We are lucky to live in the golden age of the sandwich. This efficient delivery system of carbs and protein — a portable meal, if you will — has evolved into more than just some deli slices between two pieces of bread.
However, in this new world of the sandwich there is a delicate dance between too much evolution (I once had a cheese steak in Philadelphia made with shaved pork loin and mushy broccoli raab) and not enough development (if white bread is a choice, I raise an eyebrow). So where is a true sandwich-lover to go? Easy: Joe Davola’s (901 Barret Ave., 690-5377).
There are many reasons to love this place. First of all, it is named after the Seinfeld character “Crazy” Joe Davola, who suffers from mental instability and aggressive behavior and most notably leaves a message on Jerry’s answering machine that he is going to “put the kibosh” on Jerry. (As homage to its namesake, Joe Davola’s plays Seinfeld episodes on a television in the front of the restaurant.) Secondly, co-owner Christopher Stockton mans the register and greets costumers with a charming British accent, happily guiding first-timers through the menu. But lastly, and mostly, it is the sandwiches.
Davola’s has achieved the balance of dishing up classic ingredients with a refreshing twist. The Belligerent BLPT is a current obsession. Bacon, lettuce and tomato combine with roasted garlic pimento cheese on thick-cut wheat berry bread for sandwich nirvana. On the Mad Maple Baked Turkey, an apricot aioli jazzes up the usual suspects of turkey, Swiss, lettuce and tomato. The rest of the menu does not disappoint. Salads are big and plentiful with house-made dressings, and soups, also homemade, range from a variety of three or four each day. Stockton says to be on the lookout for cold melon soups this season, too.
Photo: Courtesy of Louisville Magazine/John Nation