Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mmmm...Open-Faced Club Sand Wedge

Acadia Cafe
1931 Nicollet Ave. S.
329 Cedar Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, breakfast club is delayed and becomes lunch club. While this could never become the norm (when some members get up at 4:30 in the morning, waiting until NINE to eat is an eternity), it often allows the group to sample establishments that otherwise would be overlooked. Recently breakfast club was delayed due to the good doctor's call schedule and her addiction to gazing at her new grandson. It was a very hungry group of four (Rachael in Honduras, Alex in Canada, and Perley off doing Perley things) that walked into the Acadia Cafe at eleven in the morning. While the Acadia did list some breakfast options, it was clear that they specialized in the two meals not called breakfast. Rather then tempt fate, we all ordered from the lunch menu. This was a splendid development as it allowed me to consume the best club sandwich of my life, which is no small feat.

When I go out to lunch, there is a 75% chance that I will order a club sandwich. I've sampled club sandwiches across the nation, at large chain restaurants, at tiny diners, and all places in between. My history with this piece of Americana is extensive. It all goes back to when I was a surly teenager at a restaurant with my family. I looked at the menu and declared that the club sandwich looked good. One member of my family (who shall never be named) told me in no uncertain terms that I would NOT like the club sandwich because it had too much bread. As a surly teenager with two copies of the stubborn gene (thanks mom and dad), this information ensured that not only would I order the club sandwich, but I would also declare its magnificence to all the world regardless of my real onion. Luckily, I was not forced to lie to my own family, because that sandwich was terrific. From then on, the club sandwich has been my default order when given the option.

Given this long past, you may be surprised to know (or not) that I have very strict requirements regarding what makes a good club sandwich. A true and good club sandwich contains seven things, no more, no less.
  1. Three slices of lightly toasted bread-Emphasis on the lightly toasted, often places go overboard and toast the hell out of the bread. By the time you are done with your last quarter, the roof of your mouth has been shredded by hard slivers of toast. Not good times. Bread type is negotiable, but given a choice, it's wheat every time.
  2. Turkey-Preferably thinly sliced deli turkey and not that dry real turkey stuff that comes apart and crumbles everywhere, especially when you pick up one of your sandwich quarters, a properly made club sandwich does not require reassembly.
  3. Bacon-Which must be crispy and more than two slices.
  4. Lettuce-Iceberg to be exact, but romaine is also acceptable.
  5. Tomato-As long as it is a good tomato, out-of-season mealy tomatoes should never go on a sandwich under any circumstances.
  6. Mayo-And only mayo, I find that the addition of mustard changes the entire complexion of the sandwich and not for the better.
  7. Cheese-Almost any cheese will do as long as it isn't too powerful.
Most places make one or two critical mistakes when making a club sandwich. Some places add ham to the equation. While I appreciate the addition of another pork product it IS a tad excessive. Other places try and spice up the club sandwich by adding nontraditional condiments, like honey mustard or specialty mayonnaise. Many places deem the third slice of bread to be superfluous and eliminate it. This is the most heinous act because it does not allow them to cut the sandwich into quarters and display those wonderful pieces of joy on the plate with the requisite mountain of chips or freedom fries. It's those neatly displayed sandwich quarters that really set the club sandwich apart from the other, more pedestrian sandwiches.

The Acadia Cafe does none of those things and just provides you with those seven essential ingredients, lovingly assembled into the perfect sandwich. They also have a healthy halo type multi-grain bread that is very pleasing. Everyone in the group loved their meals and praised the Acadia Cafe unreservedly. If their club sandwich is any indication of the quality of the rest of their food, multiple return trips will have to be scheduled.


1 comment:

Alex said...

I'm starting to get a little suspicious that all of the best meals occur in my absence. Loring Grill, anyone?