In the past year, I have spent time at our local parks for exercise and takeout or picnic adventures. These experiences have made me appreciate our town even more because we are fortunate to have many beautiful green spaces. For this column, I invited our local historian and fellow San Pedro Today contributor Angela Romero to join me for a few sandwich-in-the-park outings. In my column, you’ll find four of my favorite sandwiches, while in hers, you’ll learn some interesting facts about the parks we visited.
Caprese Sandwich from A1 Imported Groceries at Peck Park: This sandwich makes you dream of Italy. The bread is perfectly soft, but not the kind that gets stuck to the top of your mouth. The sliced Roma tomatoes are seasoned with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, while the fresh mozzarella is topped with an abundant amount of very fragrant basil. The unexpected ingredient is a stack of prosciutto slices that takes this sandwich to next-level delicious. All the flavors come together perfectly. Visually, this is a colorful sandwich, while the taste is very satisfying.
Walk the trails along the lush woody canyon and back before eating in the grassy area along Summerland Avenue or at the picnic tables.
The Cuban from The Sandwich Saloon at Averill Park: I generally don’t gravitate toward hot sandwiches, but this one had me at “hello” when I first tried it last year. Don’t expect a traditional Cuban, but be prepared to be impressed by the subtle sweetness from the pork and coleslaw, the saltiness of the thin slices of ham, and the neutral white cheese. The tenderness of the pork is countered by the slight crunchiness of the cabbage in the coleslaw, while the pork’s juices are absorbed by the bread, which heats the ham slices and slightly melts the cheese.
Walk the perimeter of the park and inner paved trails, making sure to stroll around the stream to visit the ducks and turtles. Then, eat your sandwich on the grass or at one of the picnic tables.
Belly Buster from Busy Bee Market at Point Fermin Park: Living up to its name, this sandwich is big enough to share with a friend. A generous helping of two meats of your choice (hot or cold) are laid in between the cut halves of a soft roll, brushed with mayonnaise and yellow mustard. This is a very messy sandwich, the kind that you do not have on a first or second date, due to the cheese, avocado, shredded iceberg lettuce, and of course, the meat jockeying for space on the delicious bread. The combinations are endless, but my favorites are mortadella with salami or capicola. All of their sandwiches come with pepperoncini. Ask for extra avocado for a truly luxurious experience.
Walk along the paved path around the park to admire the spectacular views, then enjoy your sandwich at one of the picnic tables. As far as I am concerned, the tables along the cliffs are the ideal place to enjoy your sandwich because you’ll have an uninterrupted view of our beautiful coastline.
Dry Salami Sandwich from Sorrento’s Italian Restaurant at Friendship Park: I can’t resist a good dry salami sandwich; this is my favorite option at Sorrento’s. A stack of dry salami is topped with slices of white cheese, tomatoes, and shredded iceberg lettuce. The bread is dry, but the red wine vinaigrette provides a flavorful tang with a nice amount of moisture. You’ll also find a few pepperoncini to enjoy with your sandwich.
Walk from the parking lot to the top of the hill and back, then eat on the grass. Or — even better — dine at one of the picnic tables overlooking all of San Pedro. spt