Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Saltie: Stormy Seas

Apple Gallette

After having it recommended to me several times, I finally tripped over to Saltie yesterday afternoon. Saltie is a tiny sandwich shop near Metropolitan and Havemeyer in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Sandwiches (with nautical names), drinks, and desserts are served there, so I settled in for a simple, two-course lunch.

Saltie sandwich

I ordered a Scuttlebutt (sandwich), which turned out to be a beauty, built on attractive (focaccia?) bread and filled with what I identified as mozzarella cheese, black olives, capers, perfectly hard boiled egg, greens (including a lot of parsley), and something orange and fibrous that I assume was mashed sweet potato. An aioli sauce served as the dressing.

The combination of egg, greens, and sweet potato with the aioli was amazing. The focaccia bread-as-bun had a nice flavor, too, even if it was too much bread for me to eat (I find most sandwiches are too heavy on the bread, though, so this may be a personal thing). However, the capers and black olives made the sandwich incredibly salty and I ended up scraping most of them off.

I can't stress this next part enough: I like capers. I like olives. I love salt, and always thought I had a high tolerance for the seasoning, but apparently the chef at Saltie has a much greater love for the stuff than I do. She wins any "who likes salt more" competition, just by virtue of this one sandwich. I can't even come in a distant second. I understand that salt, and the interplay between salt and other elements, is an important component in their menu (hence the cafe's name), but if this sandwich is representative of the general "saltiness" level of every savory item at Saltie, it could be that none of the sandwiches here are right for me. I am surprised and humbled. 

I say this may be true of the savory menu items because I had a very different experience with the sweet part of my meal. When I turned to dessert, I found that the Apple Gallette I had chosen was not salty at all -- in a good way. I am sure there was salt in the pastry, but it didn't taste predominately of salt. Praise the heavens! The sweet pastry shell and sweet-tart apple filling came together in a way that was comforting, reassuring, and worthy of a little applause. Thank goodness for dessert.

Gallette close-up

I'd eat at Saltie again, and even try another sandwich for comparison's sake, but I have a feeling I'd be going back for the sweet -- not the salt.

[Please note that at least 4 of my good friends, who have very good taste in food, love this sandwich above all others at Saltie.  So I may have just gotten some particularly salty olives on the day I went.]

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