Typically, I do all the travel planning for Peter and my adventures. He just trusts my judgment and rarely has any requests. Perfect. But, there was one minor asking in Seattle, Washington. He absolutely wanted to have lunch at celebrity chef, Mario Batali’s father’s deli, Salumi. Of course I indulged him, and myself in one of the best sandwiches…ever.

This tiny hot spot draws inspiration from an Italian Salumeria, producing the highest quality in cured meats and foods.

Located in Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square district, you can easily find it by following the meaty smells or the line that flows outside the door at noontime. A special board out front advertises the delicacies for the day. Today, there was an intriguing Chambotta soup, which means garbage in Italian.

The menu is short and each item features the handmade meats that they are known for.

Salumi was a retirement dream for Armandino Batali and from the, seemingly endless, line he will not be resting anytime soon. We were warned to arrive early, but still had ten hungry folks ahead of us. At least there was hanging meat to look at while we waited.

This place runs like a well-oiled machine, the busy employees are preparing your order as you wait in line. And they are quick.

Peter ordered the Muffo, short for Muffaletta, which is made early in the day so that the olive tapenade has a chance to soak into the Ciabbata bread. After, add two different salamis and some cheese. Simple goodness.

But, I was the winner with the porky meatball sandwich.

These are not your typical meatballs, they had chunks of tender, shredded pork throughout. Smother them with marinara, add green peppers, melt provolone and this is a meatball sandwich that will invade your dreams.

There are only about five tables in the joint and we chose the only vacant seats at the otherwise crammed communal. Eating elbow to elbow with your neighbor only added to the experience. We made friends in the time it takes to inhale our lunch.

Before departing, I noticed a bookshelf behind our table and had to know what was in the Batali’s cookbook repetoire. Mostly, I just was hoping that one of them would give me the secret to those meatballs. Nope.

One thing is for sure, cooking good food runs in the Batali family.

Have you been to Salumi in Seattle? What’s the best sandwich you ever had?