I’m not making excuses, but I can explain my absence

Not much going on here at the Turkey Sandwich Report lately.  In fact, absolutely nothing has been going on here for the last couple months because I have gone to the dark side.

Yes, I have been on a GLUTEN FREE diet.

For obvious reasons, a gluten free diet and Turkey Sandwiches don’t exactly jive with each other.  Some have recommended maintaining the Turkey Sandwich Report with sandwiches that don’t include bread.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to fucking insult my loyal readers with that kind of bullshit.  I’m either going all the way with this thing or I’m gonna hang it up altogether.

Another thing that goes with managing the world’s most popular Turkey Sandwich blog is that people constantly recommend sandwiches.  The last several weeks have been especially difficult because I have been in Chicago most of the time, which means I’me exposed to a completely new world of Turkey Sandwiches.  My friend Amber is also a Turkey Sandwich connoisseur and was talking a big game about this place called “Hannah’s Bretzel” where they put their sandwiches on pretzel bread.

Earlier this week, I had a long day of work and I was weak.  I was extremely hungry, knew I had absolutely no food at the apartment and just happened to be on the same street as Hannah Bretzel.  Amber’s glowing review of their sandwiches kept ringing in my head.

I’m a weak man.  Like a Turkey Sandwich zombie, I walked in and ordered the Thanksgiving Turkey Sandwich.  Yea, I could have got that sandwich on gluten free bread.  But I didn’t.  I went whole wheat.       Which didn’t make much sense because if I was going to throw everything out the window, I should have got that pretzel bread.  I’ll chalk that up to not thinking straight.

The sandwich was glorious.  The Turkey was great, the cheese (Brie) was awesome and they gave me the perfect amount of cranberry sauce.  Best of all, they don’t fuck the whole thing up with mayo.

And I’ll be honest.  This sandwich has led to others – which you’ll be hearing about soon.

Back by Popular Demand

Hi everybody.  It’s been a while, but I’m back.  I was inspired to get back in the game by this big-ass, triple-decker Turkey Sandwich at Perry’s Deli in Chicago.

I’ve blogged about Perry’s before.  You might remember that they’re not totally clear about their hours of operation.  They also don’t want people talking on their phone while on the premises.  You dare to do that and they’ll sound the alarm.  They mean serious business at Perry’s.

They also mean business when it comes to sandwiches.  I tell no lie when I say that they pile on a handful of Turkey on their Turkey Sandwiches.  Same goes for the bacon – that’s a handful too.  We all know that anything more than a handful, you risk spraining a tongue.

By the way, Perry’s does indeed use REAL TURKEY.

The downside of a gigantic sandwich is that the result can often times be ugly.  This was no different.  You can tell I went to war with this sandwich and I’m not sure who won.  You be the judge.

A Special Chicago Edition of The Turkey Sandwich Report

It was quite a week in Chicago.  Baseball, bars, meetings and of course Turkey Sandwiches.

First off, I resolved some major confusion.  I had heard a lot of big talk about the Turkey Sandwich at the Nordstrom’s on Michigan Avenue.  I made a stop at their cafe a few weeks back and it wasn’t all that much.  It’s was ok, but not what people were telling me.

THIS WEEK, I realized that all of these people, including my boss, Bob Strausser (who has been nagging me like an old housewife to be mentioned in the TSR) led me astray.  They were talking about a place in the mall food court, NEAR Nordstroms – not IN Nordstrom’s.  Big difference.

This place, which happens to be called Jaffa Roasted Turkey is the fucking shit.  They use real turkey and soak it in broth before stacking it on the sandwich.  I went there twice this week.  The Turkey and Cranberry Sandwich is like crack.

I also stopped by the New York City Bagel Deli and had a Turkey Reuben (made with Boar’s Head Pastrami Turkey.  This is a really nice sandwich – and what makes it nice is that they heated it up perfectly.  Not too hot and gooey, but gooey enough.  Plus, the Boar’s Head Turkey doesn’t hurt either.

Nice work, Chicago, but the Cubs still suck.

Tough Love for Manny’s

First off, let me say: I’m a fan of Manny’s Deli in Chicago.  I first visited Manny’s in December of 2008.  I had heard that it was then President-Elect Obama’s favorite deli in Chicago.  I even posted my compliments and a video right here on the Turkey Sandwich Report.

So with that said, it pains me to drop this bomb: The Manny’s Express at Chicago Midway International Airport absolutely blows.  And when I say “blows” I mean that it sucked to the highest degree.  By far, the worst Sandwich experience I’ve had since Snarf’s ripped me off.   I made Manny’s aware of this situation via Twitter a couple nights ago.

