Thursday, March 8, 2012

Big-Ass Sandwiches (Part 2)

(UPDATE 11/20/12: Big-Ass Sandwiches is now at a new pod near the corner of SE 2nd and Oak. This unofficially named "superpod" also features popular carts such as Koi Fusion, Whiffies, Potato Champion, and Pyro Pizza. Burgatroyd will join the pod in December.)

(Third Review -- December 2012)
(Original Review -- August 2011)

After seeing so many tantalizing weekly specials pass me by due to studying or scheduling conflicts, I figured a fitting post-bar exam celebration would be at Big-Ass Sandwiches.

Early 2012 photo when at their old location in Old Town (SW 3rd and Ash)
The special for the week of March 5-10: The Big-Ass Poutine-Nanny. Say what? Their take of Canadian comfort food in a sandwich? How perfect is that? If you saw a panda speed down to Portland in a cool car that Tuesday, that was me.

I briefly talked with Lisa, one of the co-owners at Big-Ass Sandwiches. I'm sure she could sense my relief. No more putting my face in the books. No more sad panda woes. I'd be curling up next to a Big-Ass Sandwich later that day, and we'd become one. The joys of having a big appetite.

So what's in the sandwich? Choice of roast beef, ham, or turkey (gimme the beef!), a bourguignon sauce, cheese curds, and the usual hand-cut fries on a ciabatta roll. And Secret Aardvark FTW.

Regular menu
(March 2012)
Special during the week of March 5-10
"The Big-Ass Poutine Nanny"
(Big-Ass Sandwiches)
Mmm...roast beef and fries closeup
Yeah, that thing has some girth! (That's what she said)

Every single component was magical. It's like a dang unicorn popped out of nowhere holding Big-Ass Sandwiches and gave me a cool ride to happy land. Perhaps there were rainbows, chirpy birds, and flowers around. However, the bread, fries, sauce, beef, curds, and Secret Aardvark had my full attention.

The fries initially have a slight crispiness, and, over time, change roles to become a starchy glue to unite other fillings. The bourguignon sauce added a pleasing flavor. It's not very heavy (a good thing), since the other items in this little beast pack a stomach-filling wallop. The mild tang from the Secret Aardvark announced its presence, although others may find it spicier. Hidden in the sea of meat, sauce, and potatoes lay those lovable cheese curds. Does cheese like to play games? My mighty jaw loves games!

Further digging into the sandwich, I hit the roast beef. And it's real roast beef! None of this pre-sliced deli meat dealies! Tender and juicy.

I had leftovers (gasp!), but I prefer calling it a delayed execution. When I got home, the rest of the sandwich hit the toaster oven. The bread toasted up, the top layer of fries slightly crisped, and the cheese curds bowed down to a semi-melted stage.

On autopilot, I finished the sandwich -- and the sandwich left me in a mega panda food coma for several hours. An epic Mortal Kombat double fatality. I swear I'm still feeling it.

This visit only confirmed what I already knew: this cart has amazing food. I wish I had a time machine, unlimited funds, and a bottomless pit for a stomach -- just so I could eat every single menu item and weekly special created over the last 2+ years.

In winter, they are closed on Sundays. But spring/summer hours are coming soon, which may mean a daily-fix, twice-on-Sunday noshing for hardcore loyalists!

Adam Richman even visited Big-Ass Sandwiches, and I was one of many to suggest he go to this cart. If there was ever an elite place to get a sandwich, this would be it.

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