June 30, 2009
Sorry for the lack of updates, technology has not been my friend of late. Anyway, it’s time for a review. Today’s sandwich comes not from a restaurant, but from a bookstore. Barnes & Noble is a large, international bookselling company. As a reader, writer, and general lover of the English language and printed word, they are very near and dear to my heart. Like many larger bookstores, the Barnes & Noble I frequent has a small cafe inside the store. The cafe serves a variety of baked goods, cheesecakes, and a couple of sandwiches, as well as some Starbucks coffee products. (Important Note: Although the cafe serves Starbucks coffee, it is NOT a Starbucks location. The sandwich I am going to describe, as well as most of the other offerings, aren’t necessarily available at your corner Starbucks.) The sandwich I sampled is called the Tomato Caprese.
The sandwich consisted of Mozzarella and Provolonecheese, roasted tomatoes, and a basil pesto spread on a foccacia roll, grilled in a sandwich press. I’m told “Caprese” refers to a type of Italian salad made up of the same general ingredients, but I’ve never had it myself. The sandwich was decent. The ingredients complemented one another well, and it had a strong, distinctive taste, which is pleasantly surprising in a vegetarian sandwich. The major problem with the sandwich was the temperature. The tomatoes may have been roasted, but they had also been refrigerated since then, and were a little too cold. The sandwich hadn’t been evenly heated, and the cheeses weren’t consistently melted. I don’t know whether this is a problem with the sandwich press, or whether my barista could have grilled it a touch longer. (Incidentally, my barista was polite and attentive. No complaints there.) Either way, the temperature of the sandwich was its major flaw, in my opinion.
The sandwich came with a bag of lightly salted Kettle Cooked potato chips, which were a nice little side. The meal (sandwich + chips) totaled to $6.50. This is about the average price of the Cafe’s sandwiches, which are usually meats and cheeses grilled in the sandwich press. It’s a little bit above my normal price range, especially since I had to buy a drink separately (as you can see in the picture, I went with a Lime Orange Mango Jones Soda, which was another $1.95). If you’re in Barnes & Noble and need to eat a meal, these sandwiches are tasty, but the price is a little steep for my tastes.