Simplify. It’s one way of trimming costs and increasing profits by keeping a watchful eye on portions and ingredients.
Nothing is simpler than the sandwich. Named afer John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an 18th-century English aristocrat, the sandwich as we know it today is one of the most sought after meals on the planet. It is said that Lord Sandwich was fond of this form of food because it allowed him to continue playing cards, particularly cribbage, while eating without getting his cards greasy from eating meat with his bare hands
We’ve come a long way. However, just because the sandwich is a simple food item doesn’t mean it needs to be discounted as a creation sans artistic intricacy when being prepared.
One of the greatest sandwich architects of modern times was Leo Steiner of the famed Carnegie Delicatessen. Steiner cured his own corned beef and built some of the most sought after sandwiches on the island. His creations were works of art and although the Carnegie is still prospering today, the loss of its curator in 1988 was a tremendous loss to the world of sandwiches as the humor that Steiner used as one of the sandwiches ingredients has been missed.
We can’t overlook Katz’s Deli, on HOuston St. there they still serves a sandwich in the style of the Earls. Piled high with a selection of meat, between two pieces of Rye Bread, the sandwiches there are mammoth but lacking in the modern day accoutrements that make a well balanced meal.
Now this is not what drove me from
Piled high with various additions such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, Cole slaw and other variables, the twenty or so sandwiches that grace Mac’s menu are works of art. Each presentation of the kitchen is more than a meal, perfectly sliced from corner to corner, and placed on the plate as two towers surrounding that specially ordered side of potato salad, Cole slaw, soup or French fries.
It’s good to see something as simple as taken for granted in most kitchens across the country to be placed on a plated pedestal.
On many occasions, the simple dishes get overlooked when they deserve equal attention from the kitchen. Seldom does one see an entr?e of higher echelon monetary proportion get the once-over brush off. Chefs sometimes have a tendency to take more pride in their specials than they do in other menu items. Yet, the sandwich – probably the most profitable of all entr?e items- should get equal attention.
Any trip down the deli aisle of high-end grocery stores will prove to be an education in sandwich presentation. Sonoma Market has turned their deli case into a work of art with their stacked Ciabatta and Focaccia creations. While other grocery stores attempt to grill two pieces of bread, surround some meat and attempt to pass those off as sandwiches.
Even Starbucks has entered the sandwich ring with their daily creations of Goat Cheese and Roasted Mushroom, Egg Salad, Tuna Salad, and other combinations stylishly displayed.
You’ll find that the profit in your sandwiches may very well top the percentage of profit in your higher priced entrees. And, for couples who want to enjoy a mid-week night out but are on a limited budget the sandwich is an attraction which goes nicely with a beer or a glass of wine and can easy suffice as a date night meal.
Yes, the sandwich needs to come front and center as a menu presentation. It should also have a presence on your evening menu. Dress it up. Be creative. Turn it into an evening meal but make the portion large enough to impress and the price attractive enough to leave a friendly taste in the customer’s mouth.