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For the last few months, Picasso’s has been serving up artisan style sandwiches with a full spectrum of ingredients. Donny Wisniewski and Ray Stoltz wanted to open up a sandwich shop 0ffering gourmet sandwiches you can’t find anywhere else in town, and they have definitely achieved that. Located in the Starbucks Plaza outside of the mall, the shop serves sandwiches that are named after different works of art or artists themselves. To create an interesting atmosphere, they feature (and sell) work from local artists, who get a featured sandwich created and named after them. Amanda and I wanted to try a few different sandwiches and, luckily for us, they offer a half sandwich option for everything on the menu. We decided on five half sandwiches to get a good variety.
First, we tried the Michelangelo. Chicken and bacon alfredo was topped with provolone cheese and grilled on multi-grain bread. The cheese melted with the alfredo sauce and a wonderfully gooey mess resulted. The crispy bread added texture and crunch. The sandwich was loaded with flavors reminiscent of homemade comfort food and warmed us both to the core. Serve this sandwich with a bowl of tomato soup and you’d have a perfect meal for a chilly fall day.
The Mona Lisa has been a favorite of mine since the shop opened. Thin sliced turkey, havarti cheese, artichoke hearts, baby spinach, tomato, and delicious pesto mayo form decadent layers on multi-grain bread. The numerous ingredients might make you think there’s too much going on, but the flavors worked together seamlessly. The artichoke hearts and the pesto mayo gave the sandwich a slight tanginess that the buttery, salty havarti contrasted beautifully.
Next, we tried the Da Vinci. This masterpiece was filled with sliced Italian sausage, a large, multi-colored cheese ravioli, and alfredo sauce. The fennel and pepper from the sausage added great spice to the sandwich. The creamy, well-seasoned, cheesy interior of the ravioli combined with the alfredo really made the sandwich sing. It was salty and rich and was the closest thing to a perfect sandwich I’ve ever tasted.
The Kinnane was a playful twist on a childhood favorite. Tasty multi-grain bread was smeared with peanut butter and topped with apple slices and crispy bacon. The apples and peanut butter have a delicious, but similar texture that really depends on the crispiness of the bacon. The salty bacon and the sweet apples with peanut butter create a very cohesive, and delectable, work of art.
Finally, we tried the featured artist’s sandwich, the Joe James. Pumpernickel bread was topped with plain alfredo macaroni and cheese, thick slices of tomato, onions, and cheddar cheese. Having mac and cheese on a sandwich was different, but a good different. Like the Michelangelo, the alfredo sauce was wonderfully rich without being overly heavy. The onions and the pumpernickel bread worked in tandem to elevate the sandwich to a whole new level. It also came with a chocolate gold coin on the side.
Thanks to everyone at Picasso’s for the fantastic lunch. Not only is the food great, but the atmosphere is fun as well. Aspiring artists can create their own masterpieces with chalk on the painter’s palette-shaped tables and while you recharge with food, your phone can do the same at their charging station. Picasso’s also offers gluten-free options for an extra $2. If you can’t find something that sounds good on the menu, you can always create your own “self portrait” sandwich from any/all of the items listed on the menu. I will be back for sure to try the rest of the sandwiches on the menu and try my hand at making my own.
The phone number to place an order is 866-1183. Their hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Sandwich prices range from $3 to $8. Combo meals that include a sandwich, chips or a whole pickle, and a drink are also available for an additional charge.
Keep sending me your recommendations for sandwich stops to email@example.com or to the Beard Vs. Food Facebook. Remember to come back and vote as well.
Also, local restaurants are vying to be the one who delivers the official burger of the Perry 200 celebration. Voting starts today and there are 11 tasty options. The two entries with the most votes will battle in a live taste-test in which I am part of the judges panel. Click here to see the entries. Voting ends Friday, October 19.
Until next time,
Andrew — Beard vs. Food