Between Two Slices: Scolari's Good Eats in Alameda


Between Two Slices is SFoodie's Friday sandwich column by Adrian Spinelli. Today's entry is a guest post from our “quasi-vegetarian” chum, Spencer Watts. And rest assured, Spencer still runs the whole gamut of the menu. Enjoy!

When I stepped into Scolari’s on Park Street in Alameda, I was two Chardonnays and a beer-tasting deep. The Art & Wine Fest in Alameda was winding down and I had tired of waiting for the cover band to play my all-time favorite oldie, Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al.” It was hot. I was bored. I was hangry. They weren’t playing the damn song. I was contemplating the possibility of making a furtive escape to BART back to the city and considering it seriously when the guest of honor in our roaming birthday party made a suggestion to cure all.

“Let’s go to Scolari’s,” he said. “Their sandwiches are amazing and they’re just around the corner.”

[jump] It was about the fourth time he had brought up the restaurant, and my initial response (in my head because I’m not rude) was a theatrical eye roll and an expressive head tilt. I’m a quasi-vegetarian — how am I supposed to pretend I don’t like eating bacon and pulled pork when I’m being dragged to a sandwich shop? How do I dodge the behest of the birthday boy? Am I hungry enough to…

“They have a bar next door too and you can bring the food in there,” he added.

Oh.

I stepped into the little shop, up to the counter and perused my options. Scolari’s has a rotating menu of sandwiches, and they’re currently offering combos like a black fig and marcona almond chicken salad on house bread crostini, and Homemade spicy andouille sausage on a hero roll with Dijonnaise and muffaletta.” This is très highbrow for such a teeny space. My partner settled instantly on the “Redneck Parfait” ($10), which is exactly what it sounds like: a parfait of pork, mac ‘n' cheese, and baked beans, topped with coleslaw and tortilla “whiskers.” He seemed to enjoy it. (He finished it fast enough to burp inordinately over the next several days.)

I went with something that met my desired criteria for all my favorite meals: cheese, tomatoes, crusty bread. They had the perfect choice; the trifecta: the Early Girl tomato and marinated summer squash tartine with stracciatella, basil puree, olive oil, and Maldon sea salt on grilled country bread”.

These are all of my favorite things.

We ambled over to Lucky 13 next door and walked through the bar to sit at a big patio table outside (there are several big tables outdoors behind the bar). I opened up the to-go box and began to nosh. It smelled like buttery olive oil and fresh basil, melted cheese and fresh tomatoes. It smelled like summer at dusk is supposed to.

It tasted even better. The crusty bread provided the perfect amount of structure to the open-faced sandwich, and though the stracciatella was melting into the grain, the combination gave it a soft crunch. The fresh tomatoes and basil was a nod to a caprese salad, but combined with the other components, it was heartier than expected. All in all, it was by far the best $10 I have ever spent on a sandwich (and there wasn’t even any bacon!).

Recommended Sides

– Beer battered pickle chips. Crispy and not very greasy, which is a rarity among fried things. For more than two people, get two orders.

– Corn hushpuppies are not that easy to find, but Scolari’s offers them along with cayenne honey butter. These are good enough to get two orders just for yourself.

Scolari's Good Eats1303 Park St., Alameda, 510-521-2400.

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