If anyone knows sandwiches, it has to be chef Jon Taub. He's the chef behind Bub and Pop's, downtown's new sandwich shop known for its great hoagies and pickles (and they've even started a tasting menu dinner on Sundays). Eater asked Taub to wax philosophical on what makes a perfect club sandwich, and he had plenty of thoughts on the subject at hand. He says he eats clubs frequently, but has a hard time finding a good one (though when he worked at Open City, he used to eat their turkey club just about every day. "It's semi comfort food," he said.
"I've seen so many different club sandwiches. Obviously the first thing for a true club is three layers of bread. I think anytime it doesn't have that middle piece, it's just a turkey sandwich with bacon. I've seen once or twice something like a chicken avocado club, but that's not a classic club to me.
A classic to me comes on white bread and its always toasted. Every layer of the sandwich is extremely, extremely critical. Top, bottom, even middle layer - they have to have mayonnaise on it. It's such a thick dense sandwich with the roast turkey, bread, lettuce and tomato. It needs a spread on it to really make it palatable. The club his a very simple sandwich — it's how you handle the ingredients, what you put into it, and whether the turkey is made from scratch, what type of tomato.
I don't like iceberg lettuce on almost anything. I like to have romaine or Bibb lettuce on it. Every sandwich in my restaurant uses a Roma tomato. I just find that they provide a really good balance of flavor, texture and moisture. Sometimes the heirloom tomatoes can be over-ripened. The tomato on the sandwich, it brightens it up.
The bacon should be made in house. Really, as much as can be made in-house should be. If you buy pre-made turkey or roast beef, for the final product there isn't as much control over the flavor. So I would think a really good house-made bacon, brined in-house, cured in-house. Same thing with the turkey, cut paper thin - and I like it stacked high. But yeah - housemade mayo, three pieces of bacon. I don't think it even requires cheese because there's already something going on. That's pretty much it.
Oh - one last thing. I don't care what anybody says. A club sandwich is not complete without a nice kosher dill pickle and some really good potato chips. I love putting my chips inside of my club sandwich."
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