Thursday, September 27, 2007

Urbane Cafe. So Chic~ (SD)

I love sandwiches. I just love how all the ingredients express themselves so well together. Each ingredient enhances the overall enjoyment of the sandwich. The crisper the lettuce, the firmer the tomato, the tastier the meat, the more delicious the bread.. it all leads to a better sandwich.
So when a new sandwich shop opened up next to school I decided to give it a shot.

Cafe Urbane is a chain store (as much as 2 stores can be called a chain) that prides itself on selling sandwiches made with freshly cooked lean meats, homemade sauces, and a fresh Focaccia bread produced every hour. They have chicken to pastrami on their menu and some assorted soups and salads.

Like every chain store that tries to cater to the "gourmet" , it's not that cheap. You're looking at a $7 sandwich. To justify the $7 cost they add a small portion of their House Salad which is just mixed greens, some vinaigrette and some goat cheese.

The way the setup is at the store is extremely similar to Daphne's Greek Cafe.
You have a bunch of workers behind a glass pane filling your order. One person slices the bread applies the sauce, another puts the meat on, another drops on the salad and your order is ready.
For my meal I decided to get a Pastrami sandwich. Its a pretty simple sandwich, just pastrami, tomatoes, provolone, and some deli mustard.
Looks decently appetizing right? Sadly pastrami is not meant to be eaten like this, a slim skinnier cousin of its normal pastrami Deli self.
I mean look at it!
Its just swabs of mustard a little bit of cheese and 2-3 scant slices of "lean" pastrami. This was my mistake, I'm used to pastrami sandwiches brimming with meat and fat trimmings. This.. is for the health centric people looking to say "look at me! I'm eating a pastrami sandwich! look at how I don't even care about my diet!"

Apart from my disbelief that a pastrami sandwich could be smaller than a whole inch wide, the sandwich itself didn't taste half bad. It did lack in tomatoes (uh.. nice, 2 whole pieces of mini tomatoes) but the bread and the meat were decent.

The "fresh" (fresh as in.. 3-4hours ago? its lunch time! 12pm! where the hell is my fresh bread?! you aren't getting anymore customers than you will right now!) bread was soft, almost like a nice thick pita bread. I wouldn't go as far to call it foccacia but it was still a decent bread. I can just imagine it fresh.. so warm soft and tasty *drool*.

The pastrami was decent deli meat, it just needed some fat. It was so lean I thought I was eating ham at one point. If you had just told me this was a ham sandwich I would have believed you.

The salad.. I took one bite out of and didn't eat anymore. I normally love mixed wild greens but there was no flavor from the "dressing" so it tasted pretty bland.

Matt's Roast turkey sandwich was supposedly pretty good so its not a complete miss.

Urbane Cafe
5375 Napa St, San Diego, CA


KirkK said...

Hey Clayfu - That was some contrast...compared to the Hat, huh? ;o)

Charlie Fu said...

kirk: haha yes, wanted to show the world two sides of health. Heart attack and non heart attacks.

Anonymous said...

First of all, the pastrami sandwich is one of my favorites. I spoke with the owner and they always put 4 oz of meat, which is plenty, unless you have the need to overeat. You don't go to a gourmet sandwich shop to pay $3 for a preservative filled-out of the freezer style sandwich. Urbane Cafe is a cozy little place with great food and I eat there at least twice a week. I see them making the bread everytime I'm in there. Mabe you need to give them another shot. Try the So Cal sandwich. You won't be disapointed!

Charlie Fu said...

i'd hardly consider Urbane to be considered "gourmet sandwich". More like a standard shop trying to be gourmet.

Gourmet is probably more along the lines of Waters across the street which i need to talk about in the near future.