The man making my sandwich said he made the best sandwich in Paris and—though he was dancing and schmoozing and obviously full of shit—I’ll be damned, but I think he was right.
I was inside the Marché des Enfants-Rouges, a fun little hall off rue de Bretagne filled with the expected stands: fruits and veggies, flowers, organic wine, cheese... But there are also some good “fast food” joints: sushi, falafel, and this bio boulangerie that also makes nocca, crepes and—sandwiches. I told him I wanted one but that I didn’t eat red meat and this is what he did:
He took one of those thick ciabatta loafs used for paninis. Doused it with olive oil and smooched the oil into the bread. Opened it back up and then he sprinkled on beautiful pieces of red leaf lettuce, tomato chunks and slightly sautéed onions. He reached for the mushrooms but I told him I don’t like them. Avocado? Do I like avocado? Oui, s'il vous plait!
A few slices of avocado and then he sprinkled on chives and added cheese. I don’t know exactly what kind (I have to find out), but it was a semi-hard, creamy cow’s milk cheese, sliced thinly and added sparingly. Then organic smoked salmon, also distributed in modest, thin slices. More olive oil and then lemon juice. Voila.
He put it on the crepe burner and pressed it down and then just let it heat up for bit. While he did that, he popped a mini pain aux raisins on the other crepe burner and toasted that up for me. A heavenly little treat while I waited.
He flipped the sandwich on the other side, pressing, heating and toasting it evenly until it was done, dancing and singing the whole time. I took the sandwich to go, giving it about 10 minutes to all meld and congeal before eating it. When I did, it was soft on the inside but crunchy on the outside, and an unbelievable mix of flavors, textures and ingredients. I really think it was the best sandwich I've eaten, and I am dying to go back for another.