Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shit Sandwich

This not a stop on the Club Sandwich Tour, just a metaphorical look at relationships.

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

Camille's Club

Bacon and ham? Really? I can have both?
Plus turkey and cheese and lettuce and tomato and mayo?

Who says you can't have it all? Camille's Club at Camille's Sidewalk Cafe has it: provolone and swiss; three flavors of tortilla chip; toothpicks shaped like swords!

Friday, May 29, 2009

California Club @ Eatunique

The California Club at Eatunique is not a club sandwich per se. It is more like a chicken sandwich with bacon and Swiss on foccacia.

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

Any Club that Would Have Me

The traditional club sandwich is a double-decker sandwich on white toast. It has chicken, bacon, lettuce and tomato, and maybe cheese. Ideally, it is cut in fourths and served with a frilly toothpick in each section.

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.