For most of my life, I hated mushrooms, and when I turned the corner into mushroom conversion, I became somewhat obsessed. Lately, 'shrooms have been my go-to sandwich filling if I'm not feeling particularly meaty. The earthy, salty taste and the substantial presence feel so decadent, especially when melted with cheese.
First we have a mushroom panini from DeLessio Market, smushed into cheesy service with zucchini and onions. Like many mushroom panini, this suffered from a slight slippery-ness, but that didn't stop me from eating the whole thing.
Below, we have a rare specimen of pretty decent airport food: a toasted mushroom and red pepper sub from a Potbelly knockoff at Chicago O'Hare. It wasn't quite as exciting as my Schlotzsky's encounter, but after a long flight, it hit the spot.
For years, I've been connecting through Houston airport and longingly passing by a Schlotzsky's counter, but I never seem to end up there at meal time. This year, our stop en route to Pensacola fell around lunch hour, so we finally got to enjoy one of the muffuletta-inspired sandwiches.
We ordered the Turkey, Original-style; the Original is the sandwich that launched Schlotzsky's in Austin, TX. Featuring turkey, salami, three cheeses, onions, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and black olives inspired by muffulettas' olive salad, this Schlotzsky's sammie came on the usual giant round bread, which was just as tasty as I remembered. Overall, the sandwich wasn't as great as my previously experiences with Schlotzsky's, but for airport food, it was outstanding.
For some reason, I always get excited to eat when I'm on airplanes. Maybe it's because it breaks up the monotony of air travel, or because it reminds me of when I still romanticized flying and airline food. But I'm sure I don't have to tell you this: it's almost always a disappointment.
Now, after the six-layer sandwich in Taiwan, I found another winner. On a recent flight out of LAX, I picked up this roasted vegetable melt at one of those Wolfgang Puck places. Dare I say, it would have been delicious even if I hadn't eaten it on a tray table. The bread tasted like Puck's renowned pizza dough, stuffed with assorted, tender roasted vegetables and goat cheese. The best part: it stayed warm through takeoff and as I slowly savored it.
I was not at all hungry when I ate this sandwich. I'd just eaten an airplane meal, which itself was shortly on the heels of lunch, but when we spied this sandwich at the Taipei airport on the way back from Bali, we had to buy one in the name of blogging.
Displayed alongside other artful but futuristic-looking baked goods, this sandwich resembled a slice of layer cake. On top, it had a graceful, savory glaze; on the sides, a nutty coating that was like a cross between the dusting on multigrain bread and an almond croissant.
Between each of the six slices was a different filling, applied lightly like a tea sandwich. Keep reading for the verdict.
My hometown isn't the part of Florida known for its Cuban sandwiches. But we have enough Cubans in Pensacola (like, one family) to bring an excellent Cuban restaurant, which happens to be at the airport.
When I arrived way too early for my flight out of town, I got to enjoy an excellent coda to my fried seafood bonanza: a midday Cuban mix. A cubano consists of roasted pork, thinly sliced ham, cheese (usually Swiss), mustard, and pickles, pressed on French-style bread (most authentically, Cuban bread). For all of the history and firsthand deliciousness . . . keep reading.