I have to admit something to everybody that I'm very embarrassed about, and it doesn't have anything to do with your mom. When I originally wrote about Delicatus, I was so goddamned high I couldn't see straight. As a result, instead of writing about a tasty Pioneer Square sandwich shop, I ended up penning some meandering pointless paean to an ancient Sumerian King.
I'm as sorry as this dog felt, mere seconds after he eviscerated an infant.
I know I let everyone down. To make it up to you, I'm going to rewrite my entry about Delicatus. Please accept my apology, and remember: Don't do drugs, unless you want to do lots of really fucking awesome things.
We started with a Classic Reuben ($7.75). This was the archetype--a more platonically perfect Reuben sandwich has not been seen on earth. A huge shaggy mat of shaved corned beef, juicy and salty and colored a ruddy pink, like one of those rubber parallelogram erasers you used in grade school, was topped with sauerkraut that was tangy without tasting tinny and a droopy slice of Swiss, and was served on tawny slices of light rye bread.Not Charlie's Tuna ($7.50) was really tasty; silky chunks of albacore had been anointed with just a little bit of mayonnaise, with a crunchy scattering of celery brunoise for contrast. This tuna salad was topped with a layering of lettuce, thick and green like a stack of dollar bills, crimson slices of roma tomatoes, and a weave of finely shredded red onion on thickly-sliced wheat bread.
The Mudd Honey was, at $8.25, one of the more expensive sandwiches on the menu, but it was an interesting experiment in sandwich design: It actually CHANGED FLAVORS while you ate it! The Mudd Honey was like some sort of whimsical sandwich, perhaps developed by some impish Willy Wonka-esque figure, prepared and delivered to you by a servile race of midgets. Maybe the servile midgets have wings, maybe not. You never know.
But one thing I DO know is that the Mudd Honey had a top layer of bacon, which had been covered by melted white cheddar and barbecue sauce. Beneath the bacon was a layer of roast beef. Beneath the roast beef was a layer of turkey breast, and on the very bottom, in the crack where the two halves of the hoagie bun hinged together, was an underground river of a mild horseradish sauce. This sandwich was too wide to take a bite of the entire cross section at once, so the effect you got was of a different flavor in every bite. Sometimes you got the bacon, crispy and smoky, with the sharp white cheddar tempering the sweetness of the barbecue sauce. Other times a vein of juicy roast beef cropped up. Still other times you'd get a little turkey breast with a glossy streak of horseradish.
The Fists of Fury ($7.75) was a disappointment. Delicatus's take on the traditional Vietnamese banh-mi was too meaty, with a gigantic sloppy pile of shredded pork shoulder, a couple meager chunks of diced cucumber, and an anemic stem of cilantro, all clumped down in the middle of a baguette. There weren't enough vegetables. REAL banh-mi usually have more plants than animals on them, and are both more refreshing than the Fists of Fury, and a fraction of the price. The one interesting thing about the Fists of Fury was a delicate drift of tobiko on top. These snappy orange fish eggs gave the Fists of Fury a briny finish.
Delicatus doesn't just excel at sandwiches: Salads aren't mere afterthoughts and are a meal in their own right. The Warm Chicken Salad ($8.75) was huge and very tasty. A massive bale of romaine lettuce was topped with juicy shreds of poached chicken, creamy ivory discs of fresh mozzarella, and sliced tomatoes. The accompanying pesto dressing was thankfully served in a cup on the side, because while it was smooth and very flavorful, it reeked of raw garlic. And this is coming from a dude who loves raw garlic so much, I sometimes stick cloves of garlic into my own asshole.
Delicatus is fucking awesome. The only thing wrong with this place is that the names of the sandwiches suck: Why would they name one after perennial grunge also-rans Mudhoney? Mudhoney is the fucking Buffalo Bills of music. And Fists of Fury just sounds like they're pandering to those people who loiter around Bruce Lee's grave and cry. Even the name of the PLACE ITSELF sucks: "Delicatus" sounds like it should be breathlessly chanted by a choir, ala Mozart's Requiem or Carmina Burana, on the sound track for a horror movie: "Del-i-ca-toos. DEL-I-CA-TOOS!"
But that's a minor complaint.
Rating: 8 sober apologies out of 10
Delicatus is located at 103 1st Ave S.
To place an order call 206-623-3780.