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Searching for the perfect sandwich—and finding it

Round Table
by Philip Homburg

Is there anything more satisfying than the perfect sandwich? That said, what makes the perfect sandwich is certainly a controversial topic. For me, it’s all about the details, so this month I’m going to talk about a few establishments that get it just right.

I’m far from a vegan, but I would probably say that Stir It Up (found within Back Alley Records on Queen Street in Charlottetown) has some of the best flavours around regardless of your dietary choices. Their Crispy Jerk sandwich is pretty much perfect. What makes it so good: a quality bun from Breadworks, vegan mayo, perfectly crisp tofu and local greens and tomato. If you’re a heat-seeker like me, make sure you ask for some Trini hot sauce.

Passion for the perfect sandwich is palpable at South Central Kitchen in Summerside. When I heard they bake their own sourdough, I knew I’d love the place. I had the roast chicken sandwich and you could tell that every component was fully thought through. They have an ever-changing menu with new specials and daily soups, this is the kind of place I would return to again and again. These folks are really pushing the envelope.

Sometimes you want a classic: for me it’s the Club Sandwich. The Club is simple, but hard to get right. For me, the best place for a classic club is the Churchill Arms in Charlottetown. I love the cozy atmosphere and friendly service, not to mention their solid selection of beer. It doesn’t get much better than sitting at the bar at lunch with a pint of Guinness and a classic Club on a cold winter’s day.

Nigel Thompson aka Sneaky Cheats does an amazing job with his take on American classics like the fried chicken and bologna sandwich. He consistently does pop-ups at the Charlottetown Fire Hall and if, like me, you love comfort food classics then you should get yourself up there. Come for Nigel’s food and stay for the trivia and $3.75 domestic beer.

I don’t want to stir up a controversy about what exactly defines the sandwich as a food item, but I think it’s a good idea to include a couple of non-traditional sandwiches. Behold the shawarma, one of the most satisfying foods to ever be wrapped in bread. You can never go wrong with Cedar’s, if the shawarma itself wasn’t so good it would be worth it just as a vessel for their amazing garlic sauce. I can also seriously vouch for shawarma at Cozy Corner, now located in Cornwall.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the breakfast sandwich—simple, but easy to mess up. I still think there is some room for breakfast sandwich innovation on PEI. That said, Receiver Coffee on Victoria Row does a great job with their ham slam. It’s really simple and satisfying. Just some nice local ham from KJL, housemade aioli and a toasted butter biscuit. Hot tip: add an egg.

So that’s my take on the sandwich scene. Of course, there are some seasonal options that I couldn’t include, like Terry’s Berries lobster melt, but those will be for another column. Meanwhile, eat a sandwich and dream of summer and the bounty of delicious things between bread that it will deliver.

—The Buzz welcomes Phil Homburg to its roster. Phil is semi-retired academic and small business owner and, yes, a foodie. 

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