Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Chubby Gnome's Review-o-tron: Grinders 13

2 Locations: (1618 South State Street, SLC and 2125 South 3200 West, WVC)

State St Location:
Grinders 13 on Urbanspoon

WVC Location:
Grinders 13 on Urbanspoon

With both locations in the Salt Lake Valley, this local sandwich shop is dedicated to the subtle art of a handcrafted, inexpensive, wonderfully tasty sandwich. Most of their meats are either cooked or sliced in-house, and even what isn't is of considerable quality.

Sandwiches come in 2 sizes. 6" and 10". These sizings are a bit misleading as the 6" is actually a lot closer to 8 or 9" and the 10" is easily a foot long, not that I'm complaining, mind you. The more sandwich I get to stuff in my face per dollar the better.

Before we continue any further I have a confession to make about Grinders 13. I've only had one item off of their menu. The Veal Cutlet sandwich entered my heart (both metaphorically through the love I have for it, and literally in the cholesterol that now coats my aorta.) some years ago, and I've never felt the need to have anything else. It's a sandwich so amazing that it carries the entire menu (and my recommendation) completely on its own.

Even with just a cursory glance at the menu, however, along with knowing what I already know about how their food is prepared, I am also interested in trying the fried chicken, pot roast, meatball, roast beef, and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches next time I'm in. There's simply no way that any of these can be anything short of delicious.

Now then, on to the review-o-tron:

Grinders 13: Veal Cutlet Sandwich
Mmm veal. The proof that animal suffering really does make food taste better

This sandwich is really a coporeal avatar of a drunken man's hopes and dreams. 2 lightly fried, delectable veal cutlets shoved unceremoniously into a sub roll with tomatoes and onions (both omit-able if desired), and smothered with your choice of either marinara sauce or brown gravy (or neither, if you're a weirdo. Personally I always go for the gravy). The bread is light and just slightly sweet. It's not quite as sweet as some other sandwich shops' white bread, but for such hearty offerings that's likely the better option. The veal is wondrously delicate, and fried just enough to give the sandwich a little bit of a crunch, even if it's been sitting on your plate for a few minutes (personally mine only sees the light of day for a few seconds after assembly, but I have it on good authority it will remain crispy longer). In ratio with the size of the sub roll the veal is cut to just the perfect size to be a goodly portion while at the same time not making it feel like you're eating bread on bread, which is a recurring problem with putting fried meats into a sandwich, one that Grinders 13 masterfully sidesteps. The accompanying ingredients all work to serve the flavor of the veal. Tomatoes for a hint of acid, onions for their own unique flavor (I'd love to have them caramelized but Grinders 13 only serves them raw, sadly), and the cornstarch-thickened gravy plays just enough fat, moisture, and beefy flavor into the bread and around the meat to keep you salivating without overwhelming any of the other ingredients.

All of this deliciousness is cut in half and then served wrapped in plain brown butcher's paper. A side of fries is a mere $1.99, and even alongside a large sandwich and a drink your entire meal is going to come in under $12 before tax. Just two or three dollars more than your average fast food combo of similar size.

The next time you're in SLC or West Valley, drive on out to one of their locations. It's well worth the gas. Hell, I often head up all the way from West Jordan to get a bite. Don't pass up this excellent local eatery.

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