Muffuletta Po’ Boy (Po’ Boys and Pickles)

Today’s sandwich is the “Muffaletta Po’ Boy” from Po’ Boys and Pickles, out in the hinterland of Forest Avenue. It combines salami, ham, capicola, provolone, and an olive-and-vegetable salad, on a hero roll.

Location: 1124 Forest Avenue
Price: $5.75 (small)
Notes: The first thing that was surprising about today’s sandwich was that it was served hot. I’m hardly an expert in the field of muffaletta sandwiches, but this was the first time I had seen a toasted version. The second surprise was that it wasn’t served on that giant, round seeded muffaletta bread; instead, this sandwich was served up “po’ boy” style, on a regular six-inch hero roll. The bread was as we remembered: an ever-so-slight crunch on the outside, that gives way to a soft chew. The cavalcade of salty meats contrast beautifully with the briney, pickled flavors of the olive spread, and a few palate-cleansing bites of the homemade half-sour pickles give you a nice break, should the flavors prove overwhelming. However, I wasn’t crazy about the sandwich being served hot, and next time will request a cold version.

I wish Po’ Boys and Pickles had an in-town location. They are some of my favorite sandwiches around, but the take-out versions definitely suffer slightly during the 15-minute trip back home. These are sandwiches that really deserve to be enjoyed on-site, provided you can find a table; at noon today, Po’ Boys and Pickles was standing-room only, though the staff was as casual and conversational as ever.

Malcolm Bedell is co-author of the critically acclaimed "Eating in Maine: At Home, On the Town, and On the Road," as well as the taco-centric blog "Eat More Tacos," and the junk food-centric "Spork & Barrel." His contributions include Serious Eats, Down East, L.A. Weekly, The Guardian, and The Huffington Post and his food truck, "'Wich, Please," was named "Hottest Restaurant in Maine" for 2015 by Eater. Finally, he finds it very silly to be trying to write this in the third person.

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