Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Best Chicken Salad Sandwich--EVER!

Seth thinks I'm bonkers over how much I love this sandwich.  Regardless, if you've ever seen the show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network, this would be my nomination for the sandwich category.

This is the Chicken Salad Sandwich from Olde Tyme Pastries in Turlock, CA.

Even though their sister company in Modesto (Village Baking Company) makes the same sandwich, it tastes better from Olde Tyme Pastries.  Believe me, I know.

So what makes this sandwich so special?

Let's begin with the bread.  You get your choice of fresh baked bread, but my preference is Dutch Crunch.  Not many bakeries carry this fine bread, but they should!  For a foodie, you will appreciate that it has both a moist and soft inner crumb, but it also has a light crunch on the exterior.  Originally, it was made in the Netherlands and was called Tiger Bread because of the pattern of the crumb top (I didn't know that before--just looked it up).  I used to eat this bread all the time at my uncle's deli in Redwood City (Otto's Deli) where my affinity for it was well established.  Trust me--it's wonderful!

Next, the chicken salad.  This chicken is not dredged in mayo, but is not lacking either.  I'm not a huge fan of mayo, so that says a lot!  It has a perfect blend of salt, pepper, and pimentos.  Plus, the chicken is shredded so finely that it's only a few steps up from paste.  So the texture is smooth and free of any fat or gristle.  I've had chicken salad that's been cubed, cut in strips, and shredded, but each one always has chunks of fat or pieces of chewy, gristly cartilage left in there that justs turns me off.  This one?  Never.

The sandwich comes topped with fresh slices of tomato, leaves of romaine lettuce with the ribs removed, sprouts (I didn't get them this time), and more mayo if you request (I don't).  They keep it simple, which is perfect.

The sandwich always comes with a fresh dill pickle spear and usually one fresh baked cookie of the day.  Since it's around the holidays, I was given not one, but two mini cupcakes: one white cake with vanilla frosting and sprinkles and one chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles.

Their lunch menu is only served Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm.  I started getting this sandwich about ten years ago while I was going to college just down the road.  It's been my favorite since day one.  Sadly, it had been a couple years since I had this sandwich because when we visited family in the area, we usually got in town just after 3pm on a Friday and left in the early morning on Mondays.  So, whenever I get a chance I make PLANS to get this sandwich.  This time, Seth and I had lunch there on the Friday after Thanksgiving and then I bought one to go and ate it later for dinner.

Absolute bliss.

So, if you're ever in the Turlock area during Olde Tyme Pastries' lunch hours, I highly encourage you to get this sandwich.  It doesn't hurt that the same lady who's made my sandwiches all these years is still there serving up greatness with a smile.  It's guaranteed delish!

Oh, and ANY baked good at either Olde Tyme Pastries or Village Baking Company is a sure winner.  Some of our favorites are chocolate covered cookie dough, chocolate mice, snickerdoodle cookies, raspberry pockets, chocolate napoleons, and apple nests (ask for it warmed with butter on top--yumm).  No matter what you get, you won't be disappointed.

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