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The Blackbird steak sandwich at Tini in Providence, RI
Chef Darius Salko at Tini restaurant in Providence has created a new menu item named after the farm in Smithfield that he sources the beef from. In Chef Salko’s words, “‘The Blackbird’ is Blackbird Farm beef shaved thin and piled high on a soft roll with onions and homemade catsup.” I got a chance to try the sandwich two ways when I photographed it. I love Blackbird Farm’s beef (I work with the farm often), and Salko uses roast cuts that he chills just enough so that he can slice the meat ultra-thin, then he sautés it with onions and serves in on a warm buttered soft roll, which adds some great flavor. After trying it without catsup I asked Salko to add some and when I saw the amount of catsup on the sandwich I did think for a moment that it might be overwhelming, but it wasn’t in the least. Salko makes the catsup from scratch and the slightly sweet condiment perfectly complements the saltiness in the steak and onions. I also really loved the steak sandwich with the carrots/cumin side as well. Comments from other diners trying the sandwich were all overwhelmingly positive. Everyone at Tini during lunch on Thursday said we could happily eat three or four of the sandwiches. The point of naming the sandwich “The Blackbird” is to raise awareness of the local beef—100% pedigreed Angus beef—in the sandwich. It’s one thing to list local sources on your menu or in individual dish descriptions, but Chef Salko wanted to put the name of the farm front and center for diners to see. Ann Marie Bouthillette was very excited to have her farm’s name so prominent on Tini’s menu. “The Blackbird” is on both the lunch and dinner menus so head on over to Washington St. in Providence and try it out.