I've got one major issue with veggie sandwiches--and no, it's not the obvious lack of meat. It's how soggy they tend to get--especially when heated. I've grown to appreciate a good vegetable sammie, though I don't eat them often--mostly because many are either bogged down by an overabundance of moisture, are exploding with cheese, or are dripping in a deluge of sauce.
Thankfully, the folks at Gigi's Café in Uptown have managed to construct a sandwich packed with veggies that hold their natural moisture rather than leaving you with waterlogged bread and the bitter taste of disappointment in your mouth. Gigi's specializes in what I like to call "Culinary Schizophrenia." You never know what's going to be on their menu, which often includes a number of sandwiches as well as empanadas, stromboli, spinach pie, curry, and falafel all at the same time. Yes, it seems like an odd mix, but the variety is simply delightful.
Back to the sandwich, buddy. Gigi's serves its sandwich on toasted ciabatta bread that's crispy on the outside yet dense enough to hold together all the roasted veggies. The sandwich also gets a nice slather of rich pesto and a slice of Gouda that melts nicely through the heat of the grill. That last bit is crucial because those ingredients alone could both overwhelm and water down the sandwich, but a little restraint helps to avoid the mishap. Next, the kitchen adds layers of roasted red pepper, onions, zucchini, and yellow squash. Though the construction was spot on, the seasoning was a little lacking. A good grind of pepper would have done wonders, and I longed for a bit of char on the vegetables to give the sandwich a bit more depth.
Sandwich Rating: Tasty. No sogginess and no slip made for a pleasant eating experience, but the veggies (the key ingredients, after all) could have used a bit more pizazz to accompany the creamy Gouda and rich pesto.
Epic Sandwich copyright 2010 by Teddy Hobbins