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Showing posts from October, 2007

What is a Sandwich? The Big Question

What is a sandwich? This is not a rhetorical question, nor is it a koan.

The answer is an important starting point for any extended sandy discussion. We regret that we failed to address the question at the outset; the resulting lack of clarity has led to questionable reviews of calzones and sandwich crackers. So we asked ourselves, only to realize there’s no easy answer.

Common sense and the “It’s What’s Between’s” header dictate that a sandwich is two pieces of bread with some foodstuff in between. Unless it only has one piece of bread, in which case it’s an open-face sandwich. But a piece of bread with jelly on it surely isn’t a sandwich. But if you add peanut butter to that same jellied toast, do you make an open-face PB&J? Is a wrap a sandwich; if so, is a burrito? What about burgers — are they sandwiches? My gut says no, but I don’t know what to believe anymore.

Ever since one of our damned interns (he’s no longer with us) raised the question, the whole sandyblog operation has b…

SSS: So we started screamin’ on such a winter’s day

Signature Cold California Dreamin’ Sandwich Regular
Purchased from Safeway in Thornton, Colo.

This sandwich review concludes Round One of the Supermercado Sandy Spectacular. Safeway secured its crown with this easy win over Albertsons’ cheesy mayo heart attack wrap and King Soopers’ cran-turkey disaster quasi-sandy. As follows is a recap of S-Way’s first place finish.

Contents:
Turkey, bacon, tomato, guacamole, carpet slipper bread, mayonnaiseProblems:Tomatoes sliced too thin; barely noticeableBacon overpowering and dominates tasteMayo is unnecessary, as the bacon provides plenty of savoriness. I would have preferred more guacamole of the bread bottom instead of the mayo.Props:Generous use of guacamole on the top breadbottom of the sandwichGuac-lovers take note — Safeway has a liberal guacamole policy. Many places, worst of all fast-causal burrito joints (I would link to Chipotle’s site here, but it's too annoying), cruelly charge anywhere from 75 cents to $1.75 extra for a blob of gu…

SSS: Wraps and rants

Albertsons Fresh-Made Turkey Bacon Cheddar Deli Wrap Sandwich

Welcome to the Supermercado Sandy Spectacular, Round One, Part Two, wherein I review Albertsons’ unwitting entry in this poorly organized but well-intentioned contest.

The wrap costs $2.99. You can also purchase the lunch box, as I did, for a dollar more. The lunch box includes the wrap as well as a 1-ounce bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos and a 2-ounce Aunt Katie’s Chocolate Chunk Cookie.

Primary ingredients: Turkey breast, cabbage, cheddar cheese, feta dressing (mayo and feta cheese, basically) and bacon.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of my sandyblog editorial tenure, it’s that meat often isn’t just meat. Let me explain. Previously, when eating a meated sandwich, I would have assumed the only ingredient in the meat is meat. E.g., the ingredients in ham would be as follows: ham.

But that’s not the case. The turkey breast in this wrap contained, among many other things, turkey broth, dextrose and carrageenan. What…

Olivewatch ’07: Breaking news

I got the Subway sub of the day today (turkey breast) and as always, asked for olives. I received seven olives, each carefully placed atop the meat with approximately equidistant spacing.

I will continue to count how many olives I get each time I eat at Subway to see if I can find any olive trends across different employees and locations.

SSS: Cranberry turkey disaster

I jumped into this sandy purchase based on Mark’s recommendation of Pat’s PJ’s Gobbler. I’m the only one to blame here, though; I should have known better than to assume all holiday-inspired sandies are created equal.

As follows is a log of my harrowing King Soopers pre-cellophaned sandwich journey.

First Impressions
Good size, will be fillingDifficult to judge contents, but realized upon opening that the deception’s for the best, as its inside looked disgusting
Baguette crusty in parts, but unsettlingly damp in others — probably due to the cranberry sauceTaste
Weird. Not unpleasant, but not great either. Tastes like Thanksgiving’s cousin who means well but doesn’t quite get it.The turkey tastes good as does the cranberry sauce, but it’s more jelly than sauce. I prefer can-shaped, Jell-O-like medallions.Texture
Bad. Unpleasantly soggy in parts. Eventually the cran and mush disappeared and I was left chewing turkey and the drier parts of the bread. After all the smooshy horror, the texture w…

Feature launch: Supermercado Sandy Spectacular

Never mind the poorly translated headline — this new feature has nothing to do with Spain. This is actually a tour of supermarket delis’ sandy offerings.

The tour’s inspiration came from Mark, a renowned Denver-based cartographer and sandwich enthusiast.

I felt like it would be cheating to order any custom sandies, because then I’d just get my favorite fillings and it would be subjective and complicated and wrong. So I only ordered pre-made sandwiches, or at least pre-planned ones with clever names that I could order from the delicatessen’s menu.

Round one featured the big three Colorado-based supermarkets: King Soopers, Albertsons and Safeway. Round one is now over. I know you hate surprises so here were the results:
First Place: SafewaySecond Place: AlbertsonsThird Place: King SoopersRunner-Up: Cub Foods (stores all gone, not sure where they went)Each store's specific results are coming soon.

It is better to look good than to taste good

Not a food maxim to follow, generally, despite Iron Chef’s emphasis on plating. But this time it proved true, and I learned a lesson about second chances.

It was not long ago that Philipe lured me into eating his so-called Southwest Chicken Gourmet Sandwich, which I ultimately regretted for several reasons. Still, being a glutton for both punishment and sandwiches, I recently tried Philipe’s other Walgreens panini: the Turkey Club Gourmet Sandwich. One look, and you'll know it's not a club sandwich. One bite, and you’ll know turkey is not prominently featured beyond its name. Despite these setbacks, this sandy exceeded my expectations.

One of my main complaints about my first Philipe panini purchase was that the photo on the box failed to look anything like the product within. Usually this kind of deception comes with a disclaimer explaining the need for some assembly, or a statement explaining that the elaborate spread on the box is merely a “serving suggestion” assuming you pl…

It’s time to address grilled cheese sandwiches

I’ve been considering a grilled cheese sandwich (GC) post for a while now but never knew where to start. I’ve eaten dozens of GCs since joining the It’s What’s Between staff, some good, some bad. But we simply don’t have the time and resources to review all of them.

Yesterday, the topic of grilled cheese arose in three unrelated instances. It was a sign — the time has come to address the GC. First, I stumbled on a New York Times article hailing the GC. Within, Jennifer Steinhauer explores the GC’s surprising presence in some of New York’s finer restaurants. While some of the featured chefs’ recipes were predictably ridiculous and pretentious (calling “taleggio cheese with short ribs, arugula and apricot caper purée on raisin bread” a GC is blasphemy), Steinhauer’s GC homage is spot on. She nails the sandy’s essence at the beginning of the second graf: “Buttery, salty and enduringly simple, the grilled cheese sandwich stands unrivaled in the universe of simple gastro-pleasures.”

F’in A…