Sherman's Food Adventures: Salumi


The reason why we left Portland so early was we needed to arrive in Seattle by 10:45am. Why the precise time? Well, the place we were visiting consistently has lineups around the block unless you are one of the first few to arrive. The place is Salumi which happens to be Mario Batali's father's deli. I often wonder if we blindly flock to these places because they are famous for being well, famous. Salumi has been featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and the Food Network. Are the sandwiches there really that good or is it merely hype? Well, Viv and I put that theory to the test as we successfully arrived at Salumi by 10:45am. It was so plain on the outside, we actually drove right by it the first time. Again, we were lucky to get a parking space right across the street and took our time strolling across the street into the 2 person lineup. Yes, we were 3rd in line, not bad considering that I hate lineups.

With exceedingly high expectations, we entered the deli with money in one hand and not really all that much appetite since we only finished breakfast less than 3 hours ago. My sandwich of choice was the Prosciutto, Figs and Goat Cheese on Ciabatta. Viv decided on the Muffo. To our dismay, the sandwiches were premade (albeit probably not too long ago). The server merely walked into the cooler and fetched them for us. For a $9.50 sandwich, I'd expect freshly made. The result? Chewy bread and cold ingredients. And as for those ingredients, if you look at the pictures, there wasn't much of it either. I do understand that a few slices of prosciutto go a long way since it is quite salty. However, if you are only going to stuff my sandwich with a few slices, please do not charge me almost $10.00. Don't get me wrong, Viv and I truly enjoyed our sandwiches. The combination of flavours were well-balanced and unique. I thought the saltiness of the prosciutto was perfectly offset by the sweet figs and smooth goat cheese.

The bottom line is that I liked our sandwiches from Salumi despite the price and that they were not freshly made right in front of me. However, in my opinion, Salumi is over-hyped. For nearly $10.00, I did not feel that we got good value. And this is taking into account the quality of the ingredients and the well-designed flavour combinations. But if you want, Salumi is still one of those places you have to visit at least once to see for yourselves.

*Note* - follow up visit can be found here.

The Good:
- Well-balanced and tasty sandwiches
- It's one of those "have to experience" places
- Quality ingredients

The Bad:
- Expensive for what you get
- Pre-made sandwiches for $10?
- You need to lineup


KimHo said...

I will have to agree with you: those sandwiches look... disappointing? If you had gave me one of those (without telling me where they are from), I think I would look at you funny at first. Of course, the fact you give me a sandwich, that would be something I would be suspicious to begin with! (:P) But, that aside, it would depend on the end result after the first bite. Could it be that we have been spoiled in some odd ways by La Grotta del Formagio and La Charcuterie - specially the later with that ridiculously sized sandwiches? Or Salumi is taking us back to what a sandwich should be. Regardless of the answer, $10 for a sandwich brought ought from a freezer/cooler... *shakes fist*

Sherman Chan said...

Yup, exactly Kim, I don't care who made it. It could be Mario Batali himself and I'd still think it was a poor value.

jean deuche said...

i wish you tried one of their hot sandwiches to see what they were like.

those are some sad looking sandwiches tho

Unknown said...

You should have done your research. You ordered the
Only two premade sandwiches. Should have had
The mole salami and fresh mozzarella!

Sherman Chan said...

You're right Felix, I should have had the hot sandwiches. However, if I have to choose the right sandwiches for $10.00, then something is wrong. All should be good for that price, in addition to being made fresh. Why go to a deli then? I can go to 7-11 for a p pre made refrigerated sandwich then. Still think that was unacceptable.

Unknown said...

sherman, i am pretty sure they have pre made sandwiches for people in a hurry, They have over 15 sandwiches made on the spot, i think, so why would they take a short cut with just two?

Sherman Chan said...

Well, I know I probably sound like a broken record, but I still didn't like the idea of the refrigerated sandwiches. If I wanted a refrigerated sandwich, I wouldn't line up and also, I wouldn't go to a nice deli. You'd expect something freshly made at a deli.

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about? I've been there dozens of times and never seen a pre-made sandwich. If you're reviewing pre-made sandwiches there, then that's fine, but that's not at all what most of their sandwiches are like.

Sherman Chan said...

Actually, if you read other reviews and posts about Salumi, you'll see that I'm not the only one that got a pre-made sandwich at Salumi. So despite the fact that there are some better sandwiches available there, I got a premade one when I was expecting a freshly made one. So if that happened to you, you'd be disappointed as well. Also, I only report what I experience. If I got a premade sandwich, I'll say I got a premade sandwich. And that's unacceptable. It doesn't matter how many times you've been there and not seen one. I did. If you don't believe me, I have a picture to prove it. There are 2 plastic tubs of premade sandwiches underneath the hanging meats.

Follow Me Foodie said...

Sherman! Our Salumi posts are going up tomorrow! Your Muffo does look a little different then ours..I wish I had a close up of yours. However the Porchetta was the clear winner.

Anonymous said...

I ate at Salumi last week and ordered a Muffo. It was pre-made and cold and I agree with Sherman that it was over-hyped and over-priced. I grew up in the South and this version of the muffeleta didn't quite stand up to those you can get in Nawlins.

Sherman Chan said...

Thank you for the confirmation. I believe that there are some people who just can't see through the hype and understand that there are better places to get a sandwich. For those who like to flame for the purposes of flaming, I've been to NYC, where you can get a pretty good sandwich. Salumi is not in that class.

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