ribbons of fresh basil. The only issue is that the addition of sea salt on top of the already salty ingredients can be a bit much, especially if you're not careful about your accompanying salad selection.

Sandwich Rating: Tasty. A delectable and fresh escape from the often boring and comfort food-heavy winter lunch offerings.

Epic Sandwich Copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins

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