I went to Slow, in Berkeley, for the first time today for lunch and it was DELECTABLE. I first heard about Slow a few months ago when it either first opened or suddenly became quite popular. It’s one of those small restaurants that serve “gourmet food at reasonable prices.” I like how they use local ingredients and you could tell everything was quite fresh.
On the recommendation of a friend, who has been raving about this place for months, I ordered the Niman Ranch Braised Beef sandwich with “pickled pepper and onion, smoked gouda cheese, baby arugula, and aioli on ACME Batard” and a house-made iced tea.
The iced tea itself wasn’t anything special but they offer to add fresh raspberry bits and that gave the drink a little punch of tartness and sweetness. My friends both ordered their house-made lemonade which you could also get raspberries. Both drinks tasted a little watered down, but nothing appallingly tasteless.
The sandwich came pretty quickly (within 10 minutes of the last person in our group ordering) and looked so, so good. It was like one of those food items you could tell would taste great just by looking at it. There was aioli coming out from a few holes in the bread, and I’m not a huge fan of aioli but it was pretty light in taste, and I didn’t dislike it like I always dislike mayonnaise in sandwiches. Personally, I can’t really cook for beans and I don’t have a refined palate, but god, the braised beef was amazing. It was juicy and tender and stringy in a good way and the equal helping of pepper and onion and arugula helped balance all the flavors perfectly. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. The ACME batard provided some crunchy texture to contrast the soft, almost squishiness (hehe) of the sandwich’s insides. However, my mouth and gums always pay the price when I eat this type of hard-crusted bread. Chewing was sometimes hard because the bread has no give. But it was all worth it. When I finished my sandwich, I just wanted another one. Definitely going back and trying other items on their menu (I have an eye on the Free Range Chicken Salad sandwich).
Slow looks pretty small from the front but if you go to the back, there’s a large seating area, with many tables and picnic benches with large umbrellas to block the sun, located in the middle of a rose garden. Perfect for this warm weather.