There is a new and very successful service in the US (that started in Chicago and has now gone national) called Groupon and since we eat out often, and love a deal, we are constant users of this service. Thanks to Groupon.com! We got to try many great restaurants and things that we would've never known otherwise, especially being relatively new to the city.
On a beautiful, sunny Saturday we strolled down South Beach looking for our latest find and as we turned the corner, we saw a crowd with a line of people that overflowed into the street, all hovering over a tiny, open counter window, where people were waiting to place their orders.The place is about 5 feet wide and 25 feet long with just a handful of stools placed outside on the long side of the building by the alley. What a chaotic and exciting place it is!
While Carlos was waiting in line in the bright sun, I stepped in the shade :) and was able to snag a stool right in front of the "sandwich bench". The best part was that not only we got to watch the action in the kitchen, but we got our orders in as soon as we got there.
This place is like a machine. An operation with speed, accuracy and madness. It's like watching a competition, "who can make a sandwich the fastest". The person who was taking orders was French. I think he might be the owner. You can place an order by getting in line on the ordering window or one of the windows between the stools. Therefore unless you are aggressive enough to grab the attention of one person's (who takes the orders), you will be standing there indefinitely......
When you are placing an order, you have to do it in the same speed as the order taker. Know what you want, say it precisely without any hesitations. If you add a "hmmm", "ahhh" or any thinking time between the words that come out of your mouth, you will be immediately told, "Well... I can't work like that" and he will step away and comes back until you are fully ready to do your ordering right.
When I first heard his French accent, in combination with his hectic pace, it reminded me of all the rude French waiters we encountered while in France. But observing his interaction with kitchen people and the customers while waiting for my sandwich, I quickly realized that he wasn't rude, but was just getting his work done as fast as he could, to the benefit of all the people who were waiting for their precious sandwich. His high pitched, "bye bye" with a french accent comment after each order, as he handed the bagged order to each customer added more character to the place.
You have two bread options Croissant or French. I ordered the Seafood Salad Sandwich on French bread with everything and Bora Bora smoothie and Carlos ordered a Tuna Sandwich. Everything tasted fresh and yummy. I liked their open-air counters, fresh topping selections, their own branded french vinaigrette which you can buy, even the casual hectic atmosphere, etc....
Every town needs one great sandwich place and I'm glad to say that South Beach has one!
Check it out at http://www.lasandwicherie.com/