Smiling Moose Deli Rolls Out the Red Carpet for the Turkey Sandwich Report

Being a Turkey Sandwich “insider” has its perks.  For example, on a fairly regular basis, I’m invited to power lunches with some of the movers and shakers of the sandwich and/or deli industry.  This past week, the guys at Smiling Moose Deli, invited me to stop by their Colorado Blvd store for a few sandwiches and a chat.

Big props to these guys – they know how to treat a VIP such as yours truly.  First of all, they had a rock start parking space waiting for me – which is a big deal at this location.  (take note of the silver Camry on the right)

Secondly, the brought out not one, not two, but THREE Turkey Sandwiches for me to sample.

Overall, it was a great meeting with Kevin and Kevin at Smiling Moose.  Here’s what I learned:

1. The quality of Turkey is predicated on how many Turkey parts are used in making the meat.  Smiling Moose uses three part Turkey whereas some of those OTHER sandwich chains use 8 or 9 part Turkey.  That sounds disgusting.

2. Smiling Moose has a Turkey Philly Cheesesteak and it’s pretty damn tasty.

3. Turkey Sandwiches make up 70% of sales at deli/sandwich shops.  That’s a big number, but a guy who owns a chain of sandwich shops told me this, so I know it’s true.

Here’s my part of my chat with Kevin and Kevin from Smiling Moose Deli.

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Look at this beautiful Turkey Sandwich

Turkey Sandwich in Eagle, CO, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

A classic Turkey Sandwich meal. Toasted wheat bread. Some bacon. Provolone cheese and side of freshly cut fries. And to think this was sandwich was consumed in beautiful Eagle, CO.

Just one problem: I almost shit my pants before I got back home in Denver.

A recent business trip took me up to Gypsum, CO and we stopped in Eagle for lunch on the way back.  I was super hungry and the sandwich was great.  But right about the time we hit downtown Denver on the way back, I had a rumbling in my belly.  We were only about 5 minutes from my house, but I was faced with a serious decision: do I tell my co-worker that I need to pull over in to Brothers BBQ because I need to shit, or do I wait it out until I get home.  I decided to wait it out.  Luckily we got a green light at 6th and Colorado or I might have regretted that decision.

But it really was a damn good Turkey Sandwich.  I just can’t remember the name of that place.

The Sandwich Business in Highlands Ranch, CO is in the Shitter

Bad news to report, folks.  The Great Recession is wreaking havoc on the sandwich business – especially in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.  I was down in what a friend likes to call “Northern Colorado Springs” yesterday as Mrs. Turkey Sandwich was having ankle surgery.  As many of you know, we used to live down that way, so I used her time under the knife to go visit some of my old Turkey Sandwich haunts.

First stop: Bear Rock Cafe – CLOSED

Bear Rock Cafe in Highlands Ranch is closed

Okay, second stop: Smiling Moose Deli – ALSO CLOSED!

Smiling Moose in Highlands Ranch is closed

Friends, if this doesn’t tell you that this economy is still taking a huge dump, then you are a hopeless optimist.  A long time ago,  a very smart man said, “once the sandwich business goes in the tank, we’re all fucked.”

Let me tell you something, people: we’re officially fucked.  Especially when my only choice was Firehouse Subs.

Firehouse Subs in Highlands Ranch is still open

Stewart’s Turkey at the Rackhouse Pub

Today, October 31, 2009, was the big day.  The Rackhouse Pub opened today and unveiled what will probably be one of the hottest attractions in Denver.  No, not the 20-some-odd Colorado craft brews or the Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey.  The hot attraction is their “Stewart’s Turkey” sandwich.

Although we were not the first lunch patrons in the pub’s existence, I was the first to have the Stewart’s Turkey – see video below:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Stewart’s Turkey at the Rackhouse Pub“, posted with vodpod

My reaction after eating the rest of the burger/sandwich – it’s really good and worthy of the Stewart name.  I was not consulted on the creation of this sandwich, but I’m proud to have my name associated with it.

Here’s an ingredient-by-ingredient break down of Stewart’s Turkey:

  • The Turkey Burger itself – solid.
  • Cheese – i’m not a HUGE brie fan, but this was a very mild brie and it was better probably because it was melted.
  • Tomato – I have a weird thing about tomatoes. I hate them when they are plain, but I love salsa, spaghetti sauce and bruschetta.  In other words, I like tomatoes when they are seasoned.  The tomatoes on this burger are awesome.  They seriously make the sandwich.
  • Balsamic drizzle – I don’t know if I have had a Turkey Sandwich with balsalmic vinaigrette on it.  It’s not a combination you hear about everyday.  I’m a big fan of balsalmic though.  In fact, I usually get it on the salad that I order once a year.
  • Bun – don’t act like the bun’s not a big deal.  It is. I like the fact that it’s a MULTI-GRAIN bun.  Kind of like me. I’m MULTI-TALENTED.

