Food Works – Jaw-Dropping Sandwiches

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 - by Willie Mae

It is a rarity that I get to go to lunch with my friend Alice and it was good to get together last week. We met at Food Works located at 205 Manufacturers Road, which is the Old Knitting Mill. I remembered the building but had no idea what all they have done to it over the years. Alice said there was a cute antique store next door where we could browse after our lunch. How they make restaurants out of some of these old places in Chattanooga just astonishes me.

Alice waited on me outside of the place. When we went inside, we were seated at a table in the center near the entrance and halfway under a set of stairs that led to a loft area. Alice and I didn’t really like sitting there and felt as though we were on display (it also made it hard for me to take notes on my tablet without anyone seeing what I am doing).

Just as I jotted down the name of the place, my pen had stopped writing! Oh heavens! I hoped to have another one on hand and usually keep a few in my pocketbook, but the only other one I had was also inkless! I didn’t know how in the world I would remember what food I ate or the prices, but thankfully Alice had a pen for me to use.

The little girl that waited on us was cute and sweet (if my pen had all the ink she had on her skin, I could write a book)!

We ordered a glass of wine before deciding on our meal. I don’t think Alice goes a day without a glass of wine and she knows her stuff. There were three long sections of wine listed and it overwhelmed me, so I told Alice to just pick for me. She ordered a red house wine for $7 and it was pretty good.

Just then, a couple of gentlemen started down the stairs right over us. I put my hand over my glass so no dust got kicked in it. I still didn’t understand why they had a table under the stairs.

When our waitress came by to take our order, we ordered a salad to start for $6 and Alice had decided on a Turkey Reuben for $9 which came with a side. She chose fries. Her sandwich came with turkey, Swiss, cilantro lime slaw, with chipotle sauce on grilled rye bread.

I wanted to order the sandwich with the funny name – the Muffaletta for $11 also with a side - and I chose the celery seed slaw. I had no idea what a Muffaletta was, but I liked the ingredients; Mortadella, Genoa Salami, Capicolla ham, boiled ham Swiss, provolone, tapenade and three-olive relish on a sourdough ‘boule’. I had no idea what half of that was, but I was sure it would be interesting.

Our salad was ordinary, but with candied pecans which were not real sugary sweet and I liked that. I don’t want my salad to taste like candy. It didn’t have any cheese in it though, so I guess it was a salad for skinny people who don’t like to eat. In fact, the wide container on the table had three different kind of artificial sweeteners – I’d never seen so many on a table. (People don’t seem to know they are going to die from that stuff)!

When our sandwiches arrived, Alice started laughing. I knew what she was thinking – how was I going to wrap my teeth around my piled-high-to-the-sky sandwich! I didn’t know which angle to eat from! The sourdough boule was not really a bowl, but it wasn’t flat. It seemed to only be a “half” but it was so large, I wasn’t sure I would be able to eat it.

Alice’s sandwich was nice and dainty even though it was plenty as well… but hers was easier to eat. I had a hard time even picking my sandwich up! I thought I would nibble a bite on half the distance up the sandwich, but it just made a mess on my nose. Oh honestly! The meat was piled so high I don’t know how they expected anyone to eat that thing without a ladder!

I never could take a full bite, but I sure did give it the ol’ cheerleader try! My jaw just doesn’t open that wide anymore. Alice laughed so much she almost got me tickled to where I couldn’t eat it! Then I figured out why she was laughing so much - she was already done with her wine.

The waitress saw me attempting to eat the jaw breaker and rescued me by telling me she usually pulled it apart and ate it with her fork. I told her that wouldn’t be as much fun and pretended that I was doing just fine. When she wasn’t looking, I did as she suggested. I was having so much fun with my Muffaletta that I nearly forgot about my slaw. The slaw was okay, but not my favorite.

I could only eat one of the halves of the half sandwich and Alice wanted to share a desert. We got the Something Chocolate. It had whipped cream, a warm rocky-road cookie with Clumpie’s French silk ice cream for $6.50. It was very good, but I was so full, I could not eat more than a few bites. Alice saw that I hadn’t finished my wine either and had asked if I was going to drink any more. I told her I was through with it and she grabbed my glass and finished the rest (this is why I drive when I meet Alice for lunch).

The flavor of my sandwich was memorable and so delicious. I would definitely order it again even if I need to unhinge my jaws to eat it!

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