It’s not every day you get asked to come and hang out with an owner of a sandwich shop to chat about sandwiches and create your very own sandwich!
Pom Moongauklang owner of Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria invited me over to hangout and talk sandwiches. It was such an honor to meet Pom since I had have been eating at Pom Pom’s for years.
It was great to meet her and to hear the story and history behind Pom Pom’s. Pom opened the restaurant 10 years ago and at first had her fears about that maybe Orlando wasn’t ready for her sandwiches. I am glad it worked out and she has grown and become an Orlando favorite foodie destination. (Check out her walls with all the awards of Best of…)
Pom actually started in the culinary world creating pastries in NY and worked at a restaurant that was French and Pan-Asian. The owner owned two restaurants and left the hallway open so they could have the opportunity to try both cuisines. After a long day of work- the staff would be hungry and would go out for sandwiches. That was what led her to want to open a sandwicheria. She wanted to mix different flavors and styles and make delicious sandwiches- it’s an east meets west concept and pays it respect to the places she previously worked at.
Pom created a place the “Mad Hatter meets Willy Wonka. If those two were to have lunch together, this is what they would come up with.”
I really enjoyed listening to Pom talk about the importance of how to make a sandwich- the quality bread that they use, the locally fresh ingredients; the idea of making sure you hit all the corners when spreading condiments; and making sure you have enough filling to cover all the bread. She even schooled me on where the cheese should be placed. There is a science to making a great sandwich and too few people understand a really good sandwich.
How you assemble it- I think it’s an artform and there is a science to how to assemble it.
While we chatted Pom said to me- “Come on back -Let’s have you create a sandwich!”
So I got to walk behind the counter and got to see what she’s working with. Her crew does some amazing stuff with the small space she has. Her fridges, sink areas are smaller than a 10 x 10 space. Which is amazing since they don’t have an oven or stove- they use 5 portable stove tops to make the homemade soups, the chili mac, etc. It is some NY style limited space creativity (Stack it high and organized- “everything has a place”.) Next time you go to Pom Pom’s take a moment and watch them work in the space they are in. I’m amazed on how 2 board members (sandwich makers) and 2 servers work in the space. It’s great to see how efficient and effective her team is. It’s a smooth process even amongst all the chaos of people coming in and out dining in or taking out.
So the time came for me to create my own sandwich. She forewarned me that I would be creating something before I walked in so that I could come up wth something not on the menu.
So there I am with so many choices of meat, cheese, toppings, and condiments and its time to make my sandwich. I knew I wanted something different and meaty. The easiest decision was the bread- whole wheat. We needed something to coat the bread and I didn’t want to use mayo. I wanted something sweet so we went with strawberry jelly.
We discussed what kind of cheese I wanted and I told Pom I wanted a mild cheese since, so Gouda was decided.
Then came the meats, there were so many to choose from. I went with the meat combo of: Pastrami, Roast Beef and Ham. Pom pointed out to me that we needed to layer them properly. She mentioned this because Pastrami and Ham are salty meats so the Roast Beef needed to be in the middle. Layering the flavors.
Ok, I thought we were done. Thats when Pom said we need to add another small layer of flavor- a few red onions.
We assembled this meaty beast and It was time to put her on the press and make her feel all toasty and warm inside.
9 sandwiches can fit on the press they use. If its just one sandwich spacers are used.
When my sandwich was done she looked AWESOME!! I never would have made it at home. We cut it up into 6 pieces and sampled our creation. This is one hearty sandwich and the mix of the jelly and onions with the salty and smoky of the gouda works very well. I loved it!
Pom liked it too and was happy with what we came up with. She liked it so much that she told me it will be part of their monthly Specials they have. We just needed to name it. I knew meat would be in the name and Pom just says Gouda Meat Cha and our sandwich was named! I am so ecstatic about this sandwich. I also want to eat a whole version of it!
Hungry to try this sandwich? It will be available at Pom Pom’s every 3rd Sunday of the month- so on Sunday, June 19th 2016, you can come try and enjoy a Gouda Meat Cha! a Deli Fresh Threads/Pom Pom’s Creation!