It takes a fancy resturant to fuck up a turkey sandwich

I hate fancy resurants. Maybe this is because I like my food plain and for less than $30.00.

You see, fancy resurants can’t just cook a piece of meat. They have to drown it in sauces and alcoholic concauctions of various sorts, and bury it under vegetables I’ve never heard of. The result is a congealed mass of mushy crap with a little bit of actual food still intact.

So a few days ago, when the rest of my family decided to go to Le Cafe de Snott, I decided I would put up with it.

Perusing the menu, I find one item that sounds mighty appetizing: Roast turkey sandwich.


Anticipating at my food, and wincing at the fecal odor eminating from the meat-like substances accross from me. I see it. Plain rye bread with turkey, and, oh, this is fancy, it has a couple slices of tomato and some lettuce!

It wasn’t until I sunk my teeth into it that I realized what a vile, disgusting, sandwich this was. The bread was drenched in what tasted like 100% vinegar. I could not even taste the turkey or the tomato underneath. And there was no saving it, the vinegar had corroded all the way through the vegetables and the turkey.

To all you snotty stupid-ass fancy-pants chefs out there: this is a turkey fucking sandwich. It is not hard. Bread. Turkey. Mayo. Maybe a little tomato if you’re really fancy.

This was an insult to fat, fast-food eating slobs everywhere on the globe.

May all you bastards who would dare ruin the Holy Sanctity of the Sandwich rot in an eternal clam sauce while you are basted in boiling vinegrette! May you be saute’d in wine sauce from 1769!


A restaurant is in the business of providing acceptably-cooked food to its customers in exchange for the listed price. If your food was not cooked as you would have it be cooked, tell them to take it back and provide you with a replacement. If they dig in their heels, do not pay for it. After all, you ordered a turkey sandwich you did not receive, not a pile of vinegar-flavoured mush, which you did.

Actually, I did send it back, and they gave me a proper sandwich. I left out that part for dramatic effect.

Is there something I’m missing here? This restaurant, let’s call it Cafe le Snob, gives you a turkey sandwich laden with vinegar. Upon your complaint, Cafe le Snob provides you with a turkey sandwich with no vinegar.

Three possible scenarios.

  1. Cafe le Snob thought you actually wanted a turkey sandwich soaked in vinegar. When you stunned them by refusing it because it was too acidic, the Cafe stooped to providing you a plain ol’ turkey sandwich.
  2. Cafe le Snob goofed badly on the first sandwich, totally overdoing the vinegar. When you informed them of their mistake, they presented you with a correctly-made sandwich.
  3. Cafe le Snob, knowing of your distaste for high-class establishments, intentionally sabotaged your turkey sandwich by soaking it in vinegar. When you complained, they decided to make amends by providing you with an undoctored sandwich.

OK, #3 is a little far-fetched. (However, even in high-class establishments, I wouldn’t be surprised if the chef spat in your food if you complained about it before receiving your meal.) #1 and #2, though, are workable…so is Cafe le Snob incompetent, or does it just have no taste buds?


I liked mashed taters. Every fancy restaurant I’ve gone to has screwed them up. I have no idea why.


PS: Didn’t mean to hijack I just wanted you to know that I felt your pain.

As a fancy-pants chef myself, let me stand up for those you deem unworthy of preparing food. Many of those chefs that work at fancy restaurants have spent years of schooling and working strange and long hours to get where they are. Part of the job is developing new dishes on the menu, and to put new twists on old favorites–in hopes, to expand the palates of the public with new tastes that, hopefully, their customers will enjoy.

I’m not going to pick on you about your taste in food, because everyone’s is different. People know what they like and do not like.

It does bother me that you think that we cannot cook a piece of meat, or we cover everything in heavy sauces, and serve everything with wierd vegetables. I can only shake my head and think that you’ve just have been to places that think that a good meal equals a pile of congealed crap with sauce. It’s those few places that can’t make a decent meal that ruin it for other places that can make great fancy food. It’s a shame that you got a nasty sandwich, and I’m glad you were able to get “a proper sandwich”… they must have used a balsamic vinegar on the bread or something to get the flavor you were talking about.

Get your ass over here and I’ll show you that a snotty, fancy-pants chef can cook you a good meal.

