Olive & Gourmando – big taste in small (flattened) packages

the Cubano Sandwich @ Olive & Gourmando – ham, braised pork, homemade mayo (with chipotle peppers, pickles, lime & coriander), and gruyère cheese.

I scared my grandparents with this high energy place last October, what fun!  My dad and stepmom too, because I’m annoying like that, and the erratic foodie of the family who brings surprise and aged cheeses to unsuspecting kith and kin!  They’re… not the most adventurous of eaters, in general, but I think even they got a kick out of the warm atmosphere and obvious dedication to quality that the owners pass on through to all that they make (two chefs from Toqué, which kind of explains the excitement for detail).  There’s something for everyone on the menu, too: hot crispy paninis melting delicately layered with local ingredients and housemade sauces, cold sandwiches on fresh house-bread stuffed with excellent produce and done up in really fun combinations.  They even have a(n interesting!) vegan offering.  Face-inhale kinda sandwiches!

Grain-fed Chicken Breast Sammich with guacamole, cajun spices, tomato and fresh mango & the special limited time Apple & Jamboneau Sandwich with Quebec cheddar, thin-sliced apples and other goodies I unfortunately can’t recall… but it was the reason I went to O&G last October in the first place.  SO good.

They have many other things to enjoy, too – it’s as much a bakery as it is a sandwich shop, and I only regret not picking up one of their incredible-looking brownies (made with Valrhona chocolate, but of course!) or their huge shining maple-pecan brioche buns, mmmmmm.  The smell in the room is incredible, which is, I suppose, needless to say.

Things are a little pricey for the stomach-filling quality, but only *just* slightly.  Most sandwiches are 10$ and come just as they are and on the hand-held side of size, probably needing a small salad or a baked good to really round out a full lunch.  But it’s worth it and then some for the quality and the amount of taste garnered in each crunchy, melting, and salty bite.   Oops, now I’m kind salivating for more…

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