FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) - As chef and owner of Broad Shoulders Sandwiches, a gourmet hot sandwich shop in Fort Lauderdale, Tom Azar had an idea one night that changed everything.
"I came up with it because one night I'm laying around and I'm really hungry and I'm like where can I get a great sandwich?" he said. "I couldn't find any good sandwiches anywhere, so I'm like I'm going to open up a gourmet hot sandwich shop."
Tom and his wife Cheryl, who met when he was working for celebrity Chef Emeril LaGasse's group, opened up this quaint fast-casual spot in February.
Word got out fast.
"We steadily started to increase. We are getting really, really great feedback from the community," Azar said.
"So you and your wife Cheryl own it?" asked CBS4's Lisa Petrillo.
"Me and my wife Cheryl. We are having fun building this together and I get to work with my wife every single day," he said giggling.
As for the name?
"I'm from Chicago and Chicago is known as the "City of Big Shoulders." So, I thought I'd name it Broad Shoulders Sandwiches. Also, our sandwiches are big. They've got broad shoulders," said Azar.
They certainly do.
There are 10 specialty hot sandwiches on the menu. Petrillo and Azar began their tasting with the Chicago Style Italian Beef Sandwich.
It is Italian seasoned roasted beef shaved thin with homemade gravy served with homemade giardiniera and sweet peppers on an Italian roll.
"The bread is soft and just lovely. The meat, even though it's piled on high, doesn't taste heavy and there's so much flavor in the bite," said Petrillo.
"It's major too. It's a big 'ole sandwich. You're not going to go away hungry that's for sure."
The Reuben is seven ounces of house-made corned beef on butter griddled seeded Jewish rye, melted swiss cheese, and sauerkraut with homemade thousand island dressing.
"Stop the presses," said Petrillo.
"I mean wow. It's good. This is really good. First of all, you just get the warm sandwich that is so cuddly, and then I don't know this is just a delicious melty, cheesy, ooh gooey yum sandwich. How's that for articulation?" said Petrillo laughing.
And finally, the Spicy Fried Natural Chicken Sandwich with homemade pickles, shredded lettuce, tomato, and spicy mayo, on a brioche roll.
"It's also got spicy aioli," said Azar.
"I taste that spicy aioli and the hot sauce," said Petrillo. "It's got crunch. I love the homemade pickles and then it wakes up the senses with a little boom hit of heat."
Broad Shoulders is open Tuesday through Sunday serving lunch and dinner.
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