Idiot Sandwich Demonstrates the Endless Possibilities Available in Between Two Pieces of BreadNovember 20, 2017
“I’ve always felt like this country needs [more] sandwiches,” says Filipino-American Chris Cataluna. Having grown up in New York and California before moving to the Philippines just six years back, he found that most sandwiches sold across restaurants in the Metro were peddled at price points too high that, as he remarks, “they’re not necessarily welcoming to all demographics.” Looking to make sandwiches more accessible to the majority, he and partner Trisha Katipunan established Idiot Sandwich—where the pair showcase their signature sandwich creations you won’t find anywhere else.
Cataluna, himself of a fashion design and education background but who had also gotten the opportunity to go to culinary school, looks at flavors from all over the world for inspiration. Taken from their love of Korean barbecue, for example, is the ever-zingy Tae Kwon Dope sandwich, which comes bursting with a sweet and spicy punch from Korean barbecue-style marinated beef, kimchi, scallions, and sesame seeds. The flavors of the Scandinavian peninsula, on the other hand, shine in the High-Kea sandwich, with gravy-doused Swedish meatballs, onions, and mushrooms of robust, beefy flavors with a welcome whisper of nutmeg. Filipino flavors, too, come well-represented in their take on everyone’s favorite meryenda-slash-hangover via the Go Home, You’re Drunk sandwich—a twin serving of their Drunken Noodles (a stir-fried rice noodle dish also served as a standalone plate at the duo’s other venture, Bao Bar) in between toasted bao buns, crowned with fried eggs for a slick of yolk-y richness that works with the noodles’ umami comfort.
With a lineup of six sandwiches, each of which carries distinct personalities and profiles from different regions, but always with good balance of flavors, textures, and mouthfeels—Idiot Sandwich happily demonstrates the many possibilities of what you can stuff between two pieces of bread. “The sandwich [form] is universal . . . changing what we put between the buns really changes the game,” Cataluna relays. Though he acknowledges that sandwiches tend to be viewed more as snacks or light meals in this rice-loving part of the world, Idiot Sandwich begs to differ: hefty in size and weight and generous on the filling (not just on bread), you can expect a stomach-busting meal-sized portion in each sandwich that does justice to their roughly 200-250 peso price tag. Catch them during their occasional weekend pop-ups, or keep this link bookmarked for deliveries.
Idiot Sandwich makes sandwiches with combinations inspired by flavors from all over the world.