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This excellent purveyor of sandwiches can be found masquerading as as a third-wave java joint in Greenwood Heights. For some time now, Southside Coffee has been serving up well-brewed George Howell espresso and drip coffee to an appreciative crowd of stocking-capped laptoppers and young mothers toting tots in Ergobaby slings. But, over the summer of 2015, partner Ben Jones (who also co-owns the restaurant Lot 2 across the street) added sandwiches to the lineup along with a talented sandwich-maker named Josh Sobel, and it’s safe to say that Southside Coffee is now as much a destination for Italian heros, tuna melts, and bacon-egg-and-cheese sandwiches as it is for cortados and macchiatos.
Sobel’s bona fides include kitchen stints at sandwich powerhouses Court Street Grocers and Mile End Deli, and the pedigree shows. Every one of his sandwiches is simply superb. As at Bunk, the focus is on upgrading the classics. Thus the turkey in the turkey hero is roasted over at Lot 2, then loaded with Swiss, lettuce, avocado, and pickled red onion onto a Sriracha-mayo’d Caputo roll. It’s moist, solid, satisfying. Ditto the tuna melt with sweet housemade bread-and-butter pickles on pan-griddled multigrain bread. There’s also much to love about the juicy Italian combo (mortadella, salami, soppressata). It comes with sliced onion, iceberg lettuce, provolone, and Parmesan, and a three-pronged approach to lubrication: a classic oil-and-vinegar dressing, a piquant muffaletta-like olive-and-pepper spread, and a swipe of Duke’s mayonnaise. Yes, among the cognoscenti, dressing Italian heros with mayonnaise — and not even Hellmann’s! — is considered an outrageous act of desecration akin to dousing USDA prime steak with Heinz. But it’s a trick Sobel learned during his stint at Court Street Grocers, and the practice is apparently winning over skeptics, the Underground Gourmet included.
As delicious as the above concoctions are, Southside’s masterwork is the drippy, soul-soothing, hangover-quashing Southside breakfast sandwich: unfathomably fluffy scrambled eggs, Heritage Meats ham, Cheddar, pickled onion, and “breakfast mayo” on a toasted brioche roll. What, you ask, is breakfast mayo? Well, it’s a riff on red-eye mayo, a recipe Sobel freely admits borrowing from the Momofuku cookbook. His take is essentially housemade mayo mingled with maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and George Howell coffee grounds, and something that once sampled you’ll crave forever.
Southside is also known for its pastries and apple pie, baked by Lot 2 pastry chef Amber Sather. On weekends, this young sugar whiz sends over a batch of freshly baked buttermilk biscuits, which Sobel stuffs with eggs, bacon, and pickled jalapeños. The promise of one is enough to roust the deepest sleeper, but happily the BEC biscuit (and every other breakfast sandwich) is available to the very civilized hour of 3 p.m. — or at least until the biscuits run out.Ideal Meal
Southside breakfast sandwich, coffee.
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