The Masterpiece at Sloopy’s

  • Sloopy's #1
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One of my friends from school is from Redondo Beach, and we decided to get together for a sandwich date before she headed back to Connecticut.  She had strongly suggested that we go to Sloopy’s in Manhattan Beach, a cafe known for its beachy patio setting and great food.  The decor is great…all eclectic patio furniture that almost feels like you’re sitting in your own backyard.  You order from a counter, not waiters, making it feel less restaurant-y and more like you’ve found a great local secret.  But on to the sandwich…

The Masterpiece appealed to me because I discovered the classic Italian sandwich when I lived on the East Coast.  This type of sandwich is not at all limited to this region, but did, in fact originate there. On a personal note, I had never eaten pig products before college when I lived in California, and I definitely associate this classic with my time on the East Coast.  I’ve found so far that a lot of great sandwich shops in Southern California have an Italian-esque sandwich that is more customized, resulting in a lot of great variety.  The Masterpiece continued this trend of personalizing this sandwich, while upholding the staples of the classic: prosciutto, ham, salami, cappicola, provolone, arugula, banana peppers, balsamic with cracked pepper mayo on ciabatta.  The best part about the Masterpiece for me was not the meat combination, which is the standard, but rather the balsamic and cracked pepper mayo combined with the banana peppers.  Though the mayo was interesting in and of itself, the tanginess of the banana peppers complimented it perfectly.  For me, composition is a HUGE part of the success of a sandwich, and that includes the order of ingredients: different tastes and textures will be brought out by the way you put your sandwich together.  Putting the banana peppers and mayo together really made the sandwich in my opinion, instead of having the mayo on the meat.  In addition, I always like the combination of mayo and lettuce, which this sandwich also had.  Really, the only problem I had with this sandwich was the ciabatta: though the taste and texture was great, I filled up on the bread quickly and didn’t get very far into the second half of the sandwich.

The Italian sub, which can be found under many names, such as a hoagie, hero, grinder, or torpedo depending on where you are in America, is most definitely a staple of our sandwich culture.  Regardless of what it’s called, this sandwich originated in Italian-American communities throughout the Northeast, and is more or less the same sandwich from place to place, albeit small differences.  One of the great things about the Italian sub, though, is that it creates a framework that can be tweaked and customized, creating great sandwiches all over the country.

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