Sandwich From a Sepia-Tinted Alternate Universe

Todays News

Photo taken by Andrew Fabian

There’s a sense at Main Bar Sandwich Shop that you could walk in at any point during the day and it would be abustle with servers and patrons. It’s as though the restaurant exists in a time warp where it’s always noon on a weekday and has been stuck there since opening in 1958. The wood paneling, the dim off-white lighting that diffuses through stained glass light fixtures, the faux leather upholstery, a staff of longtime servers—all of these things contribute to the feeling that Main Bar is a living museum. 

Even the food feels like an exhibit piece. The “famous Italian” sandwich uses the same recipe of its creator, Thea Borza. A former bareback horse rider and circus performer, Borza concocted the restaurant’s signature sandwich as an homage to her Florentine roots. Stacked with salami, ham, provolone cheese, tomatoes and onions, it’s the chopped peppers and a blend of oil, garlic and spices that makes this sandwich such a longtime favorite of downtown office workers. There’s a bit of kick from the peppers and a whole lot of savoriness from the garlic and spices to perfectly compliment what is, quite simply, the perfect hoagie roll.  

As Sarasota continues to grow into its modern threads, Main Bar Sandwich Shop continues to serve up a comforting bit of sandwich nostalgia from its sepia-tinted alternate universe.

Photo taken by Andrew Fabian

The Main Bar Sandwich Shop, 1944 Main Street, Sarasota, themainbar.com

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