The other day, my friend Howie announced that the Artisan Cheese Gallery would be serving his self-created sandwich vision, simply titled “The Howie.” I had no idea what the Artisan Cheese Gallery was, but after some thorough investigation (ie. reading more than the first line of his email), I discovered that it was a neat restaurant / gourmet shop in Studio City that’s been throwing some sort of sandwich making contest on Twitter. Anyway, Howie submitted his concoction (hence “The Howie”), and on Saturday it was featured on the restaurant’s menu to wide acclaim. I unfortunately was not able to partake in the festivities, which was most sad not because I wanted to support a friend, but because the sandwich looked really, really good. How good? Well, it’s roast beef, gorgonzola, and caramelized onions on a ciabatta that’s gone through a panini press. Oh, and it’s served au jus. Needless to say, I was most bummed to have missed it.
However, when Howie revealed via Twitter that the sandwich would be making a return appearance today, I knew I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I zipped over the hills, met up with Howie and his friend Nick, and headed over to the Artisan Cheese Gallery. The experience was remarkable. I cannot extol the virtues of Howie’s creation widely enough. It was totally delicious, thanks in large part to the Artisan Cheese Gallery, which crafted each sandwich with extremely high quality ingredients. I’m not endorsing this sandwich because Howie made it. I’m endorsing it because it’s just awesome.
And of course pictures after the jump…
Here we are. Home of The Howie.
And there’s Howie at the home of The Howie.
The restaurant’s menu. And look there in the upper left…
It’s THE HOWIE. At $10.75, the price is a tad steep, but the quality of ingredients and execution more than make up for it.
Indeed, this certainly is a veritable gallery of cheese. The Tate Modern in dairy form.
I’d never been to or heard of this place, but I LOVED it immediately.
Howie tells the story behind The Howie. Basically, he wanted a sandwich named after him, and one night, the ingredients came to him in a dream, nay, prophecy. The Howie, you see, is more than just a sandwich. It’s the fruition of a divine vision.
At last the sandwich comes, and it looks (and smells) delicious.
Howie goes in for a bite. This is a very momentous occasion for me. It’s like having a reuben with REUBEN.
Quite literally (and figuratively) a dream come true.
Nick also approves.
However, don’t start calling Howie a sandwich guru. To this day he has never had two crucial entrants in the canon: s’mores (that counts, sort of), and more shockingly, PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY. For shame.
Now it’s time for me to dig in.
I’m putting up this picture only because the woman behind me looks like she’s saying “Biiiiiiiitch please!”
A little dippage.
Time for some Howie action.
My thoughts at that moment: “HOLY SHIZZ THIS IS AMAZING.”
Oh, it’s GOOD.
The sandwich also came with sweet hot pickles. They were very tasty. Fun fact: as we sat there, Howie ate two of his pickle slices and then announced it was the FIRST PICKLE HE’D EVER EATEN. What the hell is wrong with this guy??
Anyway, the sandwich was an unqualified success, and kudos to the kitchen for perfectly grilling it. I sometimes fear paninis as they are often grilled too long, thus becoming entirely too crunchy, which in turn invites a whole new host of dining ordeals (food squishing out the back of the sandwich, scraping on the top of the mouth, etc.). The good people at Artisan Cheese Gallery absolutely nailed it though. Excellent work.
Unfortunately, the sandwich isn’t on the regular menu; so who knows when it’ll be back. People in the area can follow the restaurant’s specials on Twitter (@artisancheese) or check Howie’s blog, The Howie Sandwich, which I’m sure will have updates.
Well done, Howie. Well done.