Sunday, June 19, 2011
Bay Cities is recognized by sandwich lovers as having the best Italian sub in town. Several people have asked me wether or not I have been there. One person even made the remark that it is so good, it will break my sandwich blog. It was my destiny to face this mythical hoagie. I finally made my way out to Santa Monica to try the legendary Godmother.
I went to Santa Monica to pick up an art piece from Romney for the auction. He and Devi told me that they eat there all the time and judging from the looks of the place, so does everybody else in Santa Monica. It was around 1:30 pm on a weekday and you could barely get the counter to order. Romney pointed me towards a big basket sitting on the counter overflowing to the brim with freshly wrapped Godmothers. So many people order it, that aside from everything else people order, they just keep a steady flow of them pumping out to satsify the hunger of local santa monicans and sandwich crusaders alike.
The bread is a little chewy, but crunchy enough to let that slide. They are made on Italian rolls (made & baked fresh hourly!) The bread is hearty like that to soak up all of the juices. On it, are the usual suspects, genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto and provolone. If you get it with THE WORKS then they hit you with mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, Italian dressing & mild or hot pepper salad.
Thats a lot of juice to soak up! Which is precisely why this sandwich is so successful. Even with all of that juice, the bread holds it in like the sturdy walls of an above ground swimming pool.(If you wait too long to eat it then it will get soggy, if this has happened then you have failed. Also, when feeling for which one to grab on the counter, make sure its not soggy. Thanks Rom.)
The main reason that this sandwich is so good is the taste. The scale of flavors don't tip too far in either direction. Its right on the money. The perfect blend of sweet, sour, salty and spicey. Its the freshness of the meats with perfect balance of the condiments that makes it so delicious.
Many purists of Italian subs don't think that condiments should even be on it, just meat and cheese. While I understand and respect this, I need mine served with a little push of mass appeal (condiments.) Maybe I just haven't gotten to that level of refinement yet. Its like my taste in movies. I love a more sophistocated film, even avant-guard at times, but more often then not, I'm gonna pop in Delta Force or Zoolander. Its just more palatable and accessible to the masses. This is probably the same reason why I like sandwiches so much.
The Godmother kind of reminded me the Italian from Delfonte's in New York. That sandwich won best Italian sub in the city. It had similar ingredients in the meats and the hot pepper salad. I proposed to my future wife while we were eating a couple of those puppies. Good times...
Above is one of the best Caprese sandwiches I've ever had. Super fresh. Once again, the bread totally makes it. It also has just enough Balsamic and olive oil on it. If you want something a little lighter, then maybe give this one a try. In a funny coincidence, I had the Caprese below the day before. It was made by my friend Nigel. Thanks Nigel for the great sandwich!
Bay Cities is located at 1517 Lincoln Boulevard Santa Monica, CA 90401