This place sucks.

I pass by Ashkenaz Deli everyday on my walk in to work when I’m in Chicago.  I’m a big fan of Jewish-style/New York-style delis and the daily allure of a big-ass Turkey Sandwich convinced me to leave work early this week so I could hit them up before they closed.  I was immediately concerned when I noticed that they use the same Dietz & Watson bullshit deli meats that they sell at Albertson’s.

I ordered a Turkey Sandwich on Rye and made it extremely clear that I wanted DELI mustard.  I bring the sandwich home and find out that they squirt a bunch of yellow fucking mustard on there.  Thanks.  Sandwich ruined.

After I scraped off the yellow mustard, I notice the lettuce was on its last leg.

Don’t go to this place.  I don’t have another recommendation for a Turkey Sandwich in the Gold Coast neighborhood (Subway is the only other choice), so I would suggest just skipping the meal.

Just to be fair and balanced, maybe they know how to make an incredible Pastrami or Corned Beef sandwich – but I doubt it.

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?

I Didn’t Get Figgy with It

Chicago is a great place to eat and get fat.  There’s great food everywhere. Pizza, hot dogs, pasta – but not Turkey Sandwiches.  At least not at Uncommon Ground in Wrigleyville.

Let me be clear: I never force myself to eat Turkey Sandwiches.  A lot of people try because just about everyone wants to eat a TS with me, but I never force it.  On this particular Sunday Morning, I was in the mood for some comfort food, and for me that comes in the form of a nice Turkey Sandwich.

But there were a few warning signs when I ordered:

  1. There was only one Turkey Sandwich option on the menu
  2. It had Arugula on it
  3. It also had fig puree on it

Figgy Turkey Sandwich at Uncommon Ground

I let them put the fig puree on it, but I went sans Arugula.  The sandwich was an absolute trainwreck nonetheless.  I’m no “Johnny Come Lately” when it comes to Turkey Sandwiches, so I think I have every right to say that FIG PUREE has no business being in the same kitchen as a Turkey Sandwich.

The sweet potato fries were good, but I’ll be getting my Turkey Sandwich fix somewhere else next time I’m in Chicago.

Oh, and this Turkey Sandwich isn’t the only thing that sucks in Chicago.  The Cubs blow too.