Granny's Sunday Gravy at Gennarino's: Thanksgiving on a Traveling Hoagie
Each week, Justin Bitner goes hunting for DFW's most interesting sandwiches. Have a sandwich suggestion? Leave it in the comments and he'll check it out.
The Sandwich: Granny's Sunday Gravy ($5)
Bread: Warm hoagie
Toppings: Turkey meatballs, bracioli, pork loin, mozzarella, parmesan, tomato sauce
The Case: 'Wich Trials goes mobile this week to check out Dallas' newest obsession: Naples. From pizzas to the Turkey Sandwich, the invasion from the City by the Tyrrhenian has been rampant. We've seen so much Neapolitan (and faux Neapolitan) food hit the Metroplex lately that we've even started questioning the veracity of tri-flavored bowls of ice cream.
The guys from Gennarino's brings a unique offering from their hometown with their fried snack wagon. Approaching the trailer on a recent afternoon, I was greeted by three young Italian guys sporting impeccably kempt 15 o'clock shadows.
After I take 1/17 of a second to look at the menu, one of the brothers, Raffaele, popped his head out of the truck and gave me a rundown of their offerings. I had my heart on the Sunday Gravy sandwich, and after hearing Raffaele heap praises on the intriguing sub, I was even more confident in my choice. As my order was being prepared, I chatted with another of the trio, Armando. He and I struck up a conversation around their style of food and the plight of food trucks in the Big D. The entire experience gave the warm impression of a tiny restaurant, one where the owner comes out and gives you more attention than a curt "Everything OK here?" as they walk by.
That attention is evident in the food as well. The Sunday Gravy sandwich, with gravy in this case meaning a well-stewed tomato sauce, takes the classic Meatball sub and gives it a solid update. Turkey meatballs (their seasonal nod to Thanksgiving) are joined by sliced pork loin and bracioli to form a mighty meat trinity. The latter of the three is a cut of steak that is pounded thin then rolled in various herbs, only to be dunked into a tank of tomato sauce to braise for a few hours. Adding to the protein party are mozzarella and parmesan cheese, with the toppings surrounded by the aforementioned gravy.
The sandwich is a great change of pace. With each bite you get a different taste, ranging from the herbal pop of the steak to the more subdued saltiness of the pork. The meatballs are smaller as well, solving the dilemma that occurs with most sandwiches of that ilk, where you try to chomp precisely halfway into a meatball with each bite. I'd like to see the cheese be more of a player, and for them to even use some of the homemade mozzarella that they feature on their Caprese sandwich. The bread keeps everything together, but the Sunday Gravy does the real binding here, permeating each ingredient and giving an excellent, piquant base.
The Verdict: Though they don't showcase a picture of an emo clown holding a sandwich, Gennarino's brings some great, authentic Neapolitan eats.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.