Eating Monet

The sandwiches at Rose’s are as artsy, fun and interesting as the staff.

The sandwiches at Rose’s are as artsy, fun and interesting as the staff.

Photo By David Robert

“The Art of the Sandwich” is the motto at Rose’s. This is a reference both to their masterful production of the lunchtime staple and to their gimmick of naming sandwiches after famous artists. This is sure to generate conversation as patrons try to trace the often tenuous connections between the sandwiches and their namesakes.

“Shouldn’t the Rockwell have American cheese?” asked my friend Tim. “And why is the tuna melt just called ‘Tuna Melt?'”

I mentioned that I was considering the Christo ($8). My friend Nicole said she hoped it came wrapped in paper with a little metal cocktail umbrella—in reference to some of the Belgian artist’s most famous work. I was disappointed that it did not but was quite pleased with the sandwich. It was basically a version of a Monte Cristo sandwich, with turkey, ham, melted Swiss, strawberry jam and powdered sugar—really a great mix of the sweet and the succulent.

The Christo enticed Nicole away from her vegetarianism, if only for a bite or two. She just had to sample what was obviously a first-rate sandwich. She was susceptible to such sandwich seduction because her own selection was disappointing. She had the Monet ($8), an open-faced sandwich with avocado, the house pesto, tomato and onion, on wheat bread.

“I was hoping that the avocado would be sliced,” she said, “not … mushed.” She dipped her fork into the lumpy green mush. “Lumpy green mush” is possibly the least appetizing look a dish can have.

Also lumpy, green and mushy was the Caprese salad ($8), with mozzarella and tomato on greens with a pesto vinagrette. We split it between the three of us and still didn’t care to finish it.

Tim, however, scored with a good sandwich, the Renoir ($7), Havarti, Swiss, Jack and cream cheeses with avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion on sourdough. The cheeses were excellent, each possessing a distinct flavor. Special mention needs to be made of the bread at Rose’s, which is great—fresh, fluffy and thickly sliced. The sandwiches all come with chips or salad, though this still doesn’t quite justify their rather high cost.

To accompany our sandwiches, Tim and I had smoothies ($3.95 for 16 ounces). The menu boasts that they are “award-winning” and with good reason; they’re delicious and thick enough that you’ve got to know how to really work a straw. You can choose any combination from a variety of fresh fruits including strawberry, blueberry, peach, banana, raspberry and mango.

Tim mentioned that neither he nor Nicole much cared for the artists for whom their sandwiches were named.

“Yes,” added Nicole, “but my sandwich is just like Monet—sort of interesting in theory, but actually bland and disappointing.”

Since the environment is pleasant and the food mostly great, one wants to linger. But Rose’s is only open for lunch, closing at 3:00 p.m. They’ll ask you to leave if you overstay your welcome. Right at 3:00, as we were spooning the dregs of our smoothies and eating complimentary brownies, our waitress, who had otherwise been friendly and chatty, told us it was time to go. Tim, a waiter himself, said, “I wish I was brave enough to ask people to leave right at closing time like that.”

As we were leaving, Tim mentioned he needed to visit the restroom. Nicole directed him to where he could find the Duchamp.