When I was a kid Sarussi was THE sandwich of sandwiches in Miami. I rarely craved a Cuban sandwich or a medianoche, it was all about Sarussi and their super secret sauce and crispy bread slobbered in garlic butter.
My father used to buy a couple of sandwiches and bring them home. Later on that night he would turn the oven on and heat up those babies until they were even more crispier than before. The house would warm up with the smell of smoky ham, pork and garlic, and of course that sauce. If I could swim in it I would grow gills. Without it you just have another Cuban sandwich. This sauce is what really makes a sandwich a Sarussi sandwich.
I was having a saucy Sarussi crave the other day and ventured to the location on 10609 SW 8 Street. It’s not the original to have the Original, but they have the sauce I needed, and that’s all that mattered. Or so I thought.
Some restaurants are lucky enough to have the opportunity to expand and open several locations. Unfortunately, quality of food sometimes begins to suffer at this point as some priorities change for restaurant owners. It is my assumption after having my favorite childhood sandwich this weekend that Sarussi has become an example of this as they have cut on taste in order to focus on territory. It pains me to say that the fall of The Sandwich King I knew and loved has occurred, and no, Jeff Mauro had nothing to do with its dethronement.
My sandwich was just blah. Nothing spectacular here. Maybe it’s just that my taste has evolved past that of 10-year-old me. I refuse to settle for stale bread, bland meats and an extreme deprivation of secret sauce. Both my heart and sandwich were cold that night as I felt a piece of my childhood had been stolen from me.
Maybe the churrasco sandwich would be better I thought. No chance. The meat tasted old, cooked to a burnt and felt more leathery than most belts I own. After one bite I knew that sadly, Sarussi had just become a thing of the past. I shouldn’t have to visit the original location to get the food that is expected. Travel Channel apparently named this sandwich the best in the city a couple years ago. I think it’s time the network took another visit down south.