Sandwiched Between Layers of Goodness
All right, who doesn’t love a good sandwich? The food item has been an all-American classic for centuries, and it always brings back fond memories — whether it be enjoying a peanut butter sandwich that my mom would cut into triangles and wrap ever so perfectly in Saran wrap for field trips to the zoo during my elementary days, or partaking in unforgettable grilled cheese sandwich parties with my friends.
Today, the days of those grilled cheese sandwich parties and triangle peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (without crust, of course) are long gone. However, the occasional cravings for an onolicious sandwich are still very much alive. That’s why this week I searched high and low for the ultimate sandwich creations and, voila! — my mission was a success!
So join me, and set your sights and taste buds on some of the best “Ono, You Know” sandwiches around at the following eateries. Your stomach will thank you!
Sure, we all know Fendu Boulangerie for its heavenly creations, including fresh baked bread, tantalizing pizzas, sandwiches and melt-in-your-mouth pastries. However, owner and chef Niel Koep is always one step ahead of the game, and just when you thought he’s reached the pinnacle of his culinary talents, he surprises you once again with a whole new lineup of Rustic Gourmet Sandwiches.
Beginning today, Koep presents hungry patrons with a Ground Wagyu Beef Sandwich ($9.25), featuring one-third pound of ground Wagyu beef pan seared, then served with tomato, sweet onions, pickles, mayonnaise and fresh farm greens on a rustic bun.
“What makes this meat special is that the cows are fed all-natural ingredients, so the meat has a very nice marbling and has a really, really nice flavor to it,” Koep says.
“I believe this Ground Wagyu Beef Sandwich, along with our Chicken Cordon Blue Panini, will become two of our most popular items,” he adds.
Straight from the Panini grill are a handful of items to entice the palate. The Chicken Cordon Blue Panini ($8.50) consists of a tenderloin chicken sandwich, grilled with Black Forest ham, sweet onions, Gruyere and Swiss cheese, fresh sage and tomatoes. Delicious! Koep’s Basil Pesto Chicken Panini ($8) lures diners in with hearty chicken tenderloins sauteed with Hawaiian salt and black pepper. Grilled on a rustic bread bun with bacon, mayonnaise, fresh tomatoes and goat cheese, I promise that sharing this amazing creation will not be an option!
For those with simple appetites, opt for the Gourmet Grilled Cheese Panini ($7). Any cheese connoisseur will be ecstatic with the array before him — Mozzarella, gruyere, Vermont Cheddar and Parmesan Reggiano cheeses all marvelously grilled on Fendu’s famous French sandwich bread.
And veggie lovers themselves will delight in the Vegetarian Special Panini ($7.50), offering a magnificent spread of Japanese eggplant, Hamakua Farms mushrooms, bell peppers, sweet onions, fresh tomatoes, herbs and farm greens all nestled within two pieces of grilled whole wheat bread with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
2752 Woodlawn Drive, #5119
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1132 Cafe & Espresso Bar
Getting your hands on the perfect sandwich is as easy as 1, 2, 3 at 1132 Cafe & Espresso Bar at the First Hawaiian Center. As a preferred destination for just about everything — from made-to-order sandwiches, soups and salads to your classic pastries and original espresso drinks, 1132 Cafe can meet all of your catering needs and satisfy your every craving.
“We have deli sandwiches for $5.95, hot specialty sandwiches for $6.50, cold specialty sandwiches for $6.50 and gourmet sandwiches for $6.93,” says owner Stefan Kruger, who opened 1132 Cafe & Espresso Bar’s first location five years ago at 1132 Bishop St.
“We also specialize in catering, and offer sandwich platters ($8.50 per sandwich) and lunch boxes, which showcase our sandwiches as well.”
With so many decadent sandwiches to set your taste buds on, it’s hard to pick just one. I would, however, recommend the Chicken Pesto Sandwich ($6.92) because if you’re passionate about pesto like I am, you’ll absolutely fall in love with this one! Imagine finely sliced savory chicken breast topped with a tasty pesto sauce made with fresh basil, on a bed of toasted focaccia bread. This pairing is exquisite and makes for a fabulous lunch for people on the go. You also can substitute the chicken for turkey, if you like.
“Our Turkey Bacon Avocado Sandwich ($6.50) also is very popular, along with our Turkey Cranberry & Brie Sandwich ($6.50),” Kruger adds. “My wife, Edna, comes up with most of the items on the menu.”
Each sandwich is made to your liking, whether you prefer wheat, bread, multi-grain, white bread, squaw bread or sourdough, to name a few.
And when my hunger really gets the best of me, I like to opt for a combo meal ($6.92), including an irresistible sandwich with a choice of soup or salad — because really, some things in life are just meant to go together.
Also, you won’t want to miss out on the re-launching of 1132 Cafe & Espresso Bar’s new and improved menu for breakfast, lunch and all things pizza. Be sure to stop in this Wednesday and Thursday for 30 percent off the entire menu (excludes catering menu).
999 Bishop St.
1132 Bishop St.
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I Love Country Cafe
Let’s be honest, I love everything about I Love Country Cafe! Yes, you tell me what’s not to love about guilt-free onolicious entrees that are house-made fresh every day?
Specializing in quality gourmet food that is both tasty and nutritious, this family-owned eatery has three convenient locations at the Navy Exchange, in downtown Honolulu and on Queen Street.
Owners Richard and Millie Chan, along with their daughter, Elizabeth, who serves as counsel and creative director, provide diners with a guilt-free homemade meal that does not discriminate — as there are entrees that both vegetarians and vegans can whole-heartedly enjoy, as well.
In the mood for a refreshing sandwich this week, I just had to go for I Love Country Cafe’s Fresh Roast Turkey Avocado Sandwich ($8.50 whole, $6.50 half).
For those who don’t know, I am a die-hard for avocado, so obviously I can’t get enough of the fresh slices of avocado that accompany the fresh roasted turkey, complete with mayo mustard, lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprouts and Jack cheese.
“Many restaurants use deli turkey in their sandwiches, but here we only use the freshest turkey, as if it was Thanksgiving every day,” says director of operations Adela Visitacion.
Yet, another hit among customers when it comes to sandwiches is the Country Club Sandwich ($8.75 whole, $6.75 half).
“This sandwich consists of fresh roast turkey, bacon, ham, Swiss cheese and your veggies,” Visitacion explains, adding that you may pick from whole wheat or white bread made fresh at the establishment.
“Many people take advantage of our catering options as well, we have many sandwich platters available.”
With the first bite of any sandwich here, you too will soon be falling in love with I Love Country Cafe. No doubt.
885 Queen St.
(808) 596-8108, (808) 783-7901
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