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As I get ready to announce this year’s Turkey Sandwich National Champion, the clock is close to 12 o’clock Noon. That means lunch time. And for me, that means hunger.
Our Turkey Sandwich National Championship pits Mendelson’s Delicatessen of Denver, CO vs. The Gristmill of New Braunfels, TX. This is going to be one hell of a match-up. The quaint restuarant on the banks of the Guadalupe River vs. the Downtown Denver Lunch-Stop with Triple Deckers.
Let’s get to it:
Mendelson’s gets uber respect because they are a Boar’s Head Deli. But yet in the National Semifinal, that alone wasn’t enough for Lori’s (also a Boar’s Head Deli) to take down The Gristmill. The Gristmill thrives on simplicity: top quality Turkey on wheat bun with a special sauce that will knock your socks off. No fancy shit going here. Just a straight forward Turkey Sandwich.
After hours of deliberation and arguments (furniture was thrown), our panel of judged have emerged with a champion: Mendelson’s. As the Head Honcho of this panel of judges, it came down to selection. Mendelson’s offers a variety of Turkey: Salsalito, Pastrami Seasoned, Smoked, Roasted, etc. That was just too much for the Gristmill to contend with.
By no means does this take anything from a very “game” Turkey Sandwich from The Gristmill. They are a champion in their own right, just not of this tournament.
Unlike the Men’s Basketball Final Four, we’re going to have some battle royales in the Turkey Sandwich Final Four.
In our first National Semifinal, we have Mendelson’s of Denver, CO taking on Pat’s Philly Cheesesteaks also of Denver, CO.
The Tale of the Tape
- Mendelson’s is a Boar’s Head Deli, Pat’s uses REAL (not processed Turkey) – PUSH
- Mendelson’s has at least 4 styles of Turkey, Pat’s has two Turkey Sandwiches – Advantage Mendelson’s
- Mendelson’s has triple decker Turkey Sandwiches, Pat’s has a sandwich that is as long as my arm – PUSH
- Parking at Mendelson’s is a pain in the ass, parking at Pat’s (downtown) is a pain in the ass – PUSH
In the end, Mendelson’s noses out Pat’s because of their Turkey Sandwich selection. Pat’s is a strong competitor, but Mendelson’s goes to the final.
In our second National Semifinal, Lori’s Boars Head Deli of Evergreen, CO takes on The Gristmill of New Braunfels, TX.
Tale of the Tape
- Lori’s is a Boar’s Head deli, Gristmill has kickass Turkey too – PUSH
- Lori’s has a really good deli mustard, Gristmill has prime sauce – Advantage Gristmill
- Lori’s is at a gas station, Gristmill is an old mill on the Guadalupe River – Advantage Gristmill
All of the Turkey Sandwich prognoticators were picking an all Boar’s Head Deli match-up in the finals, but in a huge upset, The Gristmill has defeated Lori’s.
That sets up a Championship of Mendelson’s vs. The Gristmill. Colorado vs. Texas. Wow.
It’s been a great weekend of basketball, but it’s going to be an even better week of Turkey Sandwiches. Today, we announce the Turkey Sandwich Madness Final Four.
In the Sliced Bread Region:
Game 1 pits #1 seed, Zoka’s against Pat’s Philly Cheesesteaks. Wow. This is a really tough match-up and very easily could have been a battle for the championship. When it comes down to it, I’ve only had Zoka’s once, and although it was an incredible Turkey Sandwich, I don’t know about their consistency. I would go back and have another one, but it’s a long drive and they change their menu pretty often. What if I drove all the way there and it wasn’t on the menu? I don’t have to worry about that with Pat’s - and for that reason alone, they advance…it a tight one.
Game 2 has Brick Store vs. Lori’s Boar’s Head Deli. Geez, this is another really tough one. Both are incredible sandwiches. Brickstore grills their TS to perfection and has that delicious mustard. Lori’s uses Boar’s Head Turkey and serves the sandwich hot. Lori’s wins by the slimmest of margins. It hurts, but someone must go home.
Game 3 has long-time juggernaut, The Gristmill against Whole Foods. This one is pretty easy as Gristmill advances since they have a secret weapon – prime sauce. I don’t know exactly what it is, but it’s good.
Our final match-up of the day is Mendelson’s against P’sghetti’s. My old hometown vs. my new one. I had P’sgetti’s last time I visited St. Louis and I have to admit – it wasn’t as good as I remembered. Mendelson’s moves on to the Final Four.
There you have it. Our Final Four is set and it will be:
Pat’s vs. Lori’s Boar’s Head Deli
Gristmill vs. Mendelson’s
What a battle this is going to be.
In Day 1 of Turkey Sandwich Madness, we go to the Hoagie Region.
- #3 Seed, The Gristmill is paired up against fellow Texan, Shady Grove. This is a tough first round match-up for the folks from Austin and The Gristmill easily advances.
- In a match-up of unseeded competitors, Whole Foods takes on Denver’s Fat Jack’s. Tough battle, but since I have only been to Fat Jack’s once – Whole Foods nudges them out for the victory.
- A lot of people have Mendelson playing into the second weekend in Turkey Sandwich Madness. To do that, they’ll have to take down Which Wich in Round 1. Mendelson’s comes thru in flying colors and easily advances.
- In our final Day 1 match-up, we have the unseeded P’sghetti’s taking on Denver’s Snooze. I tried to get a to-go order from Snooze a couple weeks ago, but couldn’t get anyone to help me at the door, so P’sghetti’s pulls off the first upset of the tournament and take down the #3 seed.
This sets up second round matchups of Gristmill vs. Whole Foods and Mendelson’s vs. P’sghetti’s with trips to the Final Four on the line.
Tomorrow, we resume with round 1 from the Sliced Bread Region:
- Zoka’s vs. Walnut Room
- Pat’s vs.s Loco’s
- Panera vs. Brick Store
- Lori’s vs. Heidi’s
Later this week, we’ll be up to our nutsacks in brackets. Let me add another bracket to the miz: Turkey Sandwich Madness.
On Thursday, I will unveil the field of 16 and a full bracket-style tournament of Turkey Sandwiches.
For now, I will name the Top 4 Seeds and the rest of the places that are in “The Big Dance”. For the sake of making the brackets a little easier to read, I am only going to list WHERE you can get the Turkey Sandwich.
- Zoka’s, Pine, CO
- The Gristmill, New Braunfels, TX
- Snooze, Denver, CO
- Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli, Denver, CO
Other participants: Pat’s Philly Cheesesteaks, Which Wich, Panera Bread (Saint Louis Bread Company), Loco’s, Mendelson’s, Whole Foods, Brick Store, P’sghetti’s, Fat Jack’s, Walnut Room, Lori’s Boar’s Head Deli, Shady Grove.
If ESPN were to cover this, I’m sure all of the experts would predict the top seeds will reaching the Final Four.