Asheville

3 (More) Crazy Big Sandwiches I Ate When My Wife Was Out of Town

My wife left town again, and I scurried back to the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville to finish working my way down their seven-sandwich menu.

My gustatory adventures had apparently become legend there in a short period of time. On my first visit back, when one of the bartenders spotted me walk into the Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen, she said, “How many more do you have left to try?” On subsequent visits, I heard basically the same question from two or three other servers.

The answer, Dear Reader, was three. Three sandwiches left. Let’s see how they “stack” up, shall we?

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The Knuckle Sandwich, at Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn, $26. This is their take on the classic lobster roll. They dress the Maine lobster in a tarragon emulsion (think vinaigrette), place it aboard thick-cut toast with bibb lettuce and shaved fennel. I’ve enjoyed lobster rolls in the past, so I was prepared for sticker shock. Lobster rolls are always expensive, and you always end up feeling like you paid more than it was worth. This sandwich was very large, but—notice!—it’s not so much a lobster roll as it is a lobster stack. The open-faced nature of the sandwich made it impossible to fold and eat, but you end up with more meat than you do with those New England hot dog buns that they usually serve lobster rolls in. There was no mayo in sight, so you don’t get the creaminess typically associated with lobster rolls. But it was still freaking tasty.

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Grilled Cheese, at Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn, $15. Probably my favorite of the three, the grilled cheese was cut into three hefty slices and pressed with three different cheeses, and each wedge of the sandwich came stuffed with a slice of local bacon. It also came with a cup of tomato soup and a side salad (or fries). What can I say? The cheese was very cheesy, almost to the point that it was oozing out of the sandwich. I’d tried this sandwich years ago, and last time the tomato soup was weirdly thick. Not anymore. I’m told the chefs changed it up. Now it’s perfect for dipping. I did notice that was a little hard to bite the sandwich without pulling each bacon slice completely out. Maybe if they didn’t cook the bacon so crispy?

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Veggie “Burger,” at Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn, $15. This was the surprise out of all the sandwiches I tried. I tried it last because I don’t usually like veggie burgers. Too often they end up tasting like a big muddy ball of black beans. This sandwich corrects for that by packing in as many different distinct flavors as possible. You get smoked almond spread on the hamburger bun, the peppery crunch of arugula, the spiciness of an orange-red peppadew sauce, and the pungency of a classic chermoula herb sauce. The patty itself is bright red—thanks to the beets that infuse the cumin-tinged beans.

I’ll mention just one more interesting thing. In the course of these three visits, many of the servers asked which of these sandwiches was my favorite. I held off responding until they told me their fave. Every single person praised the club sandwich, which I discussed last time. In fact, without knowing what my favorite was, one manager told me, “If you ever hate what we’ve brought you, just send it back and order the club sandwich. You can't go wrong."

So that’s it. Three disturbingly large and tasty sandwiches in the course of five days. Denise is out of town for a few more days. I’ve got a line on some panini at another place in town. I’ll be there, if I can get out of my chair.

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Related Post: 5 Crazy Big Sandwiches I Ate When My Wife Was Out of Town

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5 Crazy Big Sandwiches I Ate When My Wife Was Out of Town

I’m always on the lookout for the best sandwiches in our little town of Asheville. Recently when Denise was out of town, I indulged in and reviewed several lunch offerings at a restaurant called Edison, in a fancy resort near us called The Omni Grove Park Inn. Everything’s pricy here, so I wanted to find out if an $16 to $18 sandwich was worth it. The upshot: Yes, all of these are pretty good—and incredibly filling. I suspect that when you’re a high-end resort, the way you make your high price points palatable is by giving people a lot for their money. Which is typical for how things rolls in these United States. I also ate one sandwich at Tupelo Honey, one of the longstanding favorites in Asheville.

Here we go, counting up from my least favorite to most favorite…

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The Poor Boy Sandwich at The Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn. This is basically a hot roast beef sandwich with shredded cabbage, pickled carrot, mayo and some melted Swiss cheese. Massive sandwich. I liked the size and the warmth and even the taste of the sandwich. But I felt that most of the roast beef was cooked to medium by the time it reached me. It might have been a juicier sandwich if it were medium rare. At $18, you want it the way you want it.

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Crunchy Yard Bird Sandwich, at the Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn, $15. A beautiful, surprising sandwich made of chicken thighs that have been pickle-brined, then served with hot sauce, pickle and ranch dressing. I appreciated them using thigh meat in this since breast meat is so much drier. This was both juicy and crispy, but the sauce was just not to my taste. I would have it again, and just specify that they go easy on the sauce or serve it on the side, to be self-applied.

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Southern Fried Chicken BLT, at Tupelo Honey downtown Asheville, $14.50 (if I’m remembering correctly.) Nice sandwich that hits all the notes you want. Juicy and crispy. I liked the added bacon, could have done without the dull, huge tomato slice. Dijonnaise spread very good.

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Smashed Burger, Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn, $16. I know the photo doesn’t really do this justice, but I did love the melty cheese on two thin patties, plus all the usual toppings, plus pickles and a special sauce, which gave this a taste very reminiscent of a certain fast-food burger we all grew up eating. It’s nice to recreate that flavor with better ingredients.

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Edison Club Sandwich, at the Edison, Omni Grove Park Inn, $18. I did not expect this to be my favorite of all the sandwiches I ate that week, but it blew me away. Three-and-a-half inches high at its tallest point, it was crammed with smoked turkey, two types of cheese (Colby and marble blue), a thinly sliced smoked ham that reminded me of prosciutto but which the server insisted was not, and a local bacon. Great heft, great crunch, great flavor. I should have eaten one half and saved the other for dinner but who are we kidding?

So that’s it. Five disturbingly large sandwiches over the course of seven days. My wife leaves town against next week. We’ll see if I can hit a few others on various places around town. Until then, I have an appointment with a cardiologist.

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Yes, I am trying to post here more often, and not just about food. Thank you for noticing. If you want to sign up for my newsletter and claim your free ebook, go here.