Sunday, November 22, 2015

Turkey Club Club: Turkey to Go

I think we'd all like to believe deep down that what we want is what's best. At least, that's how I feel when I order a turkey sandwich. I want the turkey, tomato, onion, pepper jack cheese, and peppers topped with mayo on some sort of whole wheat bread. The combination has rarely failed me, so that's what I get most every time I have the option to choose the toppings.

On Friday, I decided to try out Turkey to Go. I passed by it every day on my way to the bus stop. I mean it has turkey in the name, so it was a natural stop. It's slogan was "The tastiest bird in town."

I had to sit in on something over the lunch hour and I really didn't want my hangry level to go up, so I decided to run their quick and eat the sandwich at my desk.

Luckily, I got there before the lunch rush came, so there was no line - a definite plus. The options for bread were limited: hamburger buns, hoagie buns or wraps. I went with the hoagie bun.

As I've said before, the bread is really the key to the whole thing. It's kind of like the quarterback, it has the most important role in the sandwich. It's a delivery mechanism that also provides texture and flavor. No other part of the sandwich has that many roles.

(To continue the football metaphor, the turkey is the running back. It really is going to do most of the work. The veggies and cheese are the wide receivers, they provide zip and flash to the whole thing. And the condiments are the offensive line. They may not get the most attention, but you'll notice it if they're gone.)

I got the standard order, but these ingredients were slightly different than the normal deli counter. First, everything was chopped and the cheese was shredded. The turkey was shredded as well. I don't mind hot turkey, but I've noticed that hot sandwiches are usually the messiest ones.

It cost $7.14, which was one the lower end. It passed the heft test. I felt like I was getting optimal sandwich proportion for my money.

I went back to my desk and unwrapped the aluminum foil. After my first bite, I realized that this lunch was going to be like a Van Halen reunion. It just wasn't going to work well together. Nothing was bad on it's own, but the combination was just off.

The bread got soggy real quickly due to the turkey and the veggies/cheese just wasn't combining well. The turkey was high quality, but it was like thanksgiving turkey. And the normal deli mixture just doesn't quite fit with that sort of turkey.

As I chewed, I thought to myself, "Man this would be a great post-Thanksgiving sandwich." It would be great with potatoes, cranberries and the like. I saw that the advertised a turkey sandwich with brie cheese and cranberry. I think that'd be pretty good.

I'd give Turkey to Go two stars. It was fine quality, but it just didn't come together.

I came to Turkey to Go thinking my way to order was the best way to get a sandwich, that's not always the case. Sometimes you have to be willing to be flexible, even with your turkey sandwiches.

Also, if you haven't seen "Turkey Club Club: The Animated Series" Please check out the video done by my very funny friend Jamie Loftus

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Turkey Club Club: Brothers Deli

We all get disappointed from time to time. It's just part of being human.

I had real high hopes for Brothers Deli. It is alwasy bustling every time I walk by over the lunch hour.

I tried it last week, hoping for a solid deli sanewich.

There were lots of sandwich choices on the menu that took up nearly an entire wall behind the counter. I like places that refer to themselves as a "deli" especially ones that have unpretentious names like "Brothers."

I want to like humble places like that, but unfortunately, Brothers missed the mark.

I saw that they had nine varieties of turkey sandwich. NINE. Wow. I decided on the Turkey Clubhouse because, well, it is the Turkey Club Club after all. The line moved fairly quickly, which was nice. I paid $8.85 for sandwich only and headed to my normal spot in the IDS tower plaza.

I sat down and took out the sandwich. There wasn't much heft to it and was kind of flimsy. I suspect that it was because the bread was toasted. (That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but if it is toasted, it has to be toasted well.)

The bread was greasy, again, not a bad thing, but it didn't make for the type of sandwich I favor consuming on my normal lunch hour. I like stuff I can eat quickly and not have to worry about making a mess. As my friend Steve pointed out with a Facebook comment "That's a mess." It was.

First off, here's what I liked: The turkey was better than average. I like stuff that isn't slimy and has the texture of a turkey you'd eat on Thanksgiving, but not as thick. This meat was better than average.

The Russian dressing wasn't bad either. I usually prefer spicy to sweet on my sandwich, but it worked in this instance.

Overall, the bread was pretty good. The taste was better than the texture. A little too greasy, but it worked all right in this situation.

However, a lot of things left me unsatisfied afterwards.

The sandwich was coming apart as I ate it. I really don't like that. My sandwich is not an ice cream cone. I shouldn't have to worry about my lunch getting all over my hands.

It felt like something was missing with this sandwich though. Maybe it was a plate of fries, maybe it was some lettuce in the middle. Overall the turkey, bacon, tomato, swiss and dressing just felt a little empty.

I'd give it a 3 out of 5. I'd be willing to try the place again, but I'm not going to be raving about the place to friends and family.

What did I learn from Brothers Deli? It's good to have a bit of skepticism about everything, including your turkey sandwich.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Turkey Club Club: D'Amico and Sons

It’s not been an easy week, especially for Minnesota sports fans
So in the middle of that week I realized that I needed something tangible and simple to bring me back to earth. And of course, that was a turkey sandwich.

I went to D’Amico and Sons, an Italian eatery that has locations all over the Twin Cities (also, weirdly, in Florida). I was a little nervous because the only thing that could derail me from getting a turkey sandwich is a long line and lunch time is a crapshoot in downtown. However, the line moved quickly, but another thing made me pause, pre-made sandwiches. I was a little skeptical because I didn’t know how long they had been out there.

After I paid for my sandwich, I made my way to the plaza where I like to have my lunch and took it out. There was some good heft and it was compact, so it was fairly easy to eat. I appreciate that in a sandwich.

The bread was on an onion cibatta roll that had an ideal amount of chewiness. That’s really the key to the sandwich, if you have bad bread, it’s really an uphill battle to impress me. It also had arugula, bacon, tomato, cheese and some sort of balsamic mayo.  

The presentation was very good, or as my agate desk friend Adam said, “Copy-fit on-first-paste.“
I took a bite and boy was I impressed. The bacon was smoked and really worked well with the balsamic and arugala. My one knock on this sandwich was that it cost $10.29. However, it was one dang good sandwich.

I’d give it a 4.5. It’s a top-five sandwich for sure, but it’s not quite the LeBron of sandwiches. It’s like the Russell Westbrook of sandwiches. Really, really good and really impressive, but still doesn’t have that one thing to bring it all together.

I'm still searching for that one thing.