DiPrato's Combo

what: Di Prato’s Combo

cost: $9.95, additional $2.99 for fries

where: Di Prato’s, 342 Pickens St., 803-779-0606

If you have a bad habit of always ordering the same thing at your favorite places, might I recommend occasionally asking what they think you should try? The other day, feeling adventurous, I decided to forgo my usual choice at Di Prato’s and roll the dice. (For the curious, my usual is a marinated roasted red and yellow bell pepper panini, but on a wrap instead of bread, but still cooked in the panini maker.) Yahtzee!

The waiter recommended the Di Prato’s Combo, a Dagwood-worthy sandwich on soft sourdough bread piled high with thin-sliced turkey breast, Black Forest ham, and top round roast beef. The meats are topped with crunchy iceberg lettuce, ripe tomatoes, earthy alfalfa sprouts, creamy muenster cheese, fresh avocado, a thin smear of mayonnaise, and a healthy enough dose of spicy brown mustard to give it a little zing. About that cheese. As a control freak, I asked if it would come melted. It would not, but my waiter offered to make that happen. Y’all, I decided to let Jesus take the wheel and eat the sandwich the way the kitchen intended. After all, why go to a restaurant if you aren’t willing to relinquish a little control?

This sandwich is perfectly balanced in terms of flavor and texture (an essential consideration often overlooked by bad sandwich makers). The bread is strong enough to hold it together until the last bite. And because hot food is the best, go ahead and pay the small upcharge for fries. Di Prato’s coated fries are a delight, packed with flavor, crunchy on the outside, and soft and delicious on the inside. My motto? Always get the fries.

Next time you’re in the market for an excellent sandwich, friendly and efficient service, and pimento cheese to take home to snack on later, Di Prato’s is the place to go. They’re open every day from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., with brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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