Houston's Best Sandwiches: Chicken Saltimbocca at Crisp

The chicken saltimbocca sandwich at Crisp puts a nice spin on a dish that is supposed to "jump in your mouth."
The chicken saltimbocca sandwich at Crisp puts a nice spin on a dish that is supposed to "jump in your mouth." Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

Tucked away in Shady Acres (just north of the Heights and just south of Oak Forest) is wine-beer-pizza joint Crisp (2220 Bevis). Like so many new additions to the Houston food and drink scene, Crisp comes with gastropub fare and a massive, shaded patio with an area where parents can let their kids loose while enjoying themselves.

If I'm being completely honest, the menu here is so-so overall. The pizzas are decent if unspectacular and the wine/beer list is not exactly cutting edge. But the atmosphere is pleasant and there is one standout item on the menu: the chicken saltimbocca sandwich.

Saltimbocca is an Italian (mainly) dish that includes a protein like chicken or veal typically wrapped in prosciutto and sage. Crisp has smartly turned that traditional dish into a sandwich that may not literally "jump in your mouth," as the translation goes, but it certainly is long on flavor.

The grilled chicken and prosciutto provide the bed of flavor along with sliced mozzarella, which is melted and creamy. But it's the combination of onions caramelized in balsamic vinegar and mayonnaise blended with basil and sage that lifts the sandwich. The onion is sweet and acidic while the mayo is herbaceous and tangy. That combination provides a snap of flavor that comes pretty close to jumping in your mouth.

It is served on a ciabatta, which can be a hit and miss option if it isn't fresh. Fortunately this is fresh and, with a slight toasting, it has delightful crunch. One of the servers suggested next time I try it on their hamburger bun, which is challah and definitely sounds like a good substitution.

Crisp is never going to be a foodie place or somewhere for beer and wine nerds, but its killer patio and this fantastic sandwich make it worth a visit, particularly on a nice day when the kids need to burn off some extra energy.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke