Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
And that’s unfortunate, because after visiting Club Sandwich and Deli in Sharpsburg, I’ve been running around joyously singing, “have it your way!” and meaning it.
Club Sandwich and Deli lets you design the club sandwich of your dreams. Lots of places make sandwiches to order, but this set-up is special. The menu emphasizes double (or triple!) -decker sandwiches. Bacon is included.
Let me say that again. Bacon is included. Like, it is assumed that your sandwich is going to have bacon on it.
In addition to the bacon, you pick two kinds of meat. And cheese, if you want it.
I got the turkey club—turkey and turkey and bacon, lettuce, tomato, on white bread, green frill picks, and the most delicious, amazing, playfully sweet-yet-tangy, fresh-tasting, crisp pickle slices I’ve had in a very long time.
The turkey was fresh and layered on generously, but without making the sandwich too huge and daunting.
See that little vat of sauce, lower left? That is horseradish-rosemary sauce. Delicious, smooth and sweet. I thought it was a classy touch.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
If only I’d said that.
Instead, I said, “I’d like the chicken club.”
And this is what I got.
A delicious sandwich, to be sure, but not a club. No way, no how.
Dunnings has three “clubs” listed on its menu. And I saw someone at an adjacent table eating a club-looking club sandwich—double-decker, lettuce, tomato, etc. She must have known what to order. Counterintuitively, not the Chicken Club. The “Chicken Club” is a chicken breast, topped with bacon and melted provolone and served warm on a fluffy white bun. No frill picks, no veggies, no toast, nothing in common with a club sandwich, except the bacon.
This anti-club wasn’t bad. In fact, for a non-club-sandwich sandwich, it was pretty tasty. The bacon was plentiful, slightly chewy, cozy warm. The cheese was melty in the middle, grilled-crispy on the sides. The chicken itself was moist. I think it really could have used some lettuce and tomato, but that might just be my club-sandwich wistfulness speaking.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
And the turkey on this club was certainly out of the ordinary: slabs of carved roast turkey breast, like Thanksgiving Day leftovers, not like deli turkey at all.
In the company of Presidential-quality pancakes, I expect a higher standard of club sandwich ingredients. The turkey was first-rate; the tomato was world-class, so why were they on a sandwich with processed American cheez fuud and Big-Mac-style lettuce?
And even though the pickle garnishes were adorable, they left the toast all mushy on top.
Friday, August 14, 2009
It stands to reason that the same restaurant which offers such a tantalizing variety of Smiley Face Cookie colors would offer a chromatic banquet of frill picks on their club sandwich. Green! Blue! Yellow! Even an unusual orange one. Maybe they have a big vat of them back in the kitchen, frill picks to match every color of the Smiley Cookie palette.
And speaking of vats, this club sandwich comes with a petite vat of mayonnaise in the center of the plate. The diner can choose how little or how much mayo to put on the sandwich. It's all about empowering the customer, I guess.
I didn't feel empowered. I felt put-out. Would it really have been that much trouble for the chef to spread some mayo on the toast? Maybe it's not about customer empowerment at all, maybe it's just more cost-effective to have the customer finish preparing the sandwich.
Luckily, the carnival of frill picks jollied me right out of my disappointment in the mayo situation.
The sandwich was tasty: lots of salty bacon, thick piles of shaved turkey. The tomatoes were fresh and flavorful. The cheese was unnecessary, but it wasn't bad, and at least I didn't have to put it on the sandwich myself.
It was a good sandwich, though. By the end of the meal, I looked like this.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The turkey and bacon club was the traditional double-decker sandwich. Served with potato chips and a pickle, held together with frill picks, it was a good sandwich. It had thick slices of roast turkey and plenty of bacon. I was happy with it.
Until I tried the fried egg and bacon club. Yum! I'd ordered the wrong one. In my adherence to club sandwich orthodoxy, I'd missed a thrilling twist on the traditional club. The fried egg and bacon club was moist but not greasy, cheesy but not gooey, breakfastly aromatic, but neatly accessorized with lettuce and tomato for lunch.
The Pittsburgh Club Sandwich Tour may make future stops at Kelly O's Diner. There are still the Ham-n-Cheese club and the Bacon Cheeseburger Club left to try.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Not a club.
