Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
The thing that sets a great sandwich apart from a merely good one is a sense of balance. It’s a truth that you grasp when you bite into the BBQ pork sandwich at Sandcastle, on Lake Nokomis. While Sandcastle may be a mere lakeside dining pavilion, it’s also part of the Doug Flicker culinary empire, and that means good eats.
The pork on Flicker’s sandwich is covered in sauce, but not too much of it. It’s got a hint of smoke, heat, and sweet, but not too much of any of those things, and none of the notes taste artificial. There’s slaw on the sandwich, but not too much of it and the slaw is not overdressed. The meat has some lovely bark to it, but there isn’t any gristle or roof-tile textured burnt bits. The bun is a lovely soft onion roll that compresses as you make your way through the sandwich, its lightly buttered and toasted crown accepting some (but not all) of the juices produced as you squeeze, chew, and repeat.
Enjoyed lakeside (and where else would you eat this thing? Lake Nokomis is right there!), this is about as good as sandwiches get: savory, bold, balanced, comforting, and compelling. The more we ate, the better it tasted, until poof! it was gone like a many-hued sunset on a perfect summer’s evening.
THE DISH: BBQ Pork Sandwich, $8.75
THE PLACE: Sandcastle, 4955 W. Nokomis Pkwy., Minneapolis
THE REASON: Sandwiches live and die based on the details, and this one has the finer points all figured out