Black Rail Coffee: A Sandwich SpotLast time I wrote about Black Rail Coffee I briefly mentioned their pressed sandwiches. This time, let’s give their sandwiches the attention they deserve, because they are pretty delicious. I feel like at most coffee shops, food is an afterthought. Obviously, great coffee is the priority, but for greater gastronomic grumbling, being limited to a pastry or some prepackaged dross is a bummer. Black Rail only has five sandwiches but they’re very deliberate, well thought out, and interesting. Their ingredients are fresh, their breads come from Hudson Bread, and they construct them in front of you.
I haven’t eaten all of their sandwiches, but the ones I have eaten were impressive. The first, called the Wasa Beef is a best seller at Black Rail. It’s roast beef, arugula, red onions, wasabi mayo and swiss cheese on rosemary focaccia bread. It was super flavorful, with a great heat coming off that wasabi mayo which cleared my sinuses. But it was a welcome heat, so I left happy and full.
The other sandwich that I ate was the Turkey Meets Ham, which is oven roasted turkey, black forest ham, swiss cheese, sweet peppers and cornichon mayo on ciabatta bread. The sweet peppers really pulled that sandwich together. I mean turkey, ham and swiss is always tasty, but the tangy sweetness of those peppers took it to the next level. Black Rail is great at creating layered flavor profiles that keeps your tastebuds interested with every bite.
That’s only two of five but I’m pretty stoked to try the rest. There’s even a vegetarian sandwich called Where’s the Meat that looks pretty appetizing despite my carnivorous inclinations. You just can’t go wrong with fresh ingredients and the execution of the panini style.
In my opinion, the single most consistent, unifying factor in all sandwich greatness is the bread. I’m very particular about bread and as they should be, so is Black Rail. They choose quality bread, slather butter on it, drop the sandwich on the panini press and the outcome is a warm, buttery crunch as your teeth pierce the compressed layers of meaty, cheesy, veggie goodness. What’s more satisfying than that first pop of the toasted crust?
Photographs by Olya Bahrynivska