Home-baked breads delight deli loversHere's the deli sandwich of your dreams: a pile of pastrami, topped with melted Swiss cheese, lathered with dijon mustard sauce on a freshly baked dark-rye bun.
Or how about a ham-and-cheese for the chronically indecisive? Layers of ham combined with three kinds of cheese -- cheddar, mozzarella and parmesan -- plus lettuce, onions, tomatoes and crushed olives, all piled atop whole-grain wheat bread.
They're available, along with the S-ch-l-o-t-z-s-ky -- an acronym for sandwich, cheeses, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, pizza, salami and turkey -- at Schlotzsky's Deli, a U.S. deli chain that sells colorful, tasty and filling fare.
Schlotzsky's first opened in Austin, Texas, in 1971 as a gourmet sandwich shop (sort of an upscale Subway). Its franchise business has expanded over the years around the globe.
Its breads are baked on the premises with organic grains and herbs. Tastes and textures vary, but all the breads are earthy and aromatic, dense yet elastic. Basted with olive oil, they are crisp on the outside, soft yet chewy on the inside. Customers order sandwiches by the bun size; either four, six or eight inches in diameter.
Two Schlotzsky's Delis have just opened in Seoul: a sandwich counter in the Hyundai Department Store in Sinchon (Tel.: 02-325-2233) and a full-scale restaurant in the Dongil Building, 1305-7 Seocho-dong in southern Seoul (Tel.: 02-592-0550).
At the Seocho-dong site, the deli's brick walls are colorfully decorated with bottles of hot sauce, jalapeno peppers and olive oil. The wooden floor helps create a warm, homey atmosphere.
Popular sandwiches include the turkey and bacon club (6,500 won or $5.50) and pastrami and Swiss cheese (6,100 won). The smoked turkey chef's salad (6,900 won) comes with a generous helping of smoked turkey, black olives, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, feta and cheddar cheese on lettuce.
The Thai chicken pizza (8,500 won), which will never be found in Rome, is delicious. It has an exotic Asian flair, accentuated by basil leaves and peanut sauce.
Schlotzsky's Deli's soft drinks (1,200 won) are self-serve and refillable. The delis are equipped with espresso machines. A single is 2,300 won.
Breads are baked to order at Seocho-dong, so sandwiches can take 10-15 minutes to make. Customers are given a pager to alert them when their order is complete.
Three other Schlotzsky's Delis are operating in Korea: at the Lotte Department Store in Ilsan (031-902-7293), in Anyang (031-463-1730) and in the Galleria Department Store (02-3449-4114) in Apgujeong-dong, southern Seoul.
By Ines Cho