That’s it.  Go get yourself a Stewart’s Turkey at the Rackhouse Pub.  Think of it as a tribute to the Turkey Sandwich Report.  Oh, and tell ’em Stewart sent ya.

Denver Awaits the Arrival of STEWART’S TURKEY

Big news people.  My protege, Chris Rippe is opening a bar in Denver called the Rackhouse Pub.  It’s in the same building as the new Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey Distillery.  That’s all fine and dandy, but the really big news is that he will be serving a Turkey Sandwich called “Stewart’s Turkey.”

Yes, that’s right – there is now a Turkey Sandwich named after yours truly, the Founder of this Turkey Sandwich Report.  I visited Chris today and talked to him about this epic sandwich. Click here or on the video below to view why he named it after me.

Rackhouse Pub

The Rackhouse Pub opens on 10/30/09.  You can follow them on Twitter here.

In Your Open Face, Piper Inn

The Piper Inn is one of my new favorite places.  It’s close to my house and it feels like I’m back in Belleville, IL.

To be honest, the menu at the Piper Inn makes absolutely no sense.  The have your normal bar fare, but then also have a heave dose of Cantonese, Egg Foo Young, Moo Goo Gai Pan and Chow Mein.  But that stuff isn’t for me.  I stick with the more traditional stuff – like and Open Faced Turkey Sandwich.

The Open Faced Turkey Sandwich at the Piper Inn

The first thing you’ll probably notice here is the plate.  I’m not sure if that is an Asian or Mexican design, but I like it.  I thought it made my dining experience all the more enjoyable.  The second thing you’ll notice is gravy.  Gravy is WAY underrated in this crazy, topsy turvy place we call the USA. Why did mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise emerge as mainstream condiments and gravy get left behind?  I would like to see gravy on more food.

The last, and probably most important thing you’ll notice is the Turkey.  I think it came straight out of a Jennie-O plastic package, but it was still pretty good.  Especially paired with those crinkly cur french fries.

Thank you, Piper Inn.  Thank you for being you.

Bad News, Folks. A Boar’s Head Deli is Closed

Sad news for all of you loyal readers of the Turkey Sandwich Report.  Lori’s Boar’s Head Deli in Evergreen, CO is closed.  I found out the sad news when I took DA (aka Chris Pleimann’s Lisp) up there when he visited this past weekend.

The weird thing was that I had a bad feeling about the trip.  Chris Pleimann’s Lisp wanted me to give him a Turkey Sandwich tour of Denver and I was struggling to choose between Pat’s and Lori’s.  I ended up choosing Lori’s because it was closer to the place where we were going to ride go-karts.  Sure enough, we get up there and the son-of-a-bitch has turned in to some kind of Jamaican joint.  Apparently, Lori’s had been closed for over a year.

After some deliberation, we decided to give the Jamaican joint (Masalla Grill) a try.  The dude was blaring grilling in the parking lot and blaring some funky Jamaican beats, so he couldn’t be all bad.  I went with the Jamaican Jerk Pork Sandwich (as did Chris Pleimann’s Lisp) and holy FUCK, it was friggin’ delicious.

Jamaican Jerk Pork Sandwich

So, if you’re ever in the mood to get your pork jerked and you’re in Evergreen, CO – check out the Masalla Grill.

Video from this trip is on the way. online here.

And if you’re wondering – yes, I did beat Chris Pleimann’s Lisp’s ass on the go-kart track.

Here’s Your “Special” Panini, Sir!

Most of the time I think “Panini” is just code for the heals of the bread loaf being disguised as a toasted sandwich where the pieces are cut into triangles to be cute.  I had a fairly mediocre Panini called “The Sofia” at some deli in Breckenridge this week and thought that it was just because I’m not really that big of a Panini fan.

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But maybe there is more to this story.  After I ate the sandwich, I thought back to the conversation the people I was with had the guy working at this deli.  They told him that I was “The Turkey Sandwich Report Guy and the Turkey Sandwich better be good.”  Needless to say, his reaction was less than impressed.  So there’s a fair chance that there was a healthy amount of spit mixed in with the cranberry sauce.  And our sandwiches took forever to make, so I’m pretty sure he scrubbed his taint with the Panini bread.

If you ever have the pleasure of eating a Turkey Sandwich with me, and you want me to actually EAT the sandwich, keep your mouth shut and just order your fucking sandwich.