Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thin Man Sandwich Shop (Strip District)

The corner of 21st and Smallman Streets—the loft space that was once 21st Street Coffee (which is no longer on 21st Street, by the way)—is now home to the Thin Man Sandwich Shop. It is not your typical run-of-the-mill sandwich shop, however. Growing up, I was never really into sandwiches as I found them rather boring, but the flavor and ingredient combinations at Thin Man are, on the contrary, creative and mouth-watering.

Take the signature Thin Man, for example: a perfectly-crunchy baguette filled with local bacon, chicken liver mousse, frisée, and dressed in red wine vinaigrette. (And yes, I did have to look up what frisée is.) I loved this sandwich for its excellent flavors—the rich chicken liver mousse providing a savory complement to the bacon—if not for the fact that it will definitely not turn me into a thin woman. (Or a thin man...thankfully!)

The Thin Man at Thin Man Sandwich Shop
The Thin Man

In addition to the handful of standard signature sandwiches, there is a seasonal menu that changes regularly, keeping things fresh and interesting. I have tried the Roasted Pork Belly, with caramelized Brussels sprouts and ponzu-tofu sauce on a baguette, which I thought was fantastic—and this is coming from someone who doesn't care much for Brussels sprouts!

Roasted Pork Belly at Thin Man Sandwich Shop
Roasted Pork Belly

Roasted Pork Belly at Thin Man Sandwich Shop
Roasted Pork Belly

Just this past weekend I brought my former high school teacher Mr. B., who was visiting from Canada, here to Thin Man for lunch. He raved about his Thai Fish and Shrimp Cakes sandwich (with pickled cucumbers, red curry, Thai basil, and peanuts), which I will have to try next time. But as soon as he saw my Braised Beef Cheek sandwich, served with fried plantains and chimichurri, he exclaimed, "Nice cheeks!" (As a joke, of course. He is no creepo.) And yes, those cheek were indeed nice. Better than nice, in fact. Friend Jenn who was also with us enjoyed her salad, so it appears that Thin Man Sandwich Shop excels at not just sandwiches, but also its side items.

Braised Beef Cheeks at Thin Man Sandwich Shop
Braised Beef Cheek

Thin Man also serves drinks made using selzer from Pittsburgh Selzer Works. The Cucumber Basil I had was just the most perfect refreshing summery drink, but just like the sandwiches, the beverage flavors also change regularly. Based on my experience though, you can't really go wrong with anything here!

Restaurant info:
Thin Man Sandwich Shop
50 21st Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(412) 586-7370
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