Flatiron Deli, Chattanooga TN

In the previous chapter, I mentioned that we celebrated finding a new place in Tennessee with a celebratory dinner. The following week, we went to sign the papers and pay the deposit, and celebrated with a terrific lunch. We found the Flatiron Deli in Yelp and certainly could have walked there from where we’d parked, had we been a little more familiar with the downtown area. Instead, we burned some gas that we needn’t have.

We were very pleasantly surprised to learn that this deli serves its great sandwiches on very soft, pillowy, steamed bread, about which, more in a moment. They’re available with two styles of dressing. Italian Style comes with olives, pepperoncini, onion, lettuce, tomato, vinagrette and mustard, and the Southern Style comes with mustard and cole slaw. I had an Italian Torpedo; that comes with turkey, ham, salami, and mozzarella cheese. These are easily among the best sandwiches that we’ve found in town so far.

The Flatiron used to be open for breakfast, but they are just a lunch place these days, with a constant rotation of sides. Time it just right and you might can enjoy their spicy Buffalo shrimp salad, which is just amazing. I’d love to have that again. The restaurant is convenient to Marie’s work, along with thousands of other office workers in Chattanooga’s busy downtown, and incredibly popular during the rush. Since they’re only open about twenty hours a week, they’re not quite as friendly for travelers to visit, but if you’re in the city on business or visiting the museums, it’s certainly worth considering.

It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized that the Flatiron is the 1500th restaurant that we’ve written about at our blog over the last seven years. I wished that I had a little more to say about it than I do, what with such a nice celebratory number and all, but this is simply a good, solid, local joint with really tasty sandwiches, and it didn’t inspire all that many words this time out. So a few weeks later, my son and I went back and had a Rocket, which is kind of like the Torpedo, except without turkey.

I had thought that steamed sandwiches were kind of just a Knoxville thing, but it turns out that the Flatiron is one of a few places in Hamilton County that also steam their bread, and it’s said to be a little more common along the I-75 corridor than I had thought, so that’s something else to investigate. I absolutely love the bread, though I was a little bit disappointed that they didn’t have the Buffalo shrimp salad this time out. They list their specials and sides at their web site each day; I’ll make sure to check that before I head their way again. I also got one of their frequent eater cards in the hopes of a few return visits.

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