My friends have been obsessed with Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium, in Richmond Heights, forever. But note the heavily bread-influenced name – Sandwich Emporium – that composes 2/3 of that name. Sadly, for a long time, they only had normal people bread (AKA not gluten-free). But lo and behold, someone told me last summer that they had recently added gluten-free bread to their menu. And the rest is history. My relationship with Fozzie’s began to blossom.
I crave it frequently. My goal is to conquer the menu. I’ve only been twice, so I guess I better get on that. They deliver, but I haven’t let our relationship get to that point yet. I can drive my butt to Fozzie’s to eat a sandwich, and then if I happen to duck into one of the many antique stores nearby, so be it.
So here’s the scoop on Fozzie’s. They are a family-owned shop that offers specialty sandwiches, burgers, gyros, salads, homemade sauces galore, and desserts. They make it a point to use fresh, local ingredients where possible. When the weather is right, they grow fresh herbs and veggies right outside their shop that they then use in their food.
They are very gluten-free friendly, offering bread from Sweet Picks bakery. This bread is really good – flavorful and hearty, but not too dry. This is no average Udi’s bread – this stuff is good.
Be warned though – they are always busy and move people through the line quickly. So take a look at what you want before you go, and have a couple quick options that you can fire at them and ask whether things are gluten-free. Indoor seating is very limited; however, in the summer they have a nice outdoor patio.
When I went yesterday, I got the Da’ Dip – house roast beef with debris onions, swiss cheese & tiger sauce on the Sweet Picks bread, dipped in their house au jus.
This was a majorly flavorful sandwich – and majorly huge. I was only able to eat half. While a tad salty, the roast beef was delicious, and the bread provided the perfect delivery vehicle for the meat. There was just the right amount of Tiger sauce, which was a white creamy sauce that seemed to have a horseradish bite. The Swiss cheese could have been a bit more melted, but overall, this was a great sandwich. The workers also confirmed that the au jus sauce was gluten-free, so I dipped away. Perhaps due to the bread choice (it normally comes on a crispy baguette for non gluten-free folk), this required a fork and knife. You’re in for a messy ride with Fozzie’s sandwiches.
Word to the wise – if you’re looking for a nice little side of chips, the housemade chips that they prepare are NOT gluten-free. (They are fried with other gluten-containing products). However, you can help yourself to a nice gluten-free cookie if they have them in stock.
When I went this past summer, I got the Animal – grilled chicken, arugula, portabella & roasted pepper cream cheese. The portabellas were great, and the arugula was straight from their garden. This was a good sandwich, but I was left wanting a little something else on it, as the sandwich was a tad dry.
Next on my list to conquer: the Juicy Lucy – a 1/2lb. burger stuffed with your choice of cheese (swiss, american or pepperjack), lettuce, tomato & caramelized onions.
Seriously, how good does that sound?
I will be back for you, Fozzie’s.
Until next time,