When it comes to sandwiches, chef Paul Barker is not exactly conventional.
“We try to push the envelope,” he said.
One would probably be able to find or create any sandwich one wants from the extensive menu at Pauli’s, a North End restaurant known for its great quality, affordable prices, and “spectrum of sandwiches.”
Pauli’s is known for its “Lobsta Roll,” which comes in a seven, 14, or even 24-ounce sub. The delectable lobster meat is dabbed with lemon and mayo in order to add flavor, but just enough so that the lobster meat is still the dominant ingredient.
In addition to its renowned lobster rolls, Pauli’s also has fantastic burgers, salads, pasta dinners, and breakfast entrees and sandwiches. The Mexicali burger, for instance, has your black angus, grass-fed beef patty on a bun, topped with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and chipotle mayo. Barker said that Pauli’s prides itself on its use of fresh ingredients and authentic, house-made sauces.
Pauli’s frequently has new and exciting specials. March brought several mouth-watering offers to Pauli’s menu for a limited time. On Fat Tuesday, Pauli’s introduced their own muffuletta sandwich, a classic New Orleanian bite comprised of ham, salami, mortadella, provolone, and chopped red onion, which is all topped with house-made olive salad. To add the Italian flair of the North End, the sandwich is put between two Italian seed rolls. This special is available until the end of March.
In the spirit of St. Paddy’s Day, Pauli’s released a corn-beef reuben, complete with corned beef, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut. For St. Joseph’s Day, Pauli’s introduced a mixture between a classic reuben and Italian sub called the “reubino.” Without giving too much away, Barker explained that to make a reubino, he grills the ingredients of the classic Italian sub. Then, he adds sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing-two signature ingredients of a reuben.
Pauli’s pays attention to all kinds of seasons-including basketball season. For March Madness, Pauli’s serves a delicious March Madness platter until April 7. The dish has sandwiches representing each region of the country participating in the tournament. A set of Pauli’s beloved lobster rolls represents the East Coast; a group of California wraps-complete with grilled chicken, mixed green, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes and chipotle mayo-stands in for the West Coast; crispy fried chicken subs served on rolls and topped with cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce, and mayonnaise represent the South; and finally, a pair of steak tip wraps topped with lettuce, tomatoes, olives, and red onions represents the Midwest, known for its scrumptious beef.
Pauli’s opened in 2010. Barker had previously owned several other establishments, including an Italian deli called Scali in the financial district of Boston, which he closed about six years ago. In the ’90s, Barker owned an Italian concept restaurant with more of a fast-food vibe called Pacini’s. Barker grew up in the food industry, working from a young age at his father and uncle’s grocery stores. After graduate school, he helped his mother open a restaurant in the North End called Nicole’s. Barker recalled a time when the North End was a place of familiarity and intimacy between services and customers. By frequently interacting with customers and keeping his employees happy to work at Pauli’s, Barker hopes to reestablish that same closeness in the old North End.