Vinegar? With turkey? And you even accepted another sandwich???Ewwwwwwwwwwww…
I, too feel your pain. I walked into one of those over-priced cappucino places in CA. Ordered what I thought was a “no-brainer” sandwich, a tuna melt. I mean I can deal with just about any kind of chees and as long as they don’t drown the flavor of tuna with too many dill pickles, I can eat it. Or so I thought. They tried to make it fancy…and I guess feel better about charging me $7.00 for a fucking TUNA sandwich. It was covered with some rancid herb that took over the sandwich. I couldn’t tell if there was cheese, tuna or even bread. I ate about three bites, and left. (It was a busy place and they charged you BEFORE delivering the meal.)The first bite was “Wow I never knew you could fuck up a tuna sandwich.” Second bite, “No, it’s not just me this does suck ass.” Third bite, “I still have no idea WTF that taste is but I am not putting any more of it in my MOUTH!” Needless to say, I never went back there for more than a cup of coffee.

But hey, if you’re ever in St Louis, I can make you a decent turkey sandwich, friedo. I do tend to make mine with thick slabs of leftover turkey and about an inch of mayo, but I can adjust it for you :wink:

Hey, JavaMaven, I may take you up on that offer. Obviously, my use of blanket statements was a hyperbole; I have had fancy food before that I quite enjoyed.

Duke: My point is that they fucked up the turkey sandwich in the first place. I mean, this is a turkey sandwich here. It’s less complicated than Jell-O.

No no no! The rule of thumb on wines is: odd years good, even years bad. So you’re actually sparing them some grief when you have them stew in a good wine. Try 1768. I’m sure that one’s gone to vinegar too by now. Much greater punishment.
[sun]Not to worry, friedo, I’m already preparing to go fuck myself as we speak![/sub]

If you were making this argument in, oh, 1975, it would be easier for me to buy. The “continental cuisine” of the 60s-70s (Calvin Trillin coined the term “Maison de la Casa House”) WAS often drowned in sauce, and composed of dubious ingredients. I direct you to John Hess’s marvelous book, THE TASTE OF AMERICA, written in the early '70s, which detailed the fall of American cuisine from a simple, well-cooked approach to needless complication, and to heavily merchandised fast food, and to putting ketchup on everything, and to Nixon pouring A-1 on his cottage cheese, etc.

However, in his final chapter, Hess noted that a lot of aging hippies were busily growing and merchandising organic produce, and that there was a nascent movement on the West Coast to use fresh, seasonal fruits and veggies, free-range chickens, no-hormone beef, etc., in restaurant kitchens. He allowed that there may be hope for us damyankees yet.

25 years later, the food in this country is better than it’s been since the turn of the LAST century, and much more diverse. Cooks are open to influences from world cuisine, and use them in sometimes interesting, sometimes startling ways.

I eat in a lot of fancy-schmancy restaurants. Dined in one last night, as a matter of fact. I had simple grilled octopus, followed by a simple grilled butterflied loup de mer (looked like a trout). Little olive oil, little lemon, some oregano and rosemary, but not too much. Nice glass of a Greek white wine, sort of a Sauvignon Blanc thing going on there. The place specialized in seafood prepared in the Greek style. So I ordered seafood prepared in the Greek style, as opposed to a slab of meatloaf or a dish of liver dumplings.

I also eat in a lot of coffee shops and diners and miscellaneous “joints.” If I wanted a turkey sandwich on rye with mayo (and it sounds pretty good right about now), I’d probably patronize one of those establishments…I wouldn’t expect to have it made for me (properly) in a restaurant that offered (harrumph) “haute cuisine.”

Also, I notice that menus in most good restaurants usually explain the preparation of the dishes…and if not, that the waiter is happy to tell you what’s going on in the kitchen. You sure this place didn’t say:

TURKEY SANDWICH: tender slivers of organic free-range fowl with slices of fresh Cajun tomato, delicately curling Romaine lettuce, and home-made aioli, laid on freshly-baked nine-grain bread THAT WE’VE DIPPED IN CHEAPASS GROCERY-STORE VINEGAR!!! HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!!!

friedo - i’m with you on the fancy restaurant thing. my experience is that you end up paying a ridiculous amount of money for small portions of, at best, decent tasting food that looks like a lot of care went into the presentation. at worst, they put too much effort into making the sauce exotic and screw up what would have been a good piece of meat. at one of these places i got what i think was supposed to be lamb, but it smelled and tasted exactly like puke. this was one of the few times that i sent the food back (other than when it comes out cold, which happens way too often), and the manager refused to admit that the dish smelled like puke. he kept saying i might be happier with something less ‘gamey’. the only reason i ever go to these places is because the gals seem to like them, i believe mostly because it gives them a chance to do themselves up and wear their nice dresses.

