Epic Sandwich: Tosca's Italian Muffaletta
I couldn't help but to get excited when I heard The Turtle Bread Company was bringing in chef Landon Schoenfeld to run Tosca both because of his great food and because I was hoping he could make good use of their totally underappreciated space in Linden Hills.
When I visited theTurtle Bread's Chicago Ave location, I was impressed with how well they had incorporated Pizza Biga into their service and how smoothly the business was run. The organization seemed the complete opposite of what I'd previously experienced in Linden Hills. That was, until I walked in last weekend to check out Landon Schoenfeld's cuisine.
The first thing I noticed was a consistant menu and a stready stream of customers - all good signs. After the counter staff stumbled through my request for suggestions on their sandwiches I settled on the Muffaletta.
When the sandwich arrived, the first thing I noticed was how beautifully it was plated. The bread--a crisp, airy foccacia--was smothered in a lush and fragrant aioli that added a creamy kick along with the crunchy/spicy giardiniera. The layers of mortadella, prosciutto and Genoa salami were flavorful, bold and salty, but I would have loved to see them traditionally chopped and mixed with all the other ingredients. Also, I couldn't decipher the Grana Padano, a popular grating cheese. Other then a serious jolt of saltiness (between the meats, I'd already downed about a week's worth of salt) I didn't really get any of it. Despite that, the sandwich was really good, and would likely knock the socks off of most Muffalettas in this market.
Sandwich Rating: Killer. I'll definitely be back to visit Tosca within the Turtle Bread Company. All their sandwiches sounded tasty, and they had plenty more to offer beyond that. It seems as if Landon's creations have truly rejuvinated the place.
Epic Sandwich Copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins