Today I am beginning a new series of articles focused on the best sandwiches in the Baltimore area. I thought it was only appropriate to start this quest by reviewing my favorite sandwich in the area, if not the world. The Stu Special, served at Attman’s Deli on the famed Corned Beef Row, is more than just a sandwich, it’s the product of a culinary mastermind. This two-tiered beauty includes “Hot Corned Beef, Hot Pastrami, Imported Swiss, Cole Slaw and Russian Dressing.” The sandwich engineers at Attman’s use three slices of rye bread for this sandwich with a slice in the middle to separate the two meats and to soak up some juices from the slaw and Russian dressing. The corned beef and pastrami come out warm and blend perfectly with the not-too-wet cole slaw and flavorful, but not overpowering, Russian dressing. The size of the sandwich makes it a difficult task to take a bite of the whole thing at once, but if you do the flavors all merge in ecstasy as if your taste buds will be dancing to “Party in the USA” in your mouth.
A tip for those who will immediately be driving downtown to buy this sandwich: ask for toasted bread. The Stu Special is normally served on fresh rye, untoasted but one afternoon when I ordered my Stu Special the gentlemen in charge of crafting it suggested I try toasted bread as it holds up better to the condiments used in the sandwich. He was a fellow sandwich connoisseur so I trusted his advice and was delighted with the results. With only a light toasting of the bread the sandwich was even better than before (something I had thought to be impossible).
Might I suggest some other accoutrements to enjoy with your Stu Special: at Attman’s you can have some of the finest pickles you will ever put in your mouth; I usually go with a sliced dill. Top it all off with a Nantucket Nectar apple juice and you’ve got one of the finest lunches a man or woman can enjoy.
I know many of you at work will be tempted to drive to Attman’s right now and buy a sandwich to bring back to your office, but I wouldn’t overlook the opportunity to enjoy your lunch in Attman’s Kibbitz Room, a separate dining area next to the preparation area. Fun conversations will flow and all in attendance will be mesmerized by the glorious posters adorning the walls with images of meats, cheeses, and party trays that Attman’s offers through its catering service.
For those looking to be enlightened on the vast sandwich culture in and around the land of pleasant living this is where you want to start. Attman’s Deli is iconic in Baltimore and the Stu Special is its most prized offering.