Can a mere sandwich make the earth move? At Roast Sandwich House in Melville, my world gets shaken more than once.
It's not just that co-owners Joe Cordaro, Matthew Doyle and Paul Doyle make virtually everything in-house, starting with roasted meats. They also compose sandwich fillings in ways both harmonious and ingenious, choosing just the right artisanal bread for the optimal bite. Sandwiches are huge, attractively served in metal casseroles, priced $6.99 to $9.59. What's not to love?
A TOAST TO ROAST
I'm still yearning for another bite of the devilishly good braised brisket and grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough. And the mellifluous California BLT featuring rare roast beef, field greens, tomato and applewood smoked bacon with garlic aioli on ciabatta. There's deep, smoky satisfaction in the hickory-smoked turkey sandwich with Monterey Jack, pepper salsa, honey-chipotle glazed bacon and avocado ranch dressing on onion hero.
Underlying the BBQ roast pork sandwich with grilled pineapple, charred red onions, Cheddar and roasted poblano aioli is a fiery fruitiness. An unusual roast chicken salad sandwich on multigrain is spread with sweet tomato jam overlaid with salty bacon. Sliced pickles top the nostalgically good tuna salad sandwich on grilled sourdough, served with house-made potato chips.
The word "dreamy" comes up often in a discussion of the meatball sandwich: tender spheres of veal, pork and beef topped with caramelized onions, oven-dried tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and Parmesan cream sauce on a garlic toasted Cuban hero.
Don't underestimate side-dish seductions: addictive roasted Brussels sprouts and carrots, toasty hand-cut fries with sea salt and black pepper, crisp sweet-potato tots (perhaps the only item not house- made).
BUT THEN ...
Soups and salads are OK, but hardly in the league of the sandwiches. Tomato bisque (served with a fine mini grilled cheese sandwich) could double as Italian vodka sauce. New England clam chowder is humdrum. Chopped roast vegetable salad gets boring after a few bites.
There's also a shortage of parking (try the rear, or around the corner).