Sandoitchi rolls south
Wildly popular Dallas-based Japanese sandwich pop-up arrives in Houston this week
As its name implies, Sandoitchi serves Japanese sandwiches, aka sandos, that are served on milk bread. Fillings include egg salad, Nashville-style hot chicken, pork katsu, and — at least occasionally — Japanese wagyu topped with edible gold and shaved black truffle. For dessert, it offers a sando filled with strawberries and matcha cream.
While that all sounds pretty compelling, let's turn it over to CultureMap Dallas to explain another aspect of Sandoitchi's success:
But really, the packaging is what clinches it. They come in little boxes, and have stickers. They're trimmed neatly, like finger sandwiches, or like the sandwiches your fantasy mom made where she cut off the crusts.
These sandwiches back up all the branding with some serious culinary firepower. Chef Stevie Nguyen worked at Uchi in both Dallas and Houston before heading to New York where he worked at Momofuku Ko, the two-Michelin-starred crown jewel in superstar chef David Chang's culinary empire. Nguyen shows off his techniques in a number of ways, including by using three different egg preparations to make his egg salad and coating the chicken with an umami-packed '"wet shio koji solution."
Sandoitchi only started this summer, but it's won legions of fans who sell out each week's production shortly after they go on sale. After beginning as a pop-up in Dallas, it spent a couple of weeks in California before returning to the Metroplex. The Houston stop is the next step of its statewide tour. Currently, Nguyen and his partners have not announced plans to open a permanent restaurant.
Ordering requires a certain amount of luck and persistence. Sign up on the Sandoitchi website to receive a password. Then be fast enough to order at 6 pm on Thursday, November 5 before the week's allotment sells out. Pickup will take place at a yet-to-be-revealed location in The Heights on Saturday, November 7.
Houston restaurants make sandos, of course. B&B Butchers sells a $120 katsu sando made with A5 wagyu from Japan. Kata Robata offers two delicious variations: one made with Texas wagyu beef and another with lobster. Local Foods in Rice Village makes its own version of an egg salad sando as part of its Japanese-inspired Hapa offerings.
But none of the existing local options have received an Instagram shoutout from Chrissy Teigen, so clearly Sandoitchi has created something worth trying.
May the sando odds be in your favor.