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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Turkey Sandwich, and the Closing of an Institution

There's an early Halloween episode of the Simpsons in which Homer uses a monkey's paw, which grants him three wishes, to request a turkey sandwich. For him, there was an ironic twist - the turkey turned out to be a little dry. But for my part, I can understand where he was coming from, just a little bit, with his inhuman craving. I got just such a craving today.

I used to live in Lincoln Square. There is a wonderful deli there, which is now closing, called Meyer's Delicatessen. I can't tell you how sad this makes me. Not only is it the prototypical small neighborhood establishment, but it has a tremendously beautiful vintage neon sign and is about the German-est place you will find in Chicago, tied with the Brauhaus, a few doors down. They sold the most wonderful horseradish and sweet/hot mustard there, and good roast turkey, hearty fresh baked bread, Wisconsin Muenster cheese, the only thing they lack is greens, which had to be purchased at Jewel, six blocks away. My preference was spinach.

The marriage of these ingredients is the most delectable turkey sandwich possible. The interplay of savory and sweet flavors with the turkey and mustard, the creaminess of Muenster cheese, the crisp burst of fresh cellulose in the greens, and the oaty, chewy bread, lightly toasted on the outside, was just heavenly. I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say, at least for me, it's a sandwich that outclasses any restaurant offering out there (which are usually overstuffed beyond any practicality, and drizzled with some messy goo or another). It is portable, perfectly balanced, filling, satisfying on some Teutonic level, nourishing the body and the soul.

Well, I no longer live there. But the sandwich can live on. I've been working at a condo building, biding my time until I start grad school. There is a Dominicks nearby, and today, on a crisp, somewhat chilly day in June, I got the urge. The Craving. The Need For One Of My Turkey Sandwiches.

While the ingredients are not the same, I was able to approximate it. I just finished eating it, and it was good. I am nourished.

I used one slice of Sargento deli-style Muenster cheese, which is from Wisconsin, so not too bad. The mustard was Silver Spring Sweet'n Hot Honey Mustard, and I must say it was none too shabby. I squeezed a fine portion on each slice of bread, probably between 1-2 tbsp. Hey, what do you know, it's from WI, too. The bread was Brownberry Whole Grain Classic Oat Nut variety. I used an end piece, since it's a fresh loaf. Looks like Brownberry is made in PA. The Turkey was the Safeway brand, "Butcher's Cut." Lord knows where it's from, besides a poor dead bird. It was very thinly sliced, which was good, but a wee salty for my tastes. I used 2 ounces of 10 in the package, I would estimate. The spinach was Fresh Express Spinach, a pre-washed bagged variety, with baby-ish spinach. They are located in CA. I would say I put 12-15 leaves of baby spinach, divided between each slice of bread, affixed by the mustard. So the cross section is:


5 simple ingredients, one f-ing awesome sandwich. I don't have a toaster oven in the office, which could have put a bit of a toast on the bread and melted the cheese a tad, but doggone it, it was pretty darned good nonetheless. Plus, minus ingredients like mayo, pretty healthy. The turkey had a fair amount of salt, but the cheese wasn't bad at all (you should see the Sodium levels on McDonald's cheese!), and the rest of the ingredients are all healthy. Given the serving size:

-400 calories
-11 g fat, 4 of which are saturated.
-1365 mg sodium, a little on the high side, about 57% of the USRDA. Most of it was the turkey and the bread. Next time, I'll try to locate a source for fresh poultry.


Anonymous Martina said...

Woh this Turkey Sandwich is very embllishing .

2:31 AM


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