The Year in Turkey Sandwiches 2010

The year in Turkey Sandwiches, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

Ahh, 2010. What a year it was. What did we learn this past year?

1. Jimmy John’s (allegedly) treats their employees like shit.
2. Delicatus probably has the best sandwiches in Seattle.
3. 730 South probably has the best Turkey Sandwich in Denver.
4. Snarf’s cheats their customer out of about 1 to 2″ on each “Pro” sized sandwich.
5. Snarf’s tells you that they’ll send you some gift certificates as a “thank you for bringing our cheating ways to our attention”, but doesn’t
6. Lucky’s in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood makes a damn good sandwich.
7. Alarms go off if you talk on your cell phone in Perry’s Deli (in Chicago).
8. Subway uses cheap “8-part” Turkey.
9. Yellow mustard should NEVER be used on a Turkey Sandwich. it’s brown/deli/stone ground mustard or no mustard.
10. Pretzel bread works.


The Secret Cheese of Stingy St. Louisans

Mannino’s Turkey Sandwich, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

When I visited St. Louis a couple weeks ago, my good friend, John Darren Allen took me out for a Turkey Sandwich. He chose a little, small-town grocery store in Cottleville called Mannino’s.

Mannino’s is one of those 4 or 5 aisle grocery stores with a butcher shop in back with a hard of hearing old man taking the meat orders. It was a typical Saturday when we went in to order our sandwiches and the place was packed. But big props to Mannino’s: they are a Boar’s Head Deli.

This may look like a simple hoagie-style Turkey Sandwich – but don’t be fooled. It has Provel Cheese on it. “Pro-what?” you might say. It’s Provel Cheese. If you’re from the St. Louis area, you know what I’m talking about. If you’re not, you probably have no clue. That’s because St. Louisans are stingy people by nature and don’t allow it to be sold outside of the STL metro area.

A little information on Provel: it’s a blend of Provelone, Cheddar and Swiss. It was invented in 1947 and although Wikipedia says that Kraft owns the company that owns the brand, I’ve heard rumors that Imo’s Pizza of St. Louis has their hands in the fact that it is not sold elsewhere. Imo’s uses Provel on their pizza and like I said, those St. Louisans are stingy people.

The sandwich; Wheat hoagie roll, Boar’s Head Maple-glazed Turkey, lettuce, onion, Provel Cheese. Nothing special, but mighty tasty. If you get a chance to smuggle some Provel Cheese out of St. Louis, do it. Just don’t tell anyone you’re doing it. Those St. Louisans will get all weird and shit.

After working my ass off, I deserve a sandwich from the Pickle Barrel

Pickle Barrel, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

You know those guys that deliver beer? They have a hard job. I know first hand because I spent a day earlier this week helping a beer delivery guy in Fort Collins, CO.

First, you have to unload the pallet of beer.

Second you have to organize the beer so the liquor store worker can count all of the cases and make sure their order is right.

Then you have to wheel the beer into the store and organize it in the cooler. Organizing means rotating the inventory so that they older beer makes it to the shelf first. This sounds easy, but it isn’t. Trust me. Next time you run into a beer delivery guy, give him a hug. They deserve it.

The best part of the day was the sandwich I got after it. Fort Collins is home to the Pickle Barrel, one of my favorite spots for a Turkey Sandwich. I’m a big fan of their “Wiley Coyote” which is grilled Turkey, Muenster cheese, onions and green pepper and tomato (but I go sans tomato).

I wish I had a photo of the sandwich, but after a day of working my ass off, I eat it right away. I don’t stop and screw around with photography. I eat.  So you’re stuck with a photo of the Pickle Barrel staff preparing my Turkey Sandwich.

The Husky Delicatessen

Husky Delicatessen B/W, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

The Husky Delicatessen is a bit of an institution here in West Seattle. As they say, “it feels like it’s from days gone by.” Along with the deli, they sell ice cream have a nice selection of beer and non-alc drinks and sell what appears to be a shit load of specialty condiments.

