I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “everything except the kitchen sink.” People often overuse the phrase, but recently I found a sandwich that seemed made for it: the “Gobbler Impersonation Club” at Buffalo Blues over in Shadyside. The Blues is well known for it’s burgers and it’s all-you-can-eat wing night every Wednesday, but their sandwiches are nothing to scoff at, as the GIC proved.
The picture above doesn’t do the sandwich’s vast expanse justice: made of “Sliced turkey, roast beef, bacon, American and pepperjack cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion on sourdough bread,” the bread is hardly suited to house such a flamboyant collection of flavors and textures. And that’s what makes the GIC so great: the diversity of ingredients here is ridiculous. The sliced turkey is delicious, but turkey sandwiches can occasionally find themselves behind the 8-ball because turkey simply isn’t the most interesting lunch meat out there. So the folks at Blues decided to help the turkey out by adding not one but two additional meats: roast beef AND bacon. The bacon adds extra chew to the sandwich and the roast beef is as tender as can be, adding a foundation to this sandwich’s mansion.
Then there are the two different cheeses: heavenly. Both are melted to perfection (how could they not be, they’re smothered between seven other ingredients!) which adds the perfect cut to the three meats. It’s easy the meat of a sandwich to overpower everything, but the Blues counter the three-meat attack with a two-cheese attack of their own: mild-mannered american, always tasty, and the cagey cheese that is pepperjack. Pepperjack cheese always amazes me because it’s not very popular, but it should be; the subtlety of the kick provided always finds a way to cut through anything it’s on and make its way to your taste buds.
And, of course, we have the classic trio of lettuce-tomato-onion, but they’re not simply playing sixth, seventh and eighth fiddle here. This is a heavy-handed sandwich, and there needs to be something that balances out the saltier and meatier tones of the rest of the sandwich. The fresh lettuce has the classic crunch to add yet another texture to the sandwich, you can’t go wrong with tomatoes, and the red onion is also a cool refresher but with a kick of it’s own. (Onions, in my opinion, make any conceivable meat-based sandwich better. It’s one of my many food-related theories. Maybe I’ll write a book.)
Let me say this: the GIC is NOT for the (sandwich-related) faint of heart. This thing is a powerhouse. A behemoth. It’ll knock your socks off with its sheer size, and then you’ll taste it and it’ll knock of your other pair of socks. Sometimes you need to indulge in a heavyweight contender, and I’d be hard-pressed to think of a better one.