I’ve walked past Saltie so many times I thought I‘d actually eaten there already. It’s at a particular locus between my apartment and other haunts that means I’m usually not hungry when I pass by. Yesterday, I was.
And I faced the scary menu. Sardines, pickled egg, capers, pickled carrot and parsley sound more like someone’s pranking you than suggesting a sandwich. But you remember that Saltie is in some way connected to Marlow & Daughters and the ingredients suddenly transform into hidden secrets you never dreamt of.
So I ordered the Captain’s Daughter (the aforementioned combination) with a cup of hot chocolate. The hot chocolate was excellent; thick and creamy, with just the right level of sweetness. Even if as soon as I was out the door I pondered what made me think to order a hot chocolate with a fish sandwich. But it was an excellent hand warmer for the walk home.
The sandwich was excellent. Most things placed on fresh focaccia are. The saltiness of the capers brought out the best in the sardine, which was slightly muted by the pickled egg, and the parsley, bathed in something acidic, cut through any heft. So, yes, I do suggest you give it a try.
But that isn’t why I felt the need to write this. Now, I can’t give a full review of the place because I’ve only been there the one time, but the fact is, the sandwich was $10. Actually, all of the sandwiches were $10 or hovering slightly above, which makes you wonder how they figure out what to charge. In any case, I would gladly pay $10 for the sandwich on taste alone. What enraged me was when I got home I discovered that my sandwich wasn’t even cut in half. Ten dollars and you couldn’t cut my sandwich in half?
Fine. Whatever. I’ll get over it. It tastes that good. But what’s this? My bread is falling to pieces. Remember, this isn’t a cold-cut sandwich; you need to apply pressure to keep all the pieces of fish and egg from falling out. In trying to keep your sandwich whole, you inevitably begin to bend it. The more it bends, the more it falls apart.
Again, for $10 you couldn’t cut my sandwich in half?
This is the problem with charging so much for something as quotidian as a sandwich. It brings it up a level in expectation. If this were maybe $7, I would be back again and again. But when you ask someone to pay that much for a sandwich and you don’t deliver perfection, it’s hard not to be disappointed.
Also, why the fuck are sardines and eggs costing me this much? I know this is exotic food to the uninitiated but, really, this is peasant food. The kind of thing my Dad would whip up for me for lunch on a Saturday when my Mom wasn’t around to complain about the smell.
We Brooklynites love our food. Especially anything novel. And often around here, things are as advertised. Saltie makes very good food – let that not get lost in this rant – but I just want to get what I pay for. Or vice versa.