I’ve been meaning to get my ass over there for a Turkey Sandwich because everyone talks it up so much. I would have visited the Husky Delicatessen sooner, but there are two reasons why I didn’t:

1. I have to walk up a giant hill to get there, so sometimes I just stay home.
2. There are a bunch of bars in the same area and I can get distracted at times.

I enjoyed the sandwich, but it was a slippery mo’fo. It was Turkey with BBQ and roasted red peppers on a French Baguette and I had trouble keeping the food in-between the bread.

The sandwich was ‘aight – but I think I’m going for an ice cream cone next time.

The girth was the problem

The girth was the problem, originally uploaded by nealdstewart.

Yesterday I went on Turkey Sandwich mission. A quickie from Jimmy John’s or Quizno’s just wasn’t going to cut it. I wanted to explore the Turkey Sandwiches of Seattle.

I ended up at Pike Place Market – specifically a place called Beecher’s. They make their own cheese and offer an array of grilled sandwiches. Paninis if you want to be all fancy and shit.

I ordered their Turkey offering which came topped with their famous “flagship” cheese. The sandwich was fine. I’m a sucker for a good grilled cheese, especially one with Turkey on it.

But here’s the problem: the sandwich lacked girth. I know it gets all smashed down when it’s put in that griddle, sandwich maker thing. But it was way too thin. Or maybe it was too small. And if I cant’ get more girth with my Turkey Sandwich then maybe I need a bowl of soup with it or something – because just the plain ol’ grilled sandwich wasn’t working for me.

To Grant a Reader’s Wish, I Ate at Capriotti’s

A while back a loyal reader of the Turkey Sandwich Report pratically begged me to try a place in Vegas called Capriotti’s. Not only did she want me to eat there, she implored me to try a particular sandwich: The Bobbie.

Well, dreams do come true. I was in Vegas this week and just as we were about to settle and have In N Out, I remembered her plea for me to eat at Capriotti’s. Sure enough it was about 5 blocks away and all of the sudden, I found myself on verge of fulfilling this reader’s wish.

The Bobbie is what I like to call a “Faux Thanksgiving Sandwich” which will draw instant comparisons to the PJ Gobbler at Pat’s Philly Cheesesteaks in Denver. Here’s the tale of the tape on the two sandwiches:

Bread – edge, Capriotti’s
Stuffing – edge, Pat’s
Turkey, edge, Pat’s
presentation, PUSH (they both wrap their sandwiches in brown paper, which I like

So, a slight edge to Pat’s, but not by much. They are both solid sandwiches. Capriotti’s had just a little too much dark meat for my taste and that’s what won it out for Pat’s.

Dibella’s Old Fashioned Submarines

DiBella’s is a cute little place. They have a bunch of those old fashioned Coca-Cola signs on the wall and their people are dressed as if they are working at a New York Deli in the 1940s.

But there is something wrong with this picture. If you look closely, you’ll notice that this sandwich (which happens to be the Dagwood) is served cold. I would think that workers at a REAL, old fashioned sub shop would have made for damn sure to ask whether I wanted my sandwich “hot” or “cold”. I would have chosen “hot” if I was given the chance, but I wasn’t.

You might be think that I am over-reacting, but I’m not. The Dagwood is on the hot and cold sandwich menu. Mr. Shop was throwing mustard on my sub before I could even tell him that I wanted it hot.

You might notice a pattern here. I had the same problem at QFC a couple weeks ago with what has become to be known as “The yellow mustard incident.” Same thing happened here. This guy was in a hurry to put the mustard on the sandwich and be off and running.

Once again, the lesson to be learned is to get your shit together before answering what condiments you want on the sandwich. Unless you want a complete mess on your hands, a sandwich cannot be heated up once the condiments are on there.

Please do not let this happen to you. If I can save one sandwich from being ruined, I’ve done my job.

As it turned out. the sandwich was still pretty damn good. Their version of the Dagwood is Turkey, Ham and Corned Beef. I could have done without the Corned Beef, which was a little fatty for my taste, but the bread was good. But it would have been better served hot.