It’s easy to sing the praises of sandwiches, especially in a city with many great sandwich spots. Eater had previously talked about the wonders of croissant sandwiches, but there’s another type of sandwich that’s worth talking about: focaccia sandwiches. Much like the French pastry iteration, it makes use of a not-expected carb to blanket all sorts of sweet and savory layered ingredients, resulting in a fantastic sandwich.
Focaccia is a perfect sandwich vehicle. The olive oiled Italian bread has a sturdy exterior and soft and fluffy interior that can handle both wet condiments and thick slabs of meats and vegetables. (It’s a big hit in Los Angeles.) The springy texture is too bold to ignore, bringing the bread to the forefront of all bites, but in a way that isn’t overpowering. It’s a well-balanced medley.
The first and foremost spot slinging focaccia sandwiches in Austin is new Eater 38 entrant Casper Fermentables. The Sunset Valley deli is known for its sourdough breads, including great focaccia. For lunchtime, it uses the bread in all sorts of sandwiches, but there’s one standout that showcase co-owner Ben Hollander’s Jewish and Korean backgrounds with the Italian bread. The kimchi tuna melt adds its punchy fermented vegetables and then grills the whole sandwich lending to a brightened iteration of the classic Jewish staple.
For a second spot, try brand-new cafe Pershing East (which took over what had been Greater Goods’s East Austin coffee shop) also makes lunchtime focaccia sandwiches. Of particular note, the Pinocchio is a fun sweet and savory combination. The rather large sandwich (it’s worth asking the staff to cut it in half) is layered with pistachios, a creamy zucchini pesto, rich and soft stracciatella cheese, and just-rightly-sized slices of mortadella.
Fall is bread season anyway, so it’s worth hunkering down with very hearty focaccia sandwiches.