We all enjoy the occasional visit to Subway or Jersey Mike’s but where do you stop in for your real Italian sub? The one with warmth and charm; with the amazing bread and bold flavors? I’ve come across joints like this from time to time but they really are few and far between in Los Angeles. They’re either fast food or divey but then I got to know Uncle Paulie’s.
I won’t try to convince you it feels like you’re sitting in a cafe in Italy – I’ve lived there, I know – but Paulie’s doing a lot to bring authenticity to his menu. With his red and white checkered tablecloths and robust, colorful deli counter, you feel transported off of Beverly Blvd. And with added, custom touches like an incredible black truffle hot sauce (I’m a pansy but I had to try it!) and yummy, fresh, baked goods, they’re distinguishing themselves from anyone else in the game.
But hey, let’s even put all that aside, because as the sandwich board on the sidewalk out front says, “let’s talk turkey.”
They blew my mind with TWO subs and some homemade potato salad. The first sub was their “Italian Combo” with mixed italian cold cuts, aged provolone, roasted red peppers and italian dressing. I personally requested the second one because I have a love affair with prosciutto and it did not disappoint — the “Prosciutto di Parma” with their very own house made mozzarella cheese (I mean…. HOUSE MADE?), arugula, balsamic and a little EVOO.
I know it’s become virtually clichéd to say so in blogger food reviews but everything was just delicious. Later and into the next day, I was quite findable on my couch still eating the leftovers I took home, unable to resist knowing they were in my fridge. I wanted to determine what made it so delicious and I arrived at two enlightening details.
First, the bread. Not only was it fresh and riding right on that line between too soft and too hard (read: perfect) but I noticed that the two sandwiches I ordered did not have the same bread. That is key. That tells me they care about pairing the exact right type of bread with the sub they are serving. It also tells me they’re not cheaping out on ingredients — think about that. Think about how it would save them money to just order or make one type of bread and put it with every sandwich. RIGHT?
Second, the meat. Or, specifically, the slicing of the meat. I swear, I’ve never had deli meat on a sandwich sliced so thin. It was unreal precision. And it left the food very chewable — you know how sometimes you bite into prosciutto and the whole slice comes out of the sandwich in the bite? You know what I mean? Slicing the meat the way they do and preparing the cheese on site, means that truly, every bite of every sandwich is their “perfect bite.” For the win.
So please, go meet Uncle Paulie. He’s not what you expect. I mean, even their curb is charming.