You guys. I’ve finally gone and done it. I’ve been told for years it is the best sandwich shop around and while I held high hopes, I didn’t realize just how good it would be.
I ate at Rubicon.
I must say, when I arrived there, I kind of didn’t know where it was. I knew it was on India by Shakespeare’s Pub but I could not for the life of me find a sign. So I parked, got out of my car, and saw a line of people directly in front of me. I figured that had to be it. Then I saw people eating sandwiches on the little sidewalk patio and knew by the looks of those culinary marvels that I was in the right place. Though the line went out the door, it’s only because the counter is basically three steps inside the building. After a short wait, it was time to order. I had heavily researched this establishment prior to arriving and was set on ordering either the Dapper Dipper (a fancy french dip) or the Rich Boy (chipotle grilled chicken, cheese, and avocado). However, once I got to the front of the line, I began to have second thoughts. The dip sounded/looked and smelled delicious (one of the patio people ordered it, okay? He was right there and I was just kind of casually leaning over, checking it out…it wasn’t as creepy as it sounds). However, it was about 85 degrees out and as much as I love au jus, I thought I should maybe save it for a time when it could be more fully appreciated. The Rich Boy was highly favored on Yelp, but it sounded pretty similar to the sandwich I got from BFD (https://lazygirltrying.wordpress.com/2015/02/21/the-sandwich-chronicles-bfd/, in case you missed it!), and I felt obligated to try something a little different. Then I saw it.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Belly Up:
This sandwich is unlike any other sandwich I have either reviewed or ever eaten. It’s pork belly with a sweet and tart Asian slaw, lettuce, and a miso ginger mayonnaise. You choose your bread and, being unsure of what it would go best on, I went with the recommendation of the guy at the counter–the pesto roll. It sounds weird, but it works so well.
As a rule of thumb, I’m not usually a huge fan of coleslaw on sandwiches. As with potato chips, I adopt a very conservative policy of segregation–they are sides, that is where they should remain! However, I wholly support the integration happening in this sandwich. The pork belly, being as fatty and rich as it is, needs something slightly sweet and acidic to break it up. Not to mention the crunch of the slaw also adds a nice texture to a sandwich that would otherwise be, well, soft and flabby (don’t take that the wrong way, pork belly; I love you just the way you are). Though it is expensive, weighing in at $12.99 for the whole, it is also gigantic; half is basically the size of a homemade sandwich. Considering the quality of ingredients and the fact that I could never make this myself, I say it is well worth the price.
Because this was a really special sandwich day, I decided to splurge and get myself a side of their bacon potato salad. I love potato salad so very much, and have honestly never found a place that serves it with bacon. I don’t know why this is; it only makes sense, especially if it also contains hard boiled eggs…it’s like breakfast in a creamy, mayonnaisy scoop! Who wouldn’t want that?
So you can imagine my disappointment when, at home, I discovered they gave me not the glorious meaty potato salad, but fucking QUINOA. MOTHERFUCKING QUINOA. Sure, it was the healthier option, and sure it probably saved me from having a heart attack that day, but there is nothing as disappointing as expecting bacon and getting a super grain. To be fair, it was really good, even better the second day, once the flavors had time to meld. It had a nice garlicky richness, a vinegary bite, and the tomatoes and cucumbers were refreshing..so yeah, it wasn’t the worst side I could have received. But still, man. Goddamn quinoa.
Price: I’m not going to lie, it’s pretty expensive. But if you’re going to budget for a sandwich, this should be the one. Also, I don’t think it is humanly possible to eat a whole in one sitting, so you really get two meals for the price of one.
Menu: A large handful of unique specialty sandwiches along with the option of building your own. They also offer salads, for the weak.
Ambiance: Is artisanal an ambiance? Because I think it should be. Okay, if not it’s young, it’s hip, it’s fun, but you can tell they all take it seriously and know what they’re doing. Except for the guy packing to-go bags. He needs some retraining.
Sides: Well as you know there are potato and quinoa salads, and also a bunch of potato chips. OH! Before I forget! They have the most amazing soda fountain–all the sodas are made with pure cane sugar and the flavors include lemon lime, diet cola, cola, root beer, orange, and SHIRLEY TEMPLE. Where have you been all my life?
Second Trip Worthy? It’s taken every ounce of willpower I have not to go back and try that Dapper Dipper.
Overall rating: 15 out of 10 sandwiches!