Fried: Pastrami at Cibo

Is this the best bread in the world? Or am I just a happy to be alive?

By Sarah Fenske

I didn't even realize I was hungry.

One minute I was sitting there, chatting away with my friends, and the next minute I'd knocked off an entire pastrami sandwich. There wasn't a crumb left. Not one crumb!

I blame the bread.

At night, Cibo specializes in pizza. A gorgeous little neighborhood hotspot in an elegant old house, people come here for the wine and the thin-crust pies and the cosmopolitan crowd. Sipping your wine on a starry night, you'd swear you were in a real city.

But by day, they use that pizza oven to make bread. They call it "saltimbocca" bread, which is apparently Italian for "jumps in the mouth" -- and the description is perfectly, wonderfully apt. See, I can have an excuse for my noontime pastrami scarfing: damnedest thing, but the sammy jumped in my mouth.

As your humble Fried food correspondent, I wasn't sure if I'd find anything on the lunch menu that would qualify for my beat. Cibo is pretty healthy, with nearly 11 sandwich choices, a half-dozen salads, and not a french fry in the vicinity. But my friends and I decided the pastrami counts: It has sauteed onions, after all, and how could they be sauteeing those onions other than in a frying pan?

I loved this sandwich. The corned beef was only subtly salty, but it worked perfectly with the soft onions and fontina cheese. And, again, there was that bread: Not too yeasty, not too chewy, just tasty as hell and the perfect vehicle to get that pastrami paradise into your mouth.

It's enough to make me rethink my love of french fries. With bread this good, who needs a potato?

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