Good and Bready

Lei Chic
It’s a no-brainer that you’ll find time between answering 100 e-mails and creating three presentations to head over to a Bruno Iezzi’s eatery for lunch.

His Mix Café locations on Beretania and Alakea, and his new Bruno’s Forno spot on Maunakea are your go-tos for European-style sandwiches.

But for those brown bag days (like just before pay day or when you re-start your diet on Monday) you’d love to know some of his secrets for making your limp PB&J into something you might actually look forward to eating.

Us too. So we asked Iezzi himself to give us tips to create the perfect sandwich.

Tip #1: Quality and Simplicity
Only use the best quality ingredients you can get your hands on—the freshest and the finest. The gauge? Ask yourself whether you could eat each sandwich element by itself. And keep the number of ingredients to five or less. Any more, and you won't be able to taste each flavor.

Tip #2: Bread
Rustic breads are hearty enough to hold up in almost any kind of sandwich. Iezzi’s favorites? Focaccia, crusty baguettes, and ciabatta.

Tip #3: Meat
You need something with flavor (remember, something you could eat by itself). Iezzi uses the Italian staple prosciutto a lot. Since it's a salty meat, he warns against pairing it with a sweet bread. Instead, opt for the aforementioned rustic basics.

Tip #4: Cheese
Any cheese will work, as long as it’s artisanal cheese—not just whatever flavorless block is at the supermarket. Iezzi’s picks include mozzarella, manchego and aged cheeses.

Tip #5: Veggies
Skip the iceburg lettuce—tasteless, useless filler, according to Iezzi. For both flavor and color, try arugula. Basil is also great, especially with mozarella and tomato. If you do add tomato, make sure it’s ripe—and if it’s not as ripe as you’d like, Iezzi suggests finishing it with salt, pepper, vinegar or lemon. And pickles are great for packed lunches, as they hold up at room temperature.

Tip #6: Dressing
You’ll want some moisture to balance out the dryness of the bread. Whether it’s oil, mayonnaise, mustard, pesto, or an olive spread, it’s a necessary ingredient—as long as it’s in moderation.

Mix Café, located at 35 S. Beretania St., 808.537.1191, open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; 1025 Alakea St., 808.532.4540, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more info, visit Bruno’s Forno, 1120 Maunakea St., 808.585.2845, open daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more info, visit