Delicatus is in the heart of Pioneer Square on 1st Ave. I was impressed when I walked in: it was busy, looked cool and had a good, bustling vibe. I was standing in line to order when the sandwich maker asked me what I wanted. I answered, "The Chief Stealth Bomber", and it was on. He told me to have a seat and the sandwich would be right out. I found an empty table and was rapidly greeted by a server, who gave me water and then brought me a diet soda that I ordered. I later came to find out that the soda was Dry Soda, another local Seattle staple, also located in Pioneer Square.
As I sat and waited for my French dip, I studied the art on the walls and people around me. It was a very vibrant place and they have very large canvases of the cuts of beef, pork, and lamb. I thought it was a nice touch. My sandwich was delivered after not too long and I was pleasantly surprised by its appearance.
It was plated nearly open-faced, with hinge, and visible, wide-sliced dark caramelized onions on top of nice looking pink meat that was indeed roast beef. The bread was a classic French roll nicely toasted. The roast beef wound up being very nice and was peppery albeit not juicy like a good prime rib could be. There was a lot of roast beef. I couldn't see the cheese or horseradish mayo at first but discovered it later. What is roast beef, btw? Is roast beef necessarily brined or is that just roast beef cold cuts?
At first I just ate the sandwich to see how it was. It was good. It was not a buttery sandwich and instead had quite a bit of mayonnaise-heavy horseradish on it. The sharp provolone was not prevalent. During the course of my meal I only noticed the cheese's slightly gummy texture once.
The sandwich tasted very good, with a prominent and good onion taste. The roast beef had a really nice pepper flavor. The horseradish mayo was indeed good but it wasn't something that I really like; I'd rather control my own horseradish and I'd rather have it delivered in pure form rather than as a cream. That said, dipping the pretty horseradish and onion-forward sandwich into the jus helped and made the whole experience a good one. There was too much mayo for my taste and that made the sandwich seem heavier than necessary.
I liked the presentation of the sandwich: although served open-faced, when in hand, it folded perfectly onto itself and was an ideal size.
The jus (initially in particular) was salty, good and hot. It made the sandwich better overall and neutralized the horseradish. But over time, there was not enough jus and it became a somewhat gray palor caused by the mayo. So I bottomed out and wasn't getting any jus goodness in the end, which made me sad. Please serve people enough jus!
The caramelized onions, in my opinion, were the star of this sandwich.
It was a nice portion and served with potato chips that were just fine.
- Bread: 4 of 5. It was the right French bread. Toasted well.
- Horseradish Mayo: 2 of 5. I didn't enjoy this, although it was central to the composition of the sandwich. Less would have been good.
- Cheese: 3 of 5. Didn't really play much of a role. Nice that it was melted sharp provolone...not a common cheese.
- Meat: 4 of 5. Good roast beef, presented nicely and plenty of it. Nice pepper taste.
- Caramelized Onions: 5 of 5. These were really great, nicely done and very flavorful.
- Jus: 4 of 5. Good just in the beginning but there wasn't enough in the end. Didn't have any special properties, per se, (like herbs) but it was good.
- Overall: 4 of 5. This was a good sandwich and needed less horseradish mayo.
Delicatus is serious about sandwiches and their French dip, The Chief Stealth Bomber, is pretty good. Fun environment and nice, responsive wait staff. I'll go back for a good sandwich.