Ike, I may have seen a TV restaurant review of that Greek seafood place on the long-gone show “Dining Around.” Does it have a center island of a mound of crushed ice upon which all the fishies are arranged nicely, and all the seafood is VERY fresh and cooked simply? I’ve always remembered that place and vowed to try it if I’m ever lucky enough to get to NY. What’s its name?

zwaldd: So go to a good steak-house. There you can pay a ridiculous amount of money for a LARGE portion, well and simply prepared.

Eat whatcha LIKE, people! If you don’t want your moo-cow sauced, stay away from old-style French places. (Although classic French bistros are renowned for steak frites…a plain grilled entrecote with fries on the side.) Try Argentinian…grilled quality beef and, as a bonus, they throw in the kidneys and sweetbreads!

pugluvr: It’s called Milos. 125 West 55th Street, between Sixth and Seventh Aves. The arctic char was good, too. And the grilled squid stuffed with herbed feta on baby greens.

like i said, the only reason i ever go to these places is because the gals seem to like them. pleasing the ladies can have rewards that more than compensate for an hour’s pretension.


Here’s my favorite place in NYC. It’s called Le Sans Coulattes ( May have spelled that last part wrong) On 3rd between 56th and 57th. ( I think, don’t shoot me if it’s near 58th.) Try it out and lemmie know what you think. The lamb is stupendous!

I understand. I’m a girl who doesn’t like fancy resturants. Take me to a place that can make decent pasta or char a piece of meat, where I can wear jeans and I’m very, very happy. Some fancy food is good, but for the most part, I’m not an odd sauce/odd flavor person. There have been some odd exceptions. (French onion soup comes to mind. I don’t like onions. A friend practically beat me into trying it. MMMM…warm oniony goodness. Onions are great…when prepared that way.)

I’ll take my turkey sandwich with lettuce and a little bit of mayo, thanks.

You know what I love? Going into a fancy restaurant and ordering a steak, well-done. The waiter always looks at me like I ordered fillet of baby. Pretentious pricks. Its not like I’m making THEM eat it, right? What, was this cow a personal friend of theirs? Get over it, Pierre.

Nimune said:

BWAH HA HA HA! That is hilarious… I humbly request your permission to include this in my sig line. It’s pure genius! :smiley:

Now, to address the OP- On the whole, I really enjoy dining at finer establishments. However, there are a lot of poseurs out there (at least in my neck of the woods) who take poorly cooked, clumsily spiced, less-than-fresh ingredients and stack them into pretty little towers on a plate that’s been pre-decorated with some squiggles of a sauce that doesn’t necessarily compliment your meal. Because presentation is everything, right?! Of course it is! And so many people fall for it, because if it looks fancy, it must be good. Especially if it’s expensive. I have a theory about the prices at those kind of places- it’s to make you think that the stomach-flipping is due to sticker shock instead of indigestion. Feh.

BUT… a well-prepared meal, with fine ingredients carefully composed and lovingly presented is practically a religious experience.

Don’t give up! There are so many great places out there, it’s a shame to blacklist them all when it’s only a few Bistros Le Snot and Cafes del Fuckhead that make the rest look bad.

And don’t do this: Once I overheard a woman complaining about her meal while I was getting ready to order at a very nice bistro. She said she didn’t like mussels, and wanted another entree. The waiter asked if she had received the wrong meal, concerned that he had relayed her order incorrectly. She said no, but she didn’t realize that the dish would have mussels in it. I looked at the menu- she had ordered the Seafood Gratin featuring New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussels.

Incidentally, I think I’m going to start a band and call it the Green-Lipped Mussels.

Gotta side with Ukulele Ike here. No chef at a “fancy” restaurant considers his turkey sandwich to be his masterpiece . . . because it can’t be. The turkey sandwich is for all intents and purposes perfect, both conceptually and in practice, as prepared at Mama Joy’s Deli up near Columbia (and many similar delicatessans all across the nation). A fancy restaurant may try a new twist on an old favorite, or it may just put “Turkey Sandwich” on the menu so people who like it simple have an easy out (or so they think!!!). If you want to be more comfortable in a fancy restaurant, take take a lesson from the Zen tradition: the way out of the heat is in the center of the fire. Order the most complicated, pretentious thing on the menu – I’m sure it’s better than you think.

Poison: It’s all yours. Glad you liked it.