Roast Beef Smitty Sandwich, State Street Deli, Northampton, MA

I wrote extensively about my lust for the curried turkey salad at the State Street Deli in Northampton, MA, last year. While I was courting the curry, a new item caught my eye the last time we were in State Street, and some five-odd sandwiches later, I can now confide to you that I am smitten with Smitty- the Roast Beef Smitty sandwich, that is.
It combines my love for simplicity in a sandwich and spreads it with a sultry housemade Boursin cheese. With that bogglingly slight change, it transforms a provincial brown bag lunch into a savory treat for the senses. You’d consider it an overreaction, unless, of course, you had one of these yourself. By combining the gustatory, albeit caloric, pleasures of adding cheese and mayo, the Boursin acts as both a condiment and a necessary lubricant for maintaining a textural balance in the sandwich’s core. The saltiness is a predominant flavor, but comes across as a medley of flavors spawning from the roast beef and the spread without overwhelming. The slight tang from the sourdough turns stodgy into sophisticated.
In my daily sniffing around of the grocery store, I pleaded with the cute employees and begged them to sell me the Boursin separately, so that I could make these in my own kitchen, turn into a gleeful, obese monster, and never have to leave the house again. They declined, possibly for fear of lawsuits or losing the 7% of sales I currently bring in, but did indulge my gluttony with the recipe. I have not made it yet. The risk is too high.We ate sandwiches for dinner in lieu of the pasta and meatballs we’d planned on making. The humidity lightly steamed the bread and it stuck to the roofs of our mouths, plastered with cold sesame noodles and buffalo chicken salad as sides. The homemade oatmeal cookie whoopie pie, a larger, softer denizen of the snack cake genre, topped off the night. And who says humid evenings aren’t fun?If you’re not in town and can’t get your hands on one of these, I have a special review in the next few days if you’ve got a hankering for roast beef…

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