Oaks on Collins, 480 Collins St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
I love sandwiches, but I’m absolutely terrified of making my own. Though it’s easy-ish to make a delicious sandwich, the last thing I want to see is how much butter I’ve smeared onto the bread, or how many egg yolks went into that dressing. So I’m burying my head in the sand(wich); what of it?
Anyway, it was with great relish that I hit up Mason Dixon American Sandwich Bar, which as it turned out, wasn’t a cafe like I had assumed, but a small niche in a relatively unknown corporate food court. Being approximately 10:30 and not-a-cafe, we were the only ones after some brunch sandwiches. I have however heard that the relatively new Mason Dixon has already drummed up a good following of nearby office workers.
My favourite sandwich, aside from the magical banh mi (which to be honest, I don’t really consider so much a sandwich as a religion), is the classic Reuben, or as it is known here, The MD Reuben ($9.5). And really, it was pretty perfect. There was freshly buttered and toasted rye, warm meaty slices of corned beef, and tangy sauerkraut with lashings of creamy Russian dressing. I found it to be slightly on the small side – or maybe I’m just greedy – but the Deluxe MD Reuben is also an option for those with bigger appetites. To top it all off, a handful of baked pretzels sit on the side, as well as a single mint to help with that sauerkraut breath back at the office.
I had eyes only for the Reuben, but my nose reminded me that The Cubano – Miami Style ($9.5) deserved some attention too. It smelt like the toastie of my dreams, and why wouldn’t it when it’s filled with roast pork, smoked ham, cheese, and pickles? Though not as exotic as the Reuben, it is almost as delicious.
The pie of the day was an incredibly appropriate (given the season and the cuisine) Pumpkin Pie ($6). After all, is there a better way to complete the all-American experience than with buttery pastry, sweet pumpkin filling with warm cinnamon spice, and whipped cream on the side?
Mason Dixon may not be a restaurant or a cafe, but the quality of the food means that it is definitely a place to bring the sandwich enthusiast in your life.