A Salmon Sandwich Scandal

I love Alon’s Bakery in the Virginia Highlands. I go there way too often, so much so that the staff eye me suspiciously each time I come through the door.

“He’s back?”

“What’s his problem?”

One employee, though–Cheryl–holds me in special regard.

“Clay Aiken!” she shouts, each time I come through the door.

I duck my head down but it’s no use.

“Hey Clay Aiken,” she says, “are you excited about the new season of American Idol?”

I nod and quickly order my sandwich.

The two best sandwiches at Alon’s are the Chicken Pesto and the Roast Beef. The first comes on really good bread, with pesto (duh) and a slice of swiss cheese. The second also comes on good bread with a really incredible, lip-smackingly good rosemary mayonnaise.

And then there’s the salmon sandwich. The salmon sandwich is good, don’t get me wrong. A piece of broiled or baked salmon (not sure which) coated in black sesame seeds is served on foccacia bread with a Thai peanut sauce. It is the most expensive sandwich on the menu (almost $9, I think) and I order it when I am sick of chicken and roast beef.

Today I was sick of chicken and roast beef. I ordered my salmon sandwich and, after a rousing rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” escaped my adoring fans and went to eat outside.

Here are my problems with the Alon’s Bakery salmon sandwich:

– the bread is so thick and the piece of salmon so small, it’s like you’re basically eating a bread sandwich with a salmon garnish.

– the way they cut it makes the salmon slip and slide around so that, ultimately, with each bite you wedge the salmon out further and further. Today it fell splalt on to the paper in my lap. Good thing I had paper on my lap.

– It’s a terrible value. With the chicken and roast beef you get bang for your buck. Here you get a tiny piece of salmon, some sprouts, and a lot of bread.

In conclusion, when going to Alon’s, stick to chicken and roast beef. The salmon just doesn’t float.

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