Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Praising the Turkey Terrific

My favorite sandwich of the past many years is the Turkey Terrific from Neillio's in Lexington, MA.

To describe it simply, the Turkey Terrific is a Thanksgiving dinner made into a sandwich. It's turkey, stuffing, cranberry and mayonnaise, all lovingly arranged on French bread. The turkey isn't deli turkey, but rather sliced turkey that's precisely measured. At the deli, these pre-measured slices are wrapped in thin wax paper, and arranged in a small mound on their counter.

The deli servers may not have lee-way with the turkey, but they seem to have discretion with the application and proportions of the other three ingredients. Some seem to throw in a little more cranberry, some seem to throw in little more mayo. I've grown to enjoy the varieties. The deli servers will make it any way you want, as I have seen people request this sandwich with cheese, or without cranberry, but I've always ordered it straight. One time I tried it with wheat bread, but it wasn't the same. The heft of the French bread really ties the sandwich together.

The taste of the turkey, mixing with the cranberry, mixing with the stuffing is a heaven on earth sensation.  I'm always filled with gratitude and satisfaction eating this sandwich. By the end of the sandwich, I'm actually somewhat tired, just like I had eaten a real Thanksgiving meal. It's a belt loosening sandwich, except I've made it a rule to only eat it on the weekends, and I rarely wear a belt on the weekends.

It's a little over four miles from my house to Neillio's, and the whole way I'm smiling. The servers will mark "TT" on the paper in which they wrap this glorious sandwich. Some will only use three lines, concatenating the two Ts into a symbol that looks like pi. My wife's sandwich (she'll vary her order more than I will) is nestled next to mine in the brown take-out paper bag, along with a cookie for our daughter. I count my blessings eating this sandwich, and a sandwich that can elicit this feeling deserves all the praise it can get.