The Best Turkey Sandwich I’ve Ever Had

August 13, 2004 | By | COMMENTS

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.

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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.

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  • Samantha

    Yum! Haven’t gotten to ‘Wichcraft yet, but now I’m going to go soon.

    And while I’ve loved reading your blog from your former home base in Atlanta (lived there during the last summer olympics while on externship from culinary school), it’s just great that you’re in NYC now. My fiance and I spend inordinate amounts of time in NY just eating, walking around, planning where we’re going to eat next.

    Take care and welcome to the big apple. :)

  • Samantha

    Yum! Haven’t gotten to ‘Wichcraft yet, but now I’m going to go soon.

    And while I’ve loved reading your blog from your former home base in Atlanta (lived there during the summer olympics while on externship from culinary school), it’s just great that you’re in NYC now. My fiance and I spend inordinate amounts of time in NY just eating, walking around, planning where we’re going to eat next.

    Take care and welcome to the big apple. :)

  • nicole

    That’s so funny, I had this sandwich for lunch on Monday and I couldn’t get over how delicious it was.

    Love your site by the way.

  • http://therustybarrel.com/david/blog David

    Whoa, that sounds like a good sandwich. Although now I’m terribly hungry…

  • http://benmartel.com Ben Martel

    i enjoyed your turkey sandwich story so much that I had to read it to my family. I really hear what you are saying… I think in a very similar way about turkey. as I sit here there’s a plate of freshly sliced turkey just waiting to leap into my sandwich. cheers!

  • Autumn McGuire

    ewww.