Saturday, August 1, 2009

I waited in line at Maximus Minimus on the hottest day ever...

From N.

The lunch date was set a week in advance, before we knew it was going to be the hottest day on record in Seattle. (Official temp: 103. My thermostat on Wednesday.)
Even after a few sweltering nights, we didn't seriously think about changing our minds. Our food-crazed selves wanted pig. Maximus Minimus would be ours, even if we had to stand on baking hot pavement at Second and Pike to get it.

First, you have to track the Beecher's-owned pig down. We were not the only crazy people; there was a line. The menu here is limited to a pulled pork sandwich with either Maximus or Minimus sauce, a Maximus or Minimus slaw ($2.73 alone or $1.37 with a sandwich), Maximus or Minimus drinks ($1.82) and vegetable chips like beets, potatoes, green beans and jalapeno ($4.55 alone or $2.28 with a sandwich).

Sandwiches emerge cradling plenty of pulled pork coated in your choice of sauce and a generous amount of slaw. You can add Beecher's flagship cheese for $.91, which I forgot while ordering.

The pork was mostly tender and moist, although bigger chunks were slightly dry. The bun was soft, and was dense enough that it didn't completely fall apart when soaked with sauce. But the Maximus sauce, a slightly spicy Thai with a six-pepper blend, onions and fruit juices, did not max out on the spiciness by a long shot (you can ask for them to pile on the "Hurt"), though it had a light, appealing sweetness. The Minimus slaw was based around crisp sliced fennel bulb tossed with refreshing mint and chewy cranberries in a honey mustard vinaigrette. I regretted not getting the Maximus slaw of radishes and cilantro in a light chipotle vinaigrette, which I think would have added bright flavor and more contrast. My combo was altogether too sweet and I longed for more acidity and tartness.

The Minimus drink might have been my favorite part of the meal. The juicy red hibiscus nectar was tart, sweet and lovely. The Maximus ginger lemonade also had a fantastic ginger, and almost puckery, punch.

Perhaps I wasn't in the proper pulled pork mood or maybe the cheese was the missing link, but I was not blown away by my sandwich. Despite a limited menu, there was not enough on my plate to cut the sweetness. I love me some barbecue, but highly doubt I'm going to chase Maximus Minimus around again. Definitely not during a heat wave. I'll leave the pursuit to others and content myself hotfooting it to the Marination Mobile for kimchi fried rice.

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