This is Delicatus, the new Pioneer Square sandwichery on 1st Ave S in the storefront where Longhorn BBQ used to serve up its salted meaty wares.
As soon as you enter Delicatus, you are confronted with two long chalkboards, each has a list of sandwiches whose names reference bits of Seattle history and lore: The Gypsy Rose Lee (prosciutto, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic), the Fire of 1889 (braised pork, jalapeno-lime aioli), the Ballard Lox (har). Many of them sound very delicious, and so it’s no easy task, this deciding what to order at Delicatus.
The meats are Zoe’s, the breads are Essential Baking and Brenner Brothers, the vibe is gourmet but casual—like Fremont’s Homegrown, but with fewer recycling containers and a refreshing hustle behind the sandwich bar that feels as East Coast as a corned beef on rye.
As you wait for your ‘wich, take a moment to stare up at a massive and mesmerizing butcher’s drawing of a cow, its body divided—as if the various divisions were geographical entities—into their corresponding cuts: shank, tenderloin, brisket. These posters may have become something of a hipster affectation, but they are still cool. Did you know that brisket came from there?
Prices range from $7.75 to $9 and each sandwich comes with your pick of potato salad, coleslaw, or chips—though the chips were 86ed at around 12:30 today. Fortunately, the boys of Delicatus seem to have a light hand with the mayonnaise—the coleslaw had a winning sweetness and a reassuring crunch.
Word is out on Delicatus. Expect to wait in line, and again for your lunch. And if you go in the next few days, remember to give Delicatus a little slack with the mix-ups and the 86s. Something tells me that in a few weeks, this ship of sandwiches will be sailing smoothly.