The anatomy of a holiday turkey sandwich is simple: You just have to fit a turkey dinner between two pieces of bread. Turkey, stuffing, and cranberry jam -- that's what you're working with. But of course, not every turkey sandwich is built equally.
Take two of Orange County's fanciest sandwich chains: Capriotti's in Newport and Anaheim's Earl of Sandwich. Capriotti's has the Bobbie while Earl of Sandwich has its Holiday Turkey. They're like fraternal twins who share the same genes but have completely different personalities. Take one bite and it's immediately clear how different they are.
And of course, this means it's time to put them against each other in battle. Who wins battle of chain turkey sandwiches?
Battle by Build The first difference between the Bobbie and Holiday Turkey is their basic structure. The Bobbie is a triple decker sandwich: it has an exact layer of shredded turkey and mayo on the bottom, an exact layer of stuffing on top, and an exact layer of cranberry jam. The Holiday Turkey, on the other hand, is organized more unconventionally: its base is melted cheese with stuffing, gravy, sliced turkey, and a gentle smear of cranberry jam built on top - in that order.
In addition, the Bobbie comes with fluffy bread that's sliced in the middle with the corners still connected. The Holiday Turkey, in contrast, comes with leaner toasted bread that's thinner on the top and thicker on the bottom. The two slices are completely detached from each other.
All details, though not immediately noticeable, are game-changers.
Battle by Texture With its fluffy bread and three layers, the Bobbie's certainly has more height and volume, meaning you'll have to take bigger bites. Also, Capriotti's doesn't joke around about portions: the shredded turkey is abundant, and the stuffing and cranberry jam are chunky enough to grab and eat with your fingers.
You won't be biting so big with the Holiday Turkey though. Each bite is smaller, crunchier (from the toasted bread), and juicier (from the gravy). There is nothing chunky about the Holiday Turkey. The portions are smaller and equally proportioned.
And the winner is... *drum roll*
Earl of Sandwich's Holiday Turkey.
Don't get me wrong, both sandwiches are delicious, but the Holiday Turkey embodies a home-cooked holiday dinner almost too perfectly. You can blame the gravy. Seriously, it made all the difference.
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For one, the gravy keeps the sandwich from becoming too dry. The Bobbie's chunky stuffing, and the fact that its bread slices are attached at the corner, gives it a slightly desert-y bite. Nibble on the corner and you'll get mostly bread and maybe some turkey bits. But with the Holiday Turkey, your taste buds are greeted by gravy seeping from the center of the sandwich. It balances everything out beautifully.
Also: although the Bobbie has bigger portions, its individual flavors don't stand out as much as the Holiday Turkey's. With the Holiday Turkey, you can distinctly taste the stuffing in one bite and the cranberry jam in another - even though the cranberry jam is only smeared on lightly. This is partially because its bread pieces are detached from each other and sliced unevenly - making bites more balanced and varied.
Regardless, both sandwiches are worth a try this fall. Be forewarned, though: they'll make you fall asleep, just like any regular holiday dinner. So make sure you have time for a food nap after.