We were looking through our records last week when we realized we had never done a Food Snob at Capital Deli – the place that won the most recent Cappies award for best deli – so we decided we owed it to ourselves and our readers to go check it out.
The place is a little hidden – it’s downtown, but it’s not right on the sidewalk of Main Street. You have to go a layer back to Capital Plaza to find it, but it’s a trip that’s well worth the effort.
The deli serves breakfast and lunch on weekdays, and we stopped by around 1:30 last Tuesday looking for lunch. The menu features loads of specialty sandwiches with names like Main Street Melt, C-Town Steak and Cheese and The Jeannie, but the one that caught our eye the most was the Porky Mac.
The Porky Mac is a sandwich of pulled pork, mac ‘n’ cheese, sauteed onions, melted cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce on sourdough bread. Since we love every one of those ingredients, we ordered one with great enthusiasm.
It was served steaming hot, and it looked like it just came out of a panini press – it had those familiar straight lines pressed into the bread.
The first bite contained an unexpected explosion of flavor. The taste was decidedly smoky and very barbecuey. The interesting part, though, was that this sandwich was not at all dripping with sauce – it’s as though all that smoky goodness was just cooked right into the pulled pork.
The bites went by fast and furiously. Despite the fact that it’s a combination of bread, macaroni and cheese and pork, it didn’t feel heavy at all and was easy to pound down bite after bite.
Another thing we really liked was the bread. Sure, it’s just sourdough bread, but it was toasted perfectly – a light golden color providing just a bit of crispiness –and was the ideal thickness. One downside to getting a sandwich on sourdough is that often the bread slices are just too thick, which slows the whole process down and distracts from whatever meats may be inside.
As for the other ingredients, they were really minor accents that existed to support the main attraction, the pulled pork. The sandwich was certainly full of mac ‘n’ cheese, though its flavor wasn’t overly strong. Also, the menu indicated it was supposed to come with sauteed onions, though ours mysteriously lacked them. The Porky Mac is good without the onions, though as a huge onion fan, we were sad we didn’t get any.
All of that said, it’s not like we walked out of there with our heads down. This proved to be a very tasty sandwich that packed a much bigger punch than we were expecting. The pulled pork was tender, juicy and full of flavor – it would have been fine to just eat the pulled pork by itself.
Stop by any weekday before 2 p.m. (summer hours are still in effect for now) and give the place a try. Check out the menu at capitaldelillc.com.