Best Sandwich Shop (2008)

Pineapple Blossom Tea Room

For reasons that elude all logic, some foods just taste better when someone else makes them. Tea sandwiches are definitely in that category, possibly because the whole idea of afternoon tea should be supremely relaxed indulgence, not something one has to work for. Who has the patience to cut off all that crust? Frances Brown, chef/owner of this cheery establishment — where teatime is anytime — does. And the savory salmon, chicken, and cucumber-filled triangles that come with both her English or Caribbean-style full teas (which also include flaky scones with cream and jam, a variety of little pastries, and choice of 30 teas: $15 to $18) are the epitome of civilized elegance. That said, the unique wraps are its signature sandwiches. The fresh fillings vary with the seasons but always feature combinations of ingredients that are both unusual and sumptuous, raised to heavenly heights by impeccably made spreads: Caribbean shrimp or lobster salad with avocado and tropical salsa ($9.95); juicy grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, scallions, and Gorgonzola chunks, with subtly sweet/sour dressing ($8.50); smoked salmon with cukes, red onion, and beautifully balanced, zesty yet rich wasabi crème frâiche ($8.75). Flavorful garnishes such as fig chutney, spiced curry dressing, and succulent black olive tapenade make even vegetarian sandwiches shine.


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