Frank bonanno is at it again... his 11th denver restaurant, salt and grinder, just opened in the highland neighborhood and the line out the door has been a staple since last week. After stopping in for a casual lunch on saturday, I too have become a major fan who is already planning my next trip back.
This new jersey-style deli has a serious obsession with its bread, sourcing their grinder rolls from grateful bread co. in golden who spent months tweaking their recipe until it was reminiscent of bonanno's childhood. The slightly chewy and a little bit crusty rolls are the vehicle and base to about a dozen sandwiches, all of which are piled high with premium ingredients and fresh produce. I loved the italian meats and flavors on the frankie, ham, provolone, prosciutto, coppa, fresh burrata and arugula. Also worth noting is the tigs which was filled with salty prosciutto, ham, provolone, roasted peppers, lettuce, tomato and a red wine vinaigrette. The freshness and flavors were spot on bite after bite on both of these tasty choices.
But if you ask me, the true star of salt and grinder's menu is the sausage sandwich. Fresh pulled mozzarella is layered between tender pork sausage (you know the kind that has that perfect amount of spice but does not takeover your taste buds) and topped with a bright marinara sauce that soaks into the grinder roll just enough to make it pliable and easy to eat. Do not bother with a knife and fork, just grab a hold and dig in! Before you know it, your sandwich will be nearly gone and you will be wishing you had just a bit more marinara to dip your last couple of bites of bread in. Seriously, it was so good!
There is some serious hype around salt and grinder so yes, you will probably wait in a small line to order but this time gives patrons a chance to peruse the menu, pick out a side dish (there are 6 to choose from but my favorite was the cucumber salad) and enjoy the bustle of the neighborhood. I highly doubt you can go wrong with any item on the menu but I have to say, the sausage sandwich is where its at.