The Sandwich: Veggie #1
Where: A Baked Joint (tentative name), 440 K St. NW
Bread: House-baked focaccia
Stuffings: Smoked eggplant puree, roasted sweet potato, goat cheese, crispy kale, roasted onion, and red pepper. Add a poached egg for an additional $1.50.
Thickness: 4 inches
Pros: In one bite, this sandwich hits every major flavor profile: sweet from the potato and eggplant; bitter from the roasted, smoky kale; creamy and tangy from the thick spread of goat cheese; and salty from the bread that holds it all together. While it’s packed with flavor, the sandwich isn’t too heavy, thanks to the simple ingredients and the airy focaccia. In this case, the bread is the star of the show.
Cons: Vitamin-packed kale ups the nutritional value of the sandwich, but its strong flavor overpowers some of the more subtle ingredients. Take away some greens and let the intoxicating taste of the eggplant puree come through.
Sloppiness level (1 to 5): 1. The kitchen knows the secret to making a clean sandwich: liberal use of slightly adhesive spreads. With goat cheese slathered on one piece of bread and eggplant puree on the other, the majority of the ingredients remain stuck inside. Focaccia tends to crumble slightly, but bread bits are the only mess you’ll have to deal with.
Overall score (1 to 5): 5. Making an entirely vegetarian sandwich that tastes rich and doesn’t include any fake meat replacements is hard, but the Veggie #1 is perfectly composed. I wish the Baked & Wired team had started selling sandwiches at its Georgetown location years ago—they’re much more exciting than the cupcakes that made the bakery famous.
Photo by Caroline Jones