on on .

Sauced wasn’t at all what I was expecting it to be. Just from the name I was thinking it was probably a pasta-oriented concept. Choose a noodle, choose a sauce, maybe plop a meatball or some chicken on it.

SaucedI wasn’t expecting sandwiches, which is pretty much what this was. And that’s fine. Once I got a look at the menu, I thought the sandwiches would be big, open-faced ordeals that required knife-and-forking because they’d be so sloppy. You know, because of all the sauce.

And I figured I would go for the sloppiest, which most surely had to be the one called the Hot Mess. (An aside: this is the second time in the last few months that I’ve encountered a menu item called the Hot Mess, the other being at Sushi Pop. I’m wondering if this has anything to do with us entering an election year. Further proof: Sauced also has one called the Train Wreck.)

The menu description for the Hot Mess at Sauced reads: “Beef brisket topped with ooey gooey mac ‘n cheese, potato chips and special sauce piled high on our softy white bun.” There was beef brisket, though neither it nor anything else was piled high, and the meat had little briskety flavor. The macaroni and cheese was not ooey and gooey and there was little of it. A few ruffle-cut potato chips were sprinkled on top. The special sauce -- unidentified -- was apparently the bright orange liquid that was painted on the underside of the top part of the bun and drizzled on the chips. And it should be mentioned that the bun was indeed soft. It was also quite large and made the meager ingredients inside look even skimpier. This was not a sandwich I would call a hot mess in either a positive or negative context.

Sauced is almost literally a hole in the wall, or Wall Street. There is only one table inside and a few more outside. There are umbrellas, but it can get kind of sticky in the heat of the day. The decor is sort of old country store, with weathered wood and vintage Coca-Cola signs. You order from one window and pick up from another. Even though the person who took my order asked for a name, the person placing the orders on the counter called them out by the item. A less stable person might develop a complex from having a stranger call out Hot Mess to him. I’m dealing with it.

Sauced is at 19 N. Orange Ave., Orlando. It is open for lunch Monday through Friday and dinner Monday through Saturday. On weekends it is open until 3 a.m., for the truly sauced and the hottest messes. Sandwiches range from $6 to $9. Here’s a link to the Sauced website. The phone number is 407-423-5388.


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