Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sandwiches at Chino's Deli

Little did the 4th Earl of Sandwich knew that when he asked from his kitchen to put thinly sliced meat and cheese in between two pieces of slice bread so that we won't be interrupted while playing cards that he would be ushering a culinary revolution that would sweep the world. Actually that was just the legend of how the sandwich was named. The concept of wrapping meat with bread has been around ever since man learned to bake bread.

The legend may only be the inveterate gambler's only claim to fame, but it makes a great introduction for my next blog post. When Centrio opened a few months in Cagayan de Oro, I thought at the time that new mall would be great opportunity for some of my favorite Manila stores to set a beachhead in my part of the Philippines. Army-Navy, Italianni's and Bread Talk have erected their branches. I'm still waiting for Fully Booked and the world's largest restaurant chain, Subway. Now Subway, the purveyor of fine sandwiches the world over, is the one that I most excited to see. Although I have not heard any hint of rumor, still I hope they consider opening in Cagayan de Oro. In Subway's absence, one store has stepped up to challenge of providing the city's residents gourmet sandwiches and that is Chino's Deli.

The Chino's Deli Stall beside the cinemas at Centrio.
Chino's Deli has been around for a while, since 1990 as their Facebook page indicates. They have been making meat products for 23 years now but their sandwich store in Centrio was the first time I encountered the brand. They have rented a nice space right beside the cinemas on the third floor and it was when I watched The Wolverine that I first noticed the stall, but as is my custom I went straight into the movie theater without any snacks. After the testosterone-driven stab-fest action flick, I had a craving for meat and I thought of the stall just outside the theater and ordered my first sandwich from Chino's Deli.

Chino's Deli Cheesesteak sandwich ordered to go.

I had their Cheesesteak, which had thinly sliced pieces of their beef bacon with caramelized onions,  topped with a cheese sauce and served in a toasted baguette. The cheese sauce already made it a winner in my eyes but I have to objective here. I love their bread, French style bread with a soft crumb inside. It was toasted perfectly. The meat was flavored a bit too sweetly for me and it could have used more onions in my opinion. After the euphoria of eating a sandwich slathered in cheese sauce subsided, I admit that it wasn't as thick as I initially thought. Still, it was a good sandwich and no doubt I will be back to try their touted "Ultimate" sandwich.