Friday, March 23, 2012

My favorite Seattle sandwiches - Salumi's!

About a decade ago, I almost never ate sandwiches.  I had that stereotypical 5 year old's taste in sandwiches: bread (preferably wheat), mustard, meat (preferably ham).  The end.  I know, this is pathetic.  The good news is I can't even recall the last time I ate a sandwich like that.  I am a changed woman!

Since moving to Seattle, I lost access to some of my favorite sandwich places like Jason's Deli.  Get the turkey muffaletta half sandwich.  It's nomful.  Since I can't get that sandwich up here, I had to start trying out some other places.  Here is one of my favorites:

Salumi's Artisan Cured Meats
located in Pioneer Square
309 3rd Avenue South Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 621-8772

This place is to die for!  Salumi is the Italian word for salami, so as you can probably guess, they sell their own cured meats.  Mario Batali's father is the owner.  He worked for Boeing for 30 years.  After retiring, he went to Italy to learn to cure meats.  When he came back, he created Salumi's.  This is one of my absolute favorite places in all of Seattle!  My "dude" is the Yelp check-in duke at Salumi's.  He is the person who showed me this place.  I am so glad he did!

You do need to know a few things about this restaurant before coming in.  They are only open Tuesday-Friday, 11 am - 4 pm.  That's it.  They don't need to be open on the weekends.  There is a line out the door every single day, and they sell out of stuff FAST!  I have an insider's tip that I won't share publicly, but you'll have to reach out to me personally if you want to hear it.  To find the place, just look for the line of people and the orange penant flag with the picture of the pig on it.  They do accept credit cards, and they only have street parking available.  They do host private parties, though I've never done one myself.  I am very tempted to do so one of these days. 

If you are never able to make it here during their operating hours, fear not!  You can find some of their sliced salami at Metropolitan Market near the deli section.  Delaurenti's in Pike Place also sells some of their salamis.  Also, several restaurants in the Seattle area use their cured meats in their dishes.  One of my personal fav's is Pagliacci Pizza.  They serve Salumi's spicy pepperoni.  I always order their grand salami primo, and I have them substitute the regular pepperoni for Salumi's pepperoni.  I also add onions to it.  It is a superb pizza!  They used to sell Salumi's San Marino salami on their pizzas, but they are no longer able to obtain enough salami for their demand.

Usually, every Tuesday is gnocchi day, and they fly one of their aunts in to make it.  It is definitely worth the trip on a Tuesday.  It's best to call a few days in advance to find out when they will have it next, because sometimes she can't make it.  They vary the sauces with each day's serving of gnocchi, so you could order it every time and not grow tired of it.  They only have a few tables with about a total of 20 seats in the restaurant, and they will not serve the gnocchi to go.  If you don't eat the gnocchi fresh, it will just congeal and stick together.  I truly appreciate their dedication to quality food, though some days I wish I could take my chances and take my order to go!  Otherwise you're just going to have to sit at a table for 10 and get used to the fact that you will be sitting at a table with other patrons.  Don't worry, you already have one wonderful thing in common with them, so conversation topics will be easy to find.

Every day they vary their specialty items on the menu (soup, pasta, veggies, sandwich of the day), but almost every time, I get the muffo sandwich.  It's become a comfort food for me.  It has a wonderful olive tapenade, genoa salami, regular salami, provolone cheese, and it's served on a type of ciabatta bread.  They have their bread delivered fresh every morning.  They only offer their sandwiches on 2 types of bread - sticcole and giuseppe.  If you like olives - even just a little bit - you will LOVE this sandwich.  I would probably request it as part of my "last meal"!

A few times I've visited, I've seen people in line wondering what they are going to pick.  They look so puzzled and anxious.  It's like they're on the game show "Let's Make a Deal" and they don't know if they should keep the $500 in their hand, or if they should go with what's behind door #1, door #2, or door #3.  The thing with Salumi's is: pick anything.  You'll win.  There are no zonks at Salumi's.  Or you could just get the muffo and you'll be safe.

They also sell their salumi chubs and small bags of sliced salami to go.  Additionally, they sell pancetta, coppa, culatello, prosciutto, lomo, and guanciale to take home.  Sure, it's not quite the same as having a sandwich ready to go.  If you want to bring a treat back home to family on the other side of the planet, there you go.  Make sure you ask them for tips on storing the cured meats.  They won't last forever, but they will last a little longer if they're still in "solid" form (vs. sliced).  They do ship, so that's an added bonus!

You can also visit their website to find about more information:

Last, but most definitely not least, I found this little gem.  I was doing research for this blog post, and I found this recipe (link below) as a tribute for the Batali's family beloved Aunt Izzy.  She passed away in 2008, and she used to make their gnocchi.  Though I never had the opportunity to meet her, I sure wish I could have met such a woman who could make gnocchi like nobody's business!  Her years of experience may not be easy to mimick, but it's definitely worth trying.  I personally haven't tried it, but I will come back and provide an update when I have the time.



  1. One day I may have to try their salami. I've never been a salami fan though. Mom always got the H-E-B brand and it turned me off to it. Which I know would turn most off anyways, but I always hesitate to try it anywhere because of that.

    1. I used to hate salami too. This stuff will change you! It really helps when it's sliced perfectly thin.