Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Hubbub Sandwich Bliss and Hunger Games
It was a Weds night and fresh off reading the book, TMc and I heading to the Scotiabank theatre downtown to watch The Hunger Games. We arrived a bit early so we had time to grab a bite to eat. I'm not one to just have movie popcorn for dinner, so we did a quick walk of the neighbourhood to assess our options and I was pumped when we discovered Hubbub Sandwich Bliss right around the corner. Being the sandwich fiend that I am, I had read a lot of great reviews and I've been wanting to try them since they opened last year. I didn't know they were open until 8pm...I thought it was lunch only!
I love the decor in the restaurant. The design is clean and hip with wood and tile, booths on both side, bar seating and some stools, and some chalkboards, funky industrial office lamps and jars of hot peppers.
There are five sandwiches on the menu to choose from but essentially the sandwich remains the same for all of them, it's just the "protein" that changes. The sandwiches are on a 9.5 inch lightly toasted baguette, filled with a base of pickled jalapenos, creamy garlic sauce, romaine lettuce, and caramelized onions. This isn't like Subway, you don't really customize these sandwiches (other than the ability to ask for more of one of the fillings for an additional cost). Then you select your protein: slow roasted pork, turkey sausage, coconut milk soaked chicken breast, marinated tiger prawns, or veggies.
They also have a nice selection of interesting and healthy sides: corn, quinoa salad, potato chips and slaw. If you aren't in the mood for a sandwich, you can get the protein in a salad bowl instead.
I've heard the "must order" sandwich is their slow-roasted pork...but I wasn't that hungry and felt like something a bit lighter. I asked the guy at the counter which sandwich he'd recommend and without hesitation he replied "PORK." I was torn but ended up going with the tiger prawn sandwich (Vancouver magazine had listed it as one of the best sandwiches in the city last May).
It was a short wait because they make it fresh and to order. It was really great because you can watch them grill the meat and onions and delicately assemble your sandwich. These sandwiches are a bit pricy but they are filling and they are pretty on par with what other sandwich shops are charging.
We brought our sandwiches into the theatre, grabbed some choice seating, and began to chow down before the previews started to roll.
My sandwich: White tiger prawns basted in a margarita-style marinade and sauteed to order ($8.93...10 bucks even with tax). This sandwich was DEEEElightful! My sandwich had about 7-8 medium size prawns. They were perfectly cooked and juicy and packed a real bright, fresh flavour punch from the marinade. I loved how they did the onions- cut into long strips and grilled until slightly sweet and caramelized but still a bit hard and crunchy. I don't normally love romaine in sandwiches but I liked the crispy crunch in this case. The pickled jalapenos were awesome (I love pickled jalapenos) and their slight spicy and vinegar flavour balanced out the rich, creamy, indulgent garlic sauce. The bread was fresh and had a real artisan feel. It was dense and chewy. All of the flavours and textures worked really well together: slightly spicy, tangy, sweet, and savoury with juicy, gooey, and crunchy. This sandwich is extremely messy so eat with care or bring lots of napkins (especially if you eat it in a movie theatre!)
TMc enjoyed her Chicken Breast sandwich: All Natural, steeped in citrus juices and coconut milk ($8.93...10 bucks with tax.) She doesn't like onions and jalapenos so she picked them out and gave them to me. She thought the chicken itself was awesome: thick-sliced, un-processed, lean but extremely juicy. She said even after removing the onions and jalapenos that the sandwich was still a bit spicy but was impressed at how all the elements worked really well together.