La Panzanella

If you don't navigate menus with one eye on the price column, well, good for you, but be mindful that at this Capitol Hill bakery and cafe, the price of one particular sandwich ought to signify its diminutive size (as should the mention that it's served on "breadstick.") At $2.95, Panzanella's salami sandwich is a mere bookmark of a meal, but we Americans could do with some portion control—and some lunchtime options in the three-dollar-and-under category, too. True, the sandwich is just half a dozen thin slices of good, garden-variety Italian salami and some smoky, tangy provolone cheese warmed in a 6-inch piece of chewy, lovely baguette, but as the Europeans know, a little of something is enough when you've got full flavors and fresh, quality ingredients. Should you insist on more heft, however, order a tuna sandwich (slightly nutty and very earthy with its lemon tahini dressing, provolone, and Roma tomatoes on Panzanella's patella roll), the picture-perfect prosciutto (with mozzarella and good dose of cracked black pepper), or the portobello (Mama Lil's peppers kick it up a notch, and the sesame ciabatta bread it comes on elevates it even higher). Soups are always interesting without being ridiculous, mini-quiches are the same, and the gorgeous array of European and Europhile cookies and desserts are there for you when your bookmark sandwich is gone. 1314 E. Union St., 206-325-5217. CAPITOL HILL

 
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