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The most boring sandwich you could make from a cow

Heart & Trotter makes it memorable

Roast beef inside a sandwich
Roast beef inside a sandwich
Place

Wise Ox

2855 El Cajon Boulevard #1, San Diego

When whole-animal butcher shop Heart & Trotter opened last spring, I was impressed with its quality selection of meats, sausages, and eggs. I didn’t know then that they had a plan to make sandwiches.

They do so three days a week, and even those days only one kind of sandwich is served. Actually, Thursdays they serve sandwiches, Friday they serve sausage on a roll, and Saturday they serve up burgers.

Heart & Trotter

I know I like the sausages, and hamburgers are tough to screw up when you start with quality beef. I was more curious as to what they could do with house-made cold cuts. As it happens, when I showed up a recent Thursday for lunch, they were serving the most boring sandwich you could make from a cow: roast beef.

Not that roast beef is bad, it’s just that it’s tough to make it into a memorable sandwich. Heart & Trotter got off to a good start using sourdough bread made by Morena District bakery Pacific Time. The lettuce and tomato were also fresh, and the slice of provolone did what provolone is good at — complementing meat without trying to compete with it.

Roast beef inside the case

All of it is a good base for a simple sandwich. But by rights a butcher shop serving sandwiches should be judged by its meat. In this case, the house roast beef held up to scrutiny. While it was sliced thin, they laid it on thick, resulting in beefy yet tender bites.

I might have appreciated a little kick — stone ground mustard or some pepper with the light mayo — but the sourdough added enough contrast to the beef to make it enjoyable. That doesn’t sound as good as “outstanding,” but like I said, conceptually roast beef is a boring sandwich, so “enjoyable” sets a high mark.

I take it as a good sign these guys have enough confidence in their meat to keep their sandwiches fairly simple. One week I shared a relatively unadorned porchetta, and another week I failed to show up in time to try their house smoked ham. Knowing that these are a possibility gives me enough reason to find out what sorts of treats they’ve come up with each week.

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Roast beef inside a sandwich
Roast beef inside a sandwich
Place

Wise Ox

2855 El Cajon Boulevard #1, San Diego

When whole-animal butcher shop Heart & Trotter opened last spring, I was impressed with its quality selection of meats, sausages, and eggs. I didn’t know then that they had a plan to make sandwiches.

They do so three days a week, and even those days only one kind of sandwich is served. Actually, Thursdays they serve sandwiches, Friday they serve sausage on a roll, and Saturday they serve up burgers.

Heart & Trotter

I know I like the sausages, and hamburgers are tough to screw up when you start with quality beef. I was more curious as to what they could do with house-made cold cuts. As it happens, when I showed up a recent Thursday for lunch, they were serving the most boring sandwich you could make from a cow: roast beef.

Not that roast beef is bad, it’s just that it’s tough to make it into a memorable sandwich. Heart & Trotter got off to a good start using sourdough bread made by Morena District bakery Pacific Time. The lettuce and tomato were also fresh, and the slice of provolone did what provolone is good at — complementing meat without trying to compete with it.

Roast beef inside the case

All of it is a good base for a simple sandwich. But by rights a butcher shop serving sandwiches should be judged by its meat. In this case, the house roast beef held up to scrutiny. While it was sliced thin, they laid it on thick, resulting in beefy yet tender bites.

I might have appreciated a little kick — stone ground mustard or some pepper with the light mayo — but the sourdough added enough contrast to the beef to make it enjoyable. That doesn’t sound as good as “outstanding,” but like I said, conceptually roast beef is a boring sandwich, so “enjoyable” sets a high mark.

I take it as a good sign these guys have enough confidence in their meat to keep their sandwiches fairly simple. One week I shared a relatively unadorned porchetta, and another week I failed to show up in time to try their house smoked ham. Knowing that these are a possibility gives me enough reason to find out what sorts of treats they’ve come up with each week.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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