I’ve been to Clementine a number of times, and I usually come away quite pleased. The sandwiches tend to be simple affairs, well executed. That’s usually enough, but the issue with a simple sandwich is that when something goes wrong, there’s little left to support what remains. Take the above. The menu promises sliced meatloaf, caramelized onions, iceberg lettuce and their ‘10,000 lakes’ dressing on country white bread. That sounds like it would be just fine, but the actual sandwich I was served didn’t have much to speak of in the onion department. They weren’t completely absent, there was one bite towards the beginning that reeled me in and another towards the end that assured me I wasn’t crazy, but in between there was little of the sweetness that would have balanced the sandwich out. Without the onion, the remaining sandwich was a bit dry and altogether unbalanced, something from which few sandwiches can recover.
It occurs to me that I’ve never had a genuinely good meatloaf sandwich. I suspect that it’s simply a more difficult task than most expect, and so the general effort tends to miss the mark. That’s a shame. I think that there’s a lot of potential there, but it will have to wait for some other day, in some other sandwich shop.