The Taste Bud: Grab life by the sandwich

May 18, 2011 at 5:00 am

Sometimes I think the sandwich is the perfect food concept. Think about it: It’s meat you can grab and eat, but without actually grabbing the meat. And you can put other tasty stuff on it, because the two slices of bread — or as I prefer to refer to them, meat handles — provide a tidy way to hold it all together.

Plus, a sandwich can come in a ridiculous number of forms, from the standard lunch meat variety to the hamburger, to the taco (it’s a Mexican sandwich, OK?), or to more fancy versions on gourmet breads like ciabatta, and with fancy-pants ingredients like prosciutto and Brie, with fig confit. Pinkies up.

Now, compare that prosciutto and Brie with fig confit on ciabatta to fried bologna on Wonder bread with mustard — say what you want, but they are both still members of the sandwich family. Much like you and your creepy uncle, they may look and smell absolutely nothing alike, but they are still related.

But enough of that. There are so many places around Louisville to get a good sandwich — from Joe Davola’s on Barret (love the Psycho Savory Roast Beef) to Blue Dog Bakery on Frankfort (spicy tuna with chopped egg on bruschetta, please) — that the possibilities are ridiculous.

So, in tribute to the incomparable sandwich, I decided to go to Louisville’s sandwich mecca: Morris’ Liquors & Deli. (Didn’t see that one coming, did you?)

Seriously, Morris’ has been around a long time, and even if you’ve never been, you have probably driven past and simply dismissed it as a run-down liquor store. Tucked into a small space on Taylorsville Road near Bardstown Road, Morris’ may look the part of a neighborhood liquor store, but there is a deli counter there that cannot be stopped.

I made my first visit to the place recently and was met with not only a wide variety of choices, but extremely friendly service. Basically, sandwich components, from types of bread to meat to cheese to condiments, are grouped separately, and you build your own from the choices available. Kick. Ass.

You’ve got the standards like roast beef, white bread, American cheese, tomatoes, mayo, etc., and you also have options like country ham, smoked turkey, pepper jack cheese, Düsseldorf mustard and more.

I built a smoked turkey on sourdough with sharp white cheddar, bacon, sinus-opening mustard (the friendly lady who took my order actually wrote “sinus” on my ticket) and hot pickles. Oh yeah, and there is a beer cave chock-full of cold beers of all kinds (and not just the fizzy yellow stuff, either).

An aside: The friendly “chef” who built my sandwich approached as I waited at one of the handful of tables in the front of the store and placed a small cardboard boat of sliced pickles in front of me. They were draped with hot peppers as well.

“I wanted you to try these before I loaded you up,” he said. “They are really hot.” He was right — they were delicious, but decidedly evil. I agreed that I would simply eat the pickles on the side, and even though I love spicy food, I was only able to eat four of the six pickle slices he presented.

As for the sandwich, it was everything I had dreamed of. The bread was soft and fresh, the turkey was ample and tender, the cheese was delicious, the bacon was crisp and salty, and the mustard — well, it tasted great, but my sinuses were already wide open thanks to the pickles. (I couldn’t taste anything by the time I was done.)

Oh, and did I mention my sandwich was under $4? Ridiculous.

So let’s hear it for grabbing life by the sandwich — if you think about it, there really is no better way to eat your meat.