Atlanta is not lacking for great sandwiches. Sure, it's no New York, with delis on every street corner serving up heros good and cheap, but at the top of the sandwich heap we have some damn good ones. Alon's, Muss & Turner's and Star Provisions all make world-class sandwiches, and now we can add Sawicki's Meat, Seafood & More to that list. The deli, butchery and market opened last May in downtown Decatur.
Star alumnus: Owner Lynne Sawicki spent time at the aforementioned Star Provisions, and the influence shows. Apart from the sandwiches, Sawicki's also specializes in two other areas Star Provisions is known for: gourmet meats and baked goods. The store is also part butcher shop, with natural meats and fresh seafood available by the pound, from deli meats to organic chicken on up to $36-per-pound Kobe rib eye.
Out to lunch: The real draw here is the sandwiches. Fresh, high-quality ingredients make up the 12 menu selections, plus a few daily specials. Roasted meat sandwiches, such as the lamb with red-onion jam ($9), are juicy, embracing the meat's fatty, gamey goodness. A recent special of roasted pork with pickled onions and lemon ($8.50) has proven so popular it will likely migrate to the regular menu soon. For a bright-tasting, meatless approach, the artichoke with spinach, avocado and tomato tartine ($7.50) is a thoroughly delicious veggie and goo fest, reminiscent of a picnic in Provence. The more traditional Italian options include Genoa and finnochiona salamis, hot soppresaata and fontina cheese ($7.25) and a meatball sub with fresh mozzarella on a warm baguette ($7.25).
Smart cookie: There's also a large deli case devoted to the sweeter stuff, all made in-house. A large range of cookies sits alongside breakfast pastries, rich brownies and seriously scrumptious cupcakes. The lemon cupcake with raspberry filling captured a sweet/sour dichotomy in the icing so often missing from lemon desserts, the raspberry filling balancing the light cake wonderfully.
Global market: A small case holds picnic and hors d'oeuvres goodies, including Sweet Grass Dairy cheeses and assorted patés and dry sausages. On the wall, a small selection of British goods stands proud, with Cadbury Picnic chocolate bars, true British teas and marmalades among the offerings.
For those who long for the old-fashioned neighborhood market, who think nostalgically of the days when there was a hometown butcher and a friendly, familiar face delivering that night's dinner ingredients, Sawicki's will be a pleasing treat. Or if you just want a fantastic sandwich without having to go to the Highlands or the Westside, the deli brings the great Atlanta sandwich smack into the center of Decatur.