Minnapolis's Best New Sandwich
I'm in northern Minnesota right now, my fingers numb from baiting fishhooks in weather that's better suited for firesides and old books. Before my trip up to the lake I stopped for dinner at the most buzz-worthy restaurant in the Twin Cities right now: Saffron, where the 24-year-old chef, Sameh Wadi--a Palestinian born in Kuwait--skillfully juggles the ingredients of North African, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisines. Especially lamb. I was mandated not to leave Minneapolis without tasting Wadi's lamb BLT, which he serves as a happy-hour snack (I begged one off of our waiter at dinner). I'm glad I did, because it was the best sandwich I've eaten in a long, long time. Let's start from the bottom: A spongy slice of challah cut Texas-toast thick, grilled in lamb fat; a smear of tangy tomato jam, a thin layer of crunchy butter lettuce; a generous layer of crispy, house-cured lamb belly (which is less fatty than pork bacon and deliciously lamby); topped with another piece of challah, this one spread with saffron aioli.
I hope lamb bacon catches on elsewhere. Everywhere, actually. It might be just be the Excalibur Sword needed to battle the impending bacon backlash.