( Photo by Jennifer C., Yelp )
If you ever find yourself in Seattle with a tummy demanding to be placated, haul yourself down to Paseo. Just drive down Fremont Avenue N. and look for a tiny, unassuming shack (there's no sign) made of corrugated metal nestled amongst some small residential homes, with a looooooong line out front. Ignore the haphazard exterior and just plunk yourself at the end of the line snaking around the building...trust me you won't be sorry. Unless you're a vegan or vegetarian, if so--then run. Paseo is a meat lover's paradise.
If you haven't heard of it, Paseo, is known for it's mouthwatering Cuban sandwiches and has been heralded by many publications as "One of the Best Sandwiches in America." Mr. S. and I fueled by our curiosity, dragged ourselves out during a rainstorm, to check out this so-called sandwich mecca and I have to agree that is one damn good sandwich. As my Seattleite friend Aaron aptly put it, "...did it make you want to have a second right away, for dessert?" The best way I could describe the Paseo experience is to compare it to, "When Harry Met Sally." Remember the scene where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm while eating in a deli? Well, Paseo's sandwiches will elicit that exact response from you but you won't be faking it!
Anyhow, Mr. S. went with the popular Cuban Roast sandwich. Picture slow roasted pork shoulder (so succulent that your eyes will want to roll back) covered in a tangy heavenly sauce with caramelized onions, cilantro, a leaf of lettuce, and fat pickled jalapeno chunks on top--- all on a toasted baguette that's been slapped with aioli. I went with the grilled pork which was prepared the same way but a flame-grilled cubed pork loin was subbed in for the pork shoulder. It was perfectly cooked. I had to pause after the first bite because my mouth was doing cartwheels and backflips...and because a river of sauce was dripping down my chin. The marinade they use to baste the meat with is so delicious that I could probably drink it straight from the bucket. Don't laugh...you would too, given the chance. Also word to the wise, don't go to Paseo thinking you're going to share a sandwich. Get your own. Or let me put it this way, had Mr. S. wanted to even try my sandwich, he would have had to pry it out of my cold, dead hands
Now are you ready to go? Just remember a few things. First, bring cash because Paseo doesn't take plastic (sandwiches run about $8-$9). Second, wear comfortable shoes and bring an umbrella because there's a good chance you'll be standing outside in a long line. And lastly, don't plan on eating there. Paseo has about four small tables but getting a table would involve the swiftness of a cheetah, some mad ninja skills and having Lady Luck on your side. We ended up eating our sandwiches in the car, letting the warm steam from the sandwiches fog up the windows as we munched away happily. Oh and one last bit of advice-- grab some napkins. Lots and lots of napkins, trust me, you'll need them.