I had occasion to be in San Jose recently, and that meant another visit to Little Chef Counter. The menu there is constantly rotating, and the upside of this is that there’s always something new to discover. The downside of this is that sometimes something you love is sidelined in favor of something sub-par, as was the case when the mushrooms on toast was phased out and the smoked salmon sandwich appeared. That was a great loss by my estimation, as mushrooms are quite close to being a perfect food and are woefully underrepresented in the sandwich world. And so it was that I was delighted to return in the new year and find the mushroom pepper sandwich on the menu, a simple number consisting of cremini mushrooms, roasted red bell peppers and arugula in a marscapone sauce on a toasted baguette.
In the event that you’re one of the unfortunate souls who doesn’t care for mushrooms, I don’t imagine there’s much I can say to sell you on this sandwich. If you’re an enlightened type, I don’t imagine there’s much I need to say. The mushrooms are the star here, and deservedly so. The sauce could easily have been heavy and out of control, but it’s light and playing carefully in the background with a noticeable bit of spice to it. The peppers are sweet, the lettuce peppery, and the baguette is toasted such that each bite is yielding and there’s little need to go chasing stray mushrooms across your plate. In short, it is a well conceived, well executed sandwich. That’s exactly what I’ve come to expect from Little Chef Counter, and I’m delighted to report that they deliver.