Today I had the best turkey sandwich I’ve ever had.
I don’t make this statement lightly.
No, I’ve spent my whole life eating turkey sandwiches. I ate them all the way through high school, through college and even law school. Turkey sandwiches are like my own private hamster food; they go down like pellets and replenish me for the big hamster wheel of life. Usually I eat them on whole wheat or rye bread with mustard and, if at all possible, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and (in recent years) oil, vinegar, salt and pepper.
But that’s the hamster food turkey sandwich. The one I eat when there’s nothing else to eat, or when I just want to eat and not think about it—like when I took the bar exam. Do you know what I ate during the break during the bar exam, both days? A turkey sandwich. It’s true, people.
And so I’ve come to regard turkey as the most banal of lunch meats; sandwich filler, if you will. After all its pallid color is evocative of pallid flavor, and even if that’s not true most cheapskate lunch places–like Subway, for example–place only three miniscule slices on the Gargantuan bun. You don’t even taste the turkey.
So today when I returned to ‘Wichcraft (where I went and blogged about several months ago), I was loathe to eat something ordinary like turkey. Bring on the anchovie sandwich with poached egg, I said to myself. But then I reconsidered. This was early in the day and I wouldn’t be eating again ’til late. I needed something filling, something solid. I needed hamster food. Enter turkey sandwich.
What an accomplishment is this sandwich. Everything about it is wonderful. The bread, for starters. It’s served on a ciabatta bun and everything about it was perfect. It had perfect bite to it. Teeth went right through, and each textural layer could be savored.
And then for the condiments. On top of the turkey was an onion remulade that was out-of-this-world. Salty, sweet, tangy, bitter–it was all those things and more. Then there was avocado and bacon. A killer combination. Beneath the turkey was a rich garlicky aioli that contrasted and complimented everything beautifully. My only complaint was that with the first few bites, the condiments completely hid the turkey.
But a few bites in, the turkey began to shine. This was thick-sliced perfeclty cooked turkey. Tender, flavorful and absolutely fresh out of the oven, it was a turkey revelation. Truly the best turkey I’ve had in a turkey sandwich ever, including those rare occassions we’d have Thanksgiving at home and there’d be turkey left over. No, this was the Platonic ideal of a turkey sandwich–none can top this. And so filling, too. A bit pricey, yes: $9. But that’s not terribly far off from the $5 you’d spend at Subway, no? And if you need further justification, ‘Wichcraft has a wide array of magazines for you to peruse while you eat. So you can read that New Yorker without having to buy it, saving you $4. Really, it doesn’t make sense NOT to eat here. You’d be a turkey if you didn’t.