Bad As's, John Collazo's Milk District sandwich joint, gives lunch new life

Sammies club

Bad As's #10
Bad As's #10 Photo by Rob Bartlett
207 N. Primrose Drive

The name is certainly deserving of a visit, or at least a sternly worded letter of admonition from the grammar police, but misplaced apostrophes or not, Bad As's Sandwich upholds the legacy of John Montagu with aplomb. Granted, the fourth Earl of Sandwich likely never sunk his ivory teeth into a French roll bursting at the seams with adobo-roasted pork, bacon, pepperoni, havarti, roasted mushrooms, pickled onions, cilantro, Asian slaw, tomatoes, tater tots and creole-mustard aioli, but you sure as hell can.

It's called the Big Boy ($14), and at chef-owner John Collazo's Milk District sammie joint, the porky monstrosity is the big-ticket item – a testament to the friendly ghosts of Se7en Bites (the space's previous tenant) haunting the kitchen with a similar spirit of decadence. Another freak of a sandwich, the appropriately named "El Anormal #3" ($12), was devoured in, you guessed it, seven big-ass bites. Spooky, though hardly surprising considering the make-up of this beauty. For one, the Mallorca bun: Collazo makes it in-house, then fills the soft, flaky, subtly sweet egg bread with adobo-roasted pork and peppery cantimpalo sausage gooeyed up with chipotle jack cheese. Garnishes like crispy onions, saffron aioli and a guava glaze aren't mere afterthoughts, either.

In terms of textures and flavors, El Anormal really has it all, yet there's something to be said about the simpler sandwich, and Bad As's (man, that's hard to type) "Mafioso" ($10) with thinly shaved beef, fontina, pickled onions and sun-dried tomato aioli will have me driving right past Beefy King and straight into its arms every time. The French roll in which it's contained is made off-site by an "undisclosed baker" but, I was assured, it's made fresh daily. At one point during a lunchtime visit, my dining comrade bit into the Mafioso, and I into the herb-roasted chicken and pepperoni "Soprano" ($10) and we found ourselves mutely nodding at each other for a good minute before breaking the silence with a guffaw. But seriously, these sandwiches are no joking matter.

click to enlarge Bad As's, John Collazo's Milk District sandwich joint, gives lunch new life
Photo by Rob Bartlett

The Ninja ($10), another relatively unassuming assemblage comprising crispy glazed pork belly, slaw, cilantro and spicy miso-lime aioli, tugged at our cholesterol-soaked heartstrings, but what of the conscientious luncher, you ask? I'll say this: The lone meat-deprived offering – an ever-changing one dubbed the "Triple H" for "Happy Healthy Humans" – isn't some dismissive creation designed to pander to vegetarians. On this particular day, the hoagie was graced with roasted zucchini and mushrooms, havarti, organic lettuce, pickled onions and a sun-dried tomato aioli that ultimately let loose a fourth "H" – hellz yeah!

Bad As's (still tough to type) sandwiches, by the by, are served with house-made chips, though you can order some of them as a half-sandwich with soup (the tomato bisque was proper) or a salad (wonderfully fresh and kicked with a spicy lime-cilantro dressing) for $9.95. There are no dessert offerings, but should your sweet tooth require it, might I suggest a short jaunt up the road to Se7en Bites for a salted caramel dark-chocolate pecan pie?

Now that would be pretty badass.

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