The Sandwich: Pastrami
Where: Bread Bite Bakery, 1506 U St. NW
Stuffings: Pastrami, coleslaw, horseradish aioli
Bread: Olive loaf
Thickness: 2 inches
Pros: Finding decent pastrami outside a traditional deli is tough, but the tender, slightly chewy meat in this sandwich holds up pretty well. A slather of bitter horseradish sauce brings out the pastrami’s peppery notes. The olive loaf, made in-house, has a crisp crust and spongy body, making it an ideal base for a messy stuffed sandwich.
Cons: This sandwich’s texture is all wrong: The carrots and cabbage in the coleslaw aren’t sliced thin enough, but instead of being crunchy, they feel mushy. While the olive loaf is well-made, it’s a bit too salty when paired with a very salty meat. If the bread were toasted, the sandwich would feel less soggy and improve significantly.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 2. Since the bread is very absorbent, it soaks up all the meat juices and other liquids that might otherwise leak onto the plate. Aside from a few pieces of cabbage and some crumbs, everything stays where it’s supposed to.
Overall score (1 to 5): 2. Although the addition of horseradish adds some spicy excitement, this sandwich mainly makes you wish you were eating a regular Reuben instead. Bread Bite should opt for a rye or pumpernickel loaf to use with its sandwiches.