The other day I was having some coffee outside Cafe Regular with a friend of mine who is a police officer. As we finished our coffee I mentioned that I was pretty hungry. He said that although he was not too hungry, he wouldn't mind going along and getting a snack. I mused that I wanted to try someplace that I hadn't been before. My friend thought about this for a moment and then suggested that we head up to this Italian deli on 7th Ave. and 9th Street. He spoke of a caprese sandwich that, while a bit pricy, was great.
We walked the few blocks up to the place, the name of which I can't recall. Outside was a sign advertising that any sandwich with a can of soda was eight dollars. Depending on the sandwich, eight dollars didn't sound too steep. We stepped inside. The place was had a big cheese case, many kinds of pasta, and about thirty bowls of various things swimming in olive oil including olives, sundried tomatoes, and stuffed peppers of various kinds. I stepped up to the counter and the guy behind it asked what I wanted, but, oddly, seemed to be looking behind me. I don't just mean that he wasn't making eye contact with me, I mean that he seemed to be looking at someone in particular. I looked behind me, but no one was there.
"What'll you have?" he repeated as I turned back to face him. I tried to make eye contact to confirm it was me that he was talking to, but he continued to look past me.
"Me?" I finally asked.
"Yes," he responded as if it were an absurd question.
I ordered the caprese sandwich and he nodded, still seemingly looking at someone other than me. I looked over at my friend to see if he had noticed the interaction, but he was busy selecting a loaf of bread to purchase. I turned my attention to the drink cooler. The sign outside had offered a free can of soda and, as I perused the options, I wondered if by "can" the sign specifically meant a can or if the offer extended to bottles as well. It turned out not to be an issue because I spotted cans of San Pellegrino Limonata, one of my all-time favorite drinks. Still, I wondered if the sign referred only to the cans soda on the top row of the cooler, which were all things like Coke and Sprite. I wondered if, when I grabbed my drink of choice, I would be advised by an employee that I had not selected one included in the sign's offer. I mentioned this train of thought to my friend and he suggested that I play it safe and wait until I had received my sandwich so that I could grab my soda on my way out.
A minute later my sandwich was ready. I gave the guy eight dollars and he gave me a bag with my sandwich. I peered inside the bag and saw that that sandwich was huge. It came on an entire baguette. Although I couldn't see the nature of the contents, as it was wrapped in white paper, my hopes were running high. I grabbed my soda, quickly put it into the bag with the sandwich, and stepped outside, followed by my friend, who had just purchased his bread. At this point we split up and I went home to eat my sandwich.
Upon arrival back at my apartment I took a seat at the peninsula in my kitchen. Another friend of mine, the one whose cookies I ate about a month ago, was also seated at the peninsula typing away on his computer. He paused for a moment to look skeptically on as I unwrapped my sandwich. As he went back to typing I knew I was about to eat an amazing sandwich. It was piled high with fresh mozzarella, sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and basil. I ate the first half of the sandwich and found it to be just as good as it looked and twice as filling. Having learned my lesson from the donut incident I called it quits at this point. I refrigerated the remaining half of the sandwich. Upon further reflection I would say that nearly everything about the sandwich was great, except for the bread which, though plentiful, was only pretty good.
Caprese Sandwich: A
Bread Used: B+
The Guy Who Made the Caprese Sandwich Not Looking at Me: C+
Overall Experience: A-