Hey all, this is Jess Blumberg from On The Town, guest-blogging for Suzanne. We had a funny moment at the magazine yesterday when managing editor Max Weiss told me that I had to try The Scooch sandwich at 13.5% Wine Bar in Hampden. I asked if she meant the one at Isabella's in Little Italy. We realized that the delicious Scooch—a sandwich of capicollo, soppressata, porchetta, gouda cheese, roasted peppers, greens, and balsalmic vinagrette—is available at both places. I had to get to the bottom of this.
So I called over to 13.5 and spoke with Will Bauer, who created the wine bar's menu. He explained that he's been working in the Baltimore food industry since he was 13, starting at DiPasquale's and then opening Isabella's in 2006. Bauer says The Scooch was inspired by an old coworker Dominique (or Dominooch, hence Scooch), and was first introduced at Isabella's when it opened in 2006. Bauer left the Little Italy deli a year later and met Wayne Laing, current owner of 13.5, who asked Bauer to be in charge of the wine bar's menu.
"I bring The Scooch wherever I go," says Bauer, who explained that you can also get the famed sandwich at Sapori Di Italia in Cockeysville. But it doesn't stop at The Scooch—13.5 Wine Bar offers other selections from Isabella's, including the Tuna Diavolo (Sicilian tuna, pepper cheese, hot peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and balsamic) and the eponymous Isabella (proscuitto di parma, soppressata, capicollo, Asiago cheese, olive spread, and olive oil).
Bauer added that the Scooch's inspiration, Dominique, just packed up yesterday to move from Baltimore to Montana with his family. While its namesake may be gone, The Scooch can still be enjoyed all over town.