The Sandwich: The Prosciutto
Where: Bozzelli’s Italian Deli, 1025 Vermont Ave. NW, (202) 347-6804, bozzellideli.com
Cost: $9, no cash accepted
Stuffings: Prosciutto, mozzarella, roasted red peppers, vinaigrette
Bread: White sandwich roll
Thickness: 2.5 inches
Pros: With classic Italian sandwich joints like A. Litteri and Mangialardo & Sons inaccessible to downtown workers, Bozzelli’s new Vermont Avenue location provides office workers savory, meaty options all week long. But the deli’s not new to the area, having operated in Northern Virginia since 1978. In this sandwich, the layers of salty prosciutto are balanced by a sour vinaigrette that brightens every bite.
Cons: The roll should come out crisp because it gets toasted before fillings are added, but instead, it crumbles and tastes a bit stale. While the mozzarella pairs well with the prosciutto on a textural level, it completely lacks the rich and creamy flavor typical of most soft cheeses.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 3. Diced pieces of red pepper immediately fall out of the sandwich. Keeping them in longer slices might mitigate some of the mess. Using a structurally insufficient roll leads to a lot of crumbs on the plate and on your face.
Overall score (1 to 5): 2.5. For a midday meal under $10, this sandwich is perfectly adequate. Turning it from something forgettable into something craveable would be easy with a more flavorful cheese and a better bread.