Seeing as this was the first sandwich I had at the beach (Cape May, NJ represent!), I was trying to think of a way to work in a joke about a sand-wich. (Get it? Sand because I’m on the beach? And ‘wich because… oh never mind.) So there you have it. Sand-wich. Moving on.
Take one look at the picture above, and tell me it’s not the first time you’ve seen purple on a sandwich. Don’t worry, you’re not alone: it was the first time I had seen purple on a sandwich as well. The restaurant where I had this sandwich was just as festive as the food, and as soon as I sat down I had a feeling that I was in for an interesting meal.
I present to you Cabanas’ “Shrimp Cutlet” sandwich, their homemade take on a crab cake… but with shrimp! It’s actually a brilliant idea; since I was born in Baltimore, I have a soft (shell) spot in my heart for crab cakes. But also being a shrimp fanatic, it combines my two favorite kinds of seafood into one brilliant idea. These wild folk then top it with “chipotle mayo, jicama slaw, and pepper-jack cheese.” In all honesty, it was one of the most outlandish sandwiches I’ve ever tasted… and every bit was delicious. And you know what was so great about it? Each bite was “the perfect bite.”
What am I talking about exactly? Well, if you’ve noticed a pattern here at PittWich, I often break ‘wiches down into their respective components, which works well because that’s how I view most sandwiches. But not the Shrimp Cutlet. This powerhouse was a single entity. Every time you take a bite, an incalculable amount of different flavor combinations hit you: there’s the crunch of the delicious grilled roll it’s served on which was as big as half a loaf of bread, combining with the zesty chipotle mayo that had a little Caribbean kick to, which melds with the spicy pepper-jack to create a one-two punch of spice, only to be countered by the heavenly jicama slaw which, for me, was the best kind of slaw I’ve ever tasted: cool, creamy, and crunchy (the 3 Cs of slaw). I only stopped that last sentence because I was running out of breath. Now, you take that whole flavor train and put it on the rails of a deliciously-seasoned shrimp bonanza. Occasionally crab cakes can have too much filler and not enough of the main ingredient, but here, Cabanas goes heavy on the shrimp, making sure that each bite has at least one burst of seafood-y goodness.
Really, I had no clue what to expect out of this sandwich. There were so many diverse and unique flavors going on here that it was either going to be a disaster or an overwhelming success. I think you know which one it was.