Wednesday, February 10, 2016

39. Turkey Club Club: Eli's Deli

Sometimes I focus so much about the substance of the turkey club, I forget what makes food great in the first place: sitting down and enjoying it, as opposed to just shoving it in your mouth during a rushed lunch at your desk.

Last Sunday I had the privilege of being interviewed, yes interviewed, about this very blog. (The Turkey Sandwich part of it.) Believe me, I thought it was just as hilarious as you do. (Not that someone was writing about me, but the fact that a turkey sandwich blog that has been the subject of an animated YouTube series moved the needle for an editor at an alt-weekly newspaper.)

After emailing back and forth with a time and place, we decided on Eli’s Deli on the Sunday afternoon of the Super Bowl. Eli’s is a pretty quiet bar in Loring Park. I’d never been, but it looked like a place where people go for nice conversation and a few drinks, the kind of place I enjoy.

We got two beers, which I think was the first time I’d gotten a beer with a turkey club. We both ordered the turkey club, which perplexed our waiter. He wondered if we were sure that we wanted something that he could make at home. We both insisted. Loyal readers of this blog know that’s my first line of judgement when reviewing a turkey sandwich, most of the time it’s a bad thing.

We talked about my method of reviewing a sandwich. I was surprised how serious I sounded about it, even though I told him numerous times that I know what I’m doing is a bit ridiculous.

Our sandwiches came a little while later. The table next to us looked at us a little bit funny after he took my picture while I took my first bite.

It was a solid Sunday afternoon pub sandwich. The bread was slightly higher quality than what you find in a typical grocery store and it was toasted. The turkey was high-quality, not too salty, and not slimy. Both the tomatoes and lettuce were adequate.

But I gotta say that the best part of this sandwich was the bacon. It was made fresh, just the right amount of greasy, and still hot. For as many places that sell bacon on their sandwiches, the best route to go is still fresh. Too many grab-and-go places rely on pre-made bacon that has the consistency of wet cardboard. (One sandwich I bought that claimed to have bacon on it just had bacon bits.) The salt and greasy cut nicely with the veggies and complimented the turkey well. I could see enjoying this sandwich again when out with friends.

We talked more about sandwiches and what makes a good one. I was kind of surprised that we went for over an hour.

I’ll give this one a 4.5 for its ability to totally clear the bar set by the waiter. Look for my article on the web in the next week.

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