How Wario’s Beef and Pork Makes its Cold Cut Sandwich
Chef Stephan Madias explains how he creates his heavenly hoagie.
Wario’s Beef and Pork, founded by chef Stephan Madias, is an East Coast-style sandwich stand in the Arena District that was one of Columbus Monthly’s 2021 Best New Restaurants. The small shop, named for the video game antagonist, features gigantic sandwiches crafted with great care and attention to detail. Case in point: The Cold Cut, layered with three types of meat and colorful, crisp veggies. “I’ve done a lot of things in my life, and this Cold Cut is nearest and dearest in my culinary heart,” says Madias. “It’s one of my proudest moments.” The chef was kind enough to walk us through the building blocks of this stellar sandwich.
Seeded Semolina Roll
Madias tapped locally owned Matija Breads to execute his semolina roll recipe. “I’ve been fantasizing about that roll for five years, ever since I’ve wanted to open a deli,” he says.
The Cold Cut features a trio of carefully sourced proteins: soppressata spiced with fennel and French peppercorns, paprika-rubbed spicy coppa (what Madias calls “the money cut to most butchers”) and a rosemary ham cooked sous vide to achieve a pillowy mouthfeel where the meat is just as soft as the fat.
Shaved Onion & Iceberg
The onion and iceberg are layered to fill out the sandwich with a fresh, crispy texture.
Based on a French condiment, this velvety, house-made sauce folds butter into onions, garlic and Alta Cucina plum tomatoes. “Tomatoes aren’t good all times of the year,” Madias says, “but I think tomatoes are important for flavor.”
Wario’s signature house sauce gets paired with multiple menu items. Madias builds it from heavily caramelized onions and roasted garlic, plus a hit of citrus.
Wario’s chooses an aged provolone for many of its sandwiches. It’s designated “picante,” meaning sharp or spicy, and delivers a slight crunch from the aging process.
Madias calls giardiniera the “queen of condiments.” He crafts his colorful mix with celery, carrot, red and green bell peppers, yellow onion, cauliflower, serrano chiles, oil, vinegar, pepper flakes, oregano and thyme.