Sandwich of the Week: Ambar’s Gluten-Free, Open-Faced Balkan Sandwich
Looking for a vegetarian or gluten-free sandwich with some chutzpah? Ambar’s chef Ivan Zivkovic has created a special sandwich for the restaurant’s new lunch menu that will grab your attention. Decorated with a Jack-o-lantern motif made from creamy, zesty ajvar (a Balkan roasted bell pepper), eggplant, and garlic emulsion, the sandwich is available through November 1 in Washington, D.C. and is one of several tasty new sandwiches that include Balkan ingredients.
Inspired by the inventive, artistically designed open-faced sandwiches popular in Copenhagen, this hearty sandwich is made with one slice of high-fiber, gluten-free, German rye bread topped by an organic cabbage slaw, a small amount of roasted pumpkin, and a thick slice of breadcrumb coated, softened gouda cheese — and it’s only $6. According to chef Zivkovic, he and sous chef Chip Hawkins, “wanted to offer D.C. diners an open-face sandwich for lunch so they could experience a unique, affordable sandwich found nowhere else.”
With flavors and influences from Croatian, Mediterranean, Serbian, Turkish, and other Eastern European cultures and cuisines, Balkan food is as diverse and delightfully distinct as its people. Maybe Ambar’s new sandwich can be D.C. diners’ first taste of a lesser known but exciting cuisine — which is why it’s this week’s Sandwich of the Week.
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Summer Whitford is the D.C. Editor and food, drink and travel writer at The Daily Meal and lifestyle writer at Woman Around Town. Follow her on Twitter @FoodandWineDiva and on Instagram at thefoodandwinediva.