Here’s what happened:

I was in Chicago, travelling back to Denver with a co-worker.  It was Dinner time when we got to Midway and had enough time for a quick sandwich.  We were flying Frontier and Potbelly has a shop just inside security but as usual, had a line out the fucking door.  We got in line anyway, gave it minute and then I threw out the idea of walking down the Southwest terminal to try our luck at Manny’s.  My co-worker, who probably trusted me on my Sandwich recommendations because I have a blog a Turkey Sandwiches, politely agreed.

We arrive down at Manny’s and notice there’s an issue.  Two people are pacing back and forth and visibly pissed because they’re waiting for their food.  I asked them what they ordered so I could avoid that choice.  But their choice of food wasn’t the issue.  The issue was the two workers behind the counter who couldn’t give a shit about getting that person’s hot dog out within a reasonable amount of time.  These people ended up asking for their money back.

We step up to order and my co-worker goes for Manny’s specialty: Pastrami.  I hedged my bet and got a slice of pizza that had been sitting under the heat lamp.  At least I could see what I was getting and knew I had a chance of getting it quickly.

Let me also take a minute to acknowledge the customer service, or should I say lack there of.  Let’s get this out of the way: Airport food courts aren’t exactly known for their “service with a smile” – but this was beyond ridiculous.  Much like the hot dogs that it took forever for them to make, they couldn’t give a shit about their empty beverage cooler or their slower-than-a-turtle sandwich preparation pace.

Right from the moment they pulled the Pastrami out for my co-worker’s sandwich, I knew we had a problem.  When Pastrami looks like bacon that has been sitting in a pot of coffer, there’s an issue.  But what they fuck do I know about Pastrami?  Not much, so I kept my mouth shut.  We get back to the gate, he takes about two bites and throws it away.  Total embarrassment on my part.  Here I am a “Sandwich Expert” and I had clearly led this guy astray.

To Manny’s credit, less than 5 minutes after I tweeted my disappointment of my experience, they dropped me direct message to get the lowdown.  So this is my message to the folks at Manny’s:

Your Deli at Midway doesn’t even come close to your Deli in the city.  If you can’t deliver the same experience then either close your shop at the Airport or name it something else so it doesn’t drag the Manny’s name down with it.  And if you can’t improve your food and service, you can expect Potbelly to continue kicking your ass for the foreseeable future.

The Berghoff Cafe has the Best Turkey Sandwich at O’Hare. I guaranfuckingtee it.


photo.JPG, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

Over the past few months, I’ve been traveling to Chicago quite frequently. I typically fly in to Midway because I prefer flying on Frontier. When I was in Chicago last week, I had to fly out of O’Hare so I could get a direct flight to Seattle.

I asked around to see if anyone had a hot tip on a good Turkey Sandwich at O’Hare. Someone mentioned the Berghoff Cafe. I can’t remember who that was, but they said that they use real Turkey.  Done.  I’m in.

Thanks to getting to the airport early, I had a chance to try that Turkey Sandwich (which is in Terminal 1, Concouse C, near Gate 25) and it’s fucking fantastic.   I could have eaten two of them – or at least bought an extra one for that 4 hour, 19 minute flight.

Now the tough part: do I fly in to Midway next time I have to go to Chicago and deal with that shitty ass Turkey Sandwich at Manny’s, or do I fly United in to O’Hare and enjoy a REAL Turkey Sandwich?

Hat Tip to Tony: Lucky’s is a Solid Turkey Sandwich


Lucky's in Wrigleyville


My friend Tony is one of the most loyal Turkey Sandwich Report readers.  On a recent visit to Chicago, we agreed to meet up for a night of debauchery that would be started off with a Turkey Sandwich at an undisclosed location of Tony’s choosing.

Tony’s choice was Lucky’s Sandwich Co. in Wrigleyville.  Lucky’s serves up what they call “overstuffed” sandwiches.  The sandwiches aren’t oversuffed just because you get a lot of meat and lots of toppings.  They also load it up with french fries and cole slaw.  Important note: the cole slaw isn’t that nasty mayonaise based shit.  It’s the tasty vinegar based stuff – big difference.

And their sandwiches are $7!!  That’s a nice bargain in Chicago.

I have a deep respect for sandwich shops that push the limits of a traditional sandwich.  The simple truth is that our mainstream culture is one where a Panini is considered exotic.  Lucky’s calls bullshit on the mainstream and for that, I tip my hat to you.