The "Turkey club" at Liberty Avenue Deli and Smoothies is a yummy turkey sandwich with bacon. It is tasty; it is filling, but it is not a club.
It's a nice lunch, though. It comes on a ciabatta roll (not three pieces of toast, alas!) The roll would have been good, but it was mushily soaked through with mayonnaise. I detest a dry sandwich as much as the next guy, but there's really no need for that much mayo.
Especially because the turkey wasn't dry. It was great! There is lots of turkey on this sandwich, and it is fresh and flavorful. The bacon was good, too. Actually, I seldom meet a bacon I don't like, but this bacon was especially likable. It was smoky and salty, and even though there wasn't a ton of it on the sandwich, it was not overwhelmed by the generous portion of turkey.
Lettuce, check. Tomato, check. Onions, check.
Onions? No onions, please, not on a club. And especially not this club because I asked for them to be left off. But I got onions anyway. Oh well. Also a nice piece of Swiss cheese. Pickle included. Chips sold separately.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
It had the thickest layer of deli turkey I've seen on a club, but the turkey didn't overpower the rest of the sandwich. It was, instead, the foundation for a formidable (and delectable) tower of bliss. The lettuce was fresh. The tomatoes were ripe. The bacon--oh, the bacon!--the bacon was plentiful and chewey to just the right degree. And guess what...
There was an egg. A fried egg on the club sandwich! I know, it sounds like showing off. But it wasn't. The egg was just tucked in there, subtley flavorful, and not greasy at all. A bonus.
Have we found club sandwich perfection, a mere three stops in on the Club Sandwich Tour? Why even bother continuing the tour, now that we know where to find such an embodiment of the club sandwich ideal?
We may be pleasantly surprised. Who knows, there may be comprable (or, dare I hope, even better?) sandwiches as yet undiscovered.
Future club sandwiches will all be compared to the delicious, attractive, fresh, savory, Grant Bar Club.
Monday, June 8, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Suppose you are at your favorite lunch spot, and you are famished. You have before you your usual delicious club sandwich--chicken and bacon with lettuce, tomato and mayo, on three slices of white toast, cut in quarters, pricked with frill picks, and served with a plethora of crispy, salty potato chips. Now, suppose, on top of that mound of light and golden chips, you see a small piece of hair. Say it's an eyelash.
What do you do?
What I would do is this: Throw away the hair, throw away the chip it was on and all surrounding chips. Then eat the rest of the chips and the delicious club sandwich. Wouldn't you?
BUT, suppose you have the bounty of chips and a double-decker sandwich on white toast with frilly picks, but instead of chicken, bacon, or any other filling, the sandwich is filled with shit.
You wouldn't eat any of it. Not even a corner of the one chip farthest from the sandwich. Even if it had been your favorite lunch spot for years, you would never, ever go back.
Well, I wouldn't.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
When I tell you that what I liked best about this sandwich was the wrapper, that's not to say it wasn't a good sandwich. It's just that the presentation was so outstanding. I ordered this sandwich to go, and it came to me in a crisp white paper bag, wrapped in deli paper, and ensconced in tinfoil. It was like a present, a treasure, a bride.
There were at least six stips of bacon on this sandwich, so it wasn't that there was a bacon shortage, but there was so much chicken, the bacon was more like a garnish. The chicken was so juicy, I wouldn't even have missed the mayo, but it was a welcome flavor. The foccacia bread was crunchy yet tender, with visible grill marks.
The California Club at Eatunique isn't really a club, but it is still a delicious sandwich.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
But what about variations on the theme? If I have a single-decker sandwich of chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato on white toast, is it a club? What if I have a double-decker sandwich, served on white toast, cut in fourths, served with frilly toothpicks, but instead of chicken, it has roast beef? What if there's avocado on it? What if the chef substitutes ham for bacon?
At heart, I am a club sandwich purist. My ideal club looks like the one described in Professional Cooking by Wayne Gisslin. (see page 743.)
As I conduct my personal club sandwich tour, I won't rule out the variations, but I'll always be searing for the club sandwich that most closely approaches my Platonic club sandwich ideal.