• Bowery to Williamsburg (Melbourne)

As I cornered down the laneway, I saw garages and fire-proof doors.  Was this the likely place to find a good sandwich?  Hidden along Oliver Lane between rusted walls, the Bowery to Williamsburg has somehow carved out a niche for itself of well-made sandwiches and sides.  It was not the first.  Places like Earl Canteen and Mister Close were raved about when they first opened, but this new eatery has stepped it up and taken over the foodie gossip space.

So what is it?  It is a sandwich bar, American (apparently) and serves a variety of toasted sandwiches with sides like pretzels, pickles, salads and macaroni cheese.  I’m not sure about the concept.  But it is somehow cool.  The people eating here seem to be cool too – or trying to be.  I, on the other hand, was sitting by myself, wondering what all the hype was about, and giving into my curiosity to try it.

I was drawn to the eggplant sandwich after reading Peach-Water’s post.  There is also a mushroom with pomegranate tabouli.  The post card menu did not list the types of bread but mine arrived on pita.

The pita was toasted, oiled and crisp on the edges.  The vegetables of eggplant, red and green capsicum had been cooked to ultra-softness.  The eggplant had also been crumbed.  The haloumi was not overpowering and it was the zaatar that gave the interest to this creation.  A thick hummus gave texture, more like a chickpea or bean puree rather than a flavoursome traditional dip.

I was thankful I had ordered the mac and cheese to load me up on carbs.  It was baked in a jar (staying hot) and crumbed at the top for a hard crust.  A light sauce was mixed evenly throughout.

The pickle was a pickle.  What makes a good pickle?  It was firm, crunchy, not overpowered with vinegar…

And the pretzels?  No comment.

The presentation was cute on Nordic style wooden boards.  Strangely (after thinking I would be left still hungry) I was becoming satisfied part way through.  I could not fault it.  Perhaps it is expensive at $12.50 for a sandwich and $16.50 with a side, pickle and pretzels;  perhaps the veggies were a bit too oily; perhaps some people had to wait for menus...really, everything was as perfect as it could be.  It is cool,  I am not.  It is sandwiches - one snack I can successfully make for myself (and do often).  Crumbed eggplant is always nice but is it enough to make me return?  Probably not.  Still, it is worthwhile checking out to see what the fuss is about.  Let me know what you think so we can continue the gossip if you do.

Bowery to Williamsburg
16 Oliver Lane
Melbourne 3000
03 9077 0162

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