Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Mountain of Sandwiches...

After recovering from my sandwich coma for several weeks, and a shoulder injury that made it difficult to lift up the sandwiches to my mouth, and type, I’m back…

Cold Fresh Turkey Rachel at Kugels

There are two types of deli people…Rachels and Reubens.   Everyone is familiar with the “Reuben”-usually a corned beef sandwich on buttered rye, with Russian dressing, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut, grilled to greasy goodness.  I’d love to meet the evil genius that discovered the confluence of sweet/savory flavors, and the contrast of sublime textures that makes this sandwich the mainstay of any deli. 

Over the years, the reubens have been expanded to include any of the usual deli meats, and then a game-changer…cole slaw instead of sauerkraut; the “Rachel” was born. 

Turkey Rachel
At Kugels in Framingham, they offer these sandwiches both hot and cold, so I ordered a cold fresh turkey Rachel on dark rye.  Not bad…the fresh turkey really makes a difference, but I think I like my Ruebens or Rachels grilled and heated through, not cold.  The sublime mix of ingredients loses something if not warm. 

Sonoma Chicken Salad from Whole Foods

The more I eat at Whole Foods, the more I think that their star is falling.  Several years ago, I gave their burrito bar high marks, but they couldn’t keep up the quality, and upon re-evaluation, I put Boloco back at the top.  Not a true burrito joint, but much better than several of the local places.

Sonoma Chicken a fancy container...
However, since it’s right across from my office, I find myself at “Whole Paycheck” frequently, sometimes just grabbing a pre-made sandwich or wrap from the case.  My go-to wrap there is the “Sonoma Chicken Salad”.  I like my chicken salad with grapes or raisins, and the Sonoma has halved red grapes.  It’s an interest mix with grapes and a smattering of black pepper.  Because they refrigerate the wraps, the texture of the wrap itself can be soggy because it’s been sitting around for a while, but for the most part, I eat it with a fork.  It’s ok in a pinch, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.

Garlic Chicken Sandwich from Delaney’s in North Conway

On my annual New Hampshire sojourn, we decided to try a few restaurants that we’ve always wanted to go into, but for one reason or another, never had the opportunity.  “Delaney’s” is one such place. 

I ordered a “Garlic Chicken Sandwich”-described on the menu as garlic pepper grilled chicken breast on an onion roll, with garlic aioli, roasted tomato, spinach and provolone cheese.
You could smell this sandwich 20 feet away when they walked it into the room.  You can only imagine the pungent, yet delicious, stinking rose chicken sandwich.  Though I didn’t have them, if you paired this with an order of onion rings, it would be heaven on a plate.

Garlic Chcken Sandwich...can you smell it?
This sandwich was so good that we went back to Delaney’s later that weekend, and though I had a burger, it was the garlic chicken sandwich that has left an indelible imprint on my nostrils, and my palate.

French Dip at Welley’s in Marlboro

A couple of years back, charter readers of this blog discovered Welly’s in downtown Marlboro, not to be confused with our favorite steakhouse Willy’s in downtown Shrewsbury.   Welly’s is a bar with a casual restaurant attached…the type of place you might just walk past and never consider.   But consider we did, and this was a perfect place to continue my sandwich quest, and just the kind of place to eat a “French Dip”.

I doubt highly that this sandwich originated in France, but I believe the “French” part of the name refers to the loaf of “French bread” on which the sandwich is usually served.  At Welly’s, like most places, it is hot roast beef, with melted cheese, served au jus.  Unlike “Phillipe’s” in Los Angeles (which claims to have invented the sandwich and where they soak the roll in au jus before serving), Welly’s serves the au jus in a cup, and you dip as you go. 

The French Dip at Welly's...I moved the au jus for a clearer photo

I have always enjoyed a “French Dip” and this one is no different.  There’s nothing like the bread, having soaked up the beefy goodness.  The delightfully savory mix of hot beef, melted cheese, beef juice washed down with an onion ring or two is a party in your mouth…

Still more places to describe, but for now, I’m hungry…