The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Sandwich Rage: Whole Grain Bread ≠ Baguette

This post originally took place on December 29. I basically wrote the whole thing on the 29th. So why am I posting it nearly two weeks later?

I thought it may have been a bit too negative and crazy-sounding for a post about the rage begat by a sandwich (a...a sandwich!), in addition to it being poorly written. My intention was to tweak it a bit before slapping it on the interwebs. But I didn't get to tweak until...[looks at watch]...January 10 at 2:40 a.m. Time management fail.

Actually, I'm still not happy with this post, but as my standards are quite low at this hour in the day/night/whatever and I didn't want my blog to continue living in 2010 (oh yeah—happy new year, guys!), I bring you...thiiiissss.

Rageguy explanation for the uninitiated.

So. That happened. How'd it happen?

I had a craving for tomato, basil, and mozzarella, between bread. SO FULFILL THIS CRAVING, I DID. Or tried. While browsing through the Sandwich a Day archives on Serious Eats NY in search of a sandwich within walking distance of the office, I found Bluedog Cafe, whose #4 sandwich was described as such:

"Fresh Mozzarella, Roasted Tomatoes & Basil Pesto On Baguette"

And this is what I got.

mozzarella, tomato, basil pesto sandwich

I didn't find out until I got back to the office and unwrapped my sandwich with foaming-at-the-mouth anticipation (it was nearly 3 p.m.; by that point I was hongry, which is one