Mortadella, smoked city ham, capocollo, pepperoni — all made in-house and piled in deliberate order for the grinder at Hearth & Dram. The sandwich also features generous servings of mayo, lettuce, onions, red wine vinaigrette and Havarti cheese, sitting between a Hawaiian-style roll.
"We tried hoagie breads at first, but this roll is really the perfect balance of Hawaiian and white bread," explained chef Jeffrey Wall. It's made with flour, egg, cream, butter and yeast. A squeeze of pineapple juice gives it the added sweetness.
But the draw of the sandwich is definitely not the bread (though it’s delicious, too).
It's what’s inside that counts. Charcuterie is an act of love. It takes time, thought, deliberation and a lot of physical strain and attention. There are saws involved, as well as tedious weighing and knot-tying.
"Making charcuterie sounds really romantic — taking the time to cure a piece of meat, let it sit in the fridge and unveil it weeks later. But a lot of people have no idea how much effort goes into it. Your hands bleed the first time you tie this many knots to keep everything tight," said Wall.
This process is in fact romantic to him though. He pays incredible attention to detail, weighing all his spices for the perfect combination for each and every element of a dish.
"We could easily buy every ingredient in this sandwich,” Wall said. “But that isn't as genuine. This is about delivering something that is more than necessary. I want to make each element a caricature of itself. The bread has to be crispy, the meat has to be seared, the onions have to be sliced perfectly, the lettuce crunchy. It's quintessential to our style because we put so much time into it."
And if you look at the rest of the menu and taste some of it, you'll see exactly how the grinder fits. There are caricatures of ingredients all over the restaurant. Wall is committed to giving his guests food that he is proud of.
The grinder has been on the menu for just more than a month, and the response has been great. It's an unexpected take on a traditional grinder, but one that you'll be happy with.
"There's no pretense with this dish. It's not fancy,” Wall said. “It's still a sandwich. But we make it with so much love.”