The first time I walked into little t, I knew. I sat down with my bowl of granola, yogurt and berries, sipped my complimentary cucumber water, and gazed into the bread case with PLANS. little t is a new bakery in SE Portland, a few miles away from my apartment, and it might be one of my new favorite places. But it was really true love the first time I noticed the compact loaves of pretzel bread sitting in the case. Let's face it- I could make my own pretzel bread, but a quick glance in the cupboard showed that I didn't have any flour, coarse salt, or even cornmeal for dusting. Boo! Besides, the idea I had stirring gave me an excuse to walk to little t and enjoy the lovely rain we were finally blessed with, after a scorching weekend.
Yesterday morning, we stopped into little t for breakfast and I saw on the menu that they actually have a ham & cheese on pretzel sandwich, so I had one, and it was amazing. Those huge hunks of coarse salt- dear lord. But that didn't deter me from my plan- it only strengthened my craving. What I really, really wanted- pastrami- they didn't have at the New Seasons deli, so I stuck with ham. Jason wanted ham anyway. I walked the almost 4 mile round-trip hike to the bakery, picked up my pretzel breads, stopped at the market for meat, and when I got home, I practically counted the seconds until dinner time.
And so, I did it. I made what I wanted, and it was the bomb: Ham & Swiss on pretzel bread, with mayonnaise, stone ground mustard, and just a little bit of sauerkraut. Hubby wanted his sandwich cold, but I opted for open-faced melt. Right now I'm staring at the last (I got an extra) pretzel loaf sitting on the board on my stove, thinking- should I? Should I warm it up and dip it in some mustard, or just tear into it the way it is? Probably not, but it's not like it'll keep overnight. The moisture in the bread will slowly destroy the salt crystals, which will in turn pucker and harden the crust. No, I think I'll have to take care of this leftover loaf myself.
The only thing that could be more perfect than a ham & swiss on pretzel- is the fat sausage that I'm going to stuff one with next week. Hey vegetarians: I'm sorry I don't have anything to offer you. If you can find a vegetarian filling for a pretzel sandwich that tops cured meat, aged cheese, and pickled vegetables- do drop me a line. I'd love to hear all about it.