Friday, June 18, 2010

Mozzarella Sandwich at Paul

One of the nice things about Paul Bakery is the wide range of options available. Not only does it have every kind of bakery item, from tarts and eclairs to croissants and danishes to salads and sandwiches, but each category even includes a variety of choices. And those choices, when it comes to sandwiches, aren't limited to having a nice range of fillings, both meat and vegetarian. The thing I appreciate almost as much, and which is more unusual, is that the sandwiches come in various sizes. There are the long sandwiches, made on a thin mini-baguette, which are just the right size to fill me up at lunchtime; there are the slightly shorter sandwiches on a hot-dog-bun-like brioche, which is very light and isn't quite enough for me; there are the sandwiches on a croissant, which are rich and delicious but don't fill me up at all. And then there's this: a tomato, mozzarella, and pesto sandwich on a short but substantial mini-loaf of olive bread. This sandwich is just right for days when I'm not too hungry, but still want something chewy enough to feel like a meal.
Like everything at Paul, it's a bit on the salty side, but the zingy flavors are worth the thirst you will suffer for the rest of the afternoon. The bread is just as good as the filling. It's thick but soft, lightly dusted with flour, and bursting with slices of both black and green olives. The inside is a decadent three fat slices of fresh mozzarella cheese - the soft white kind that comes in a ball, not the yellow kind that comes in a square - alternating with slices of tomato, all dribbled with pesto and grounded with a leaf of lettuce. Considering that the full-length camembert sandwich also has three slices of cheese, I consider this mozzarella sandwich to be a pretty good deal - less bread, but equal filling. It costs slightly less than the full length sandwiches, too, though the fancy ingredients (and the fact that it's Paul Bakery) keep the price relatively high: 473 yen.
It's a chain with shops around the world - they were all over London, so now I feel a bit of anglophilic nostalgia every time I visit the one on the first floor of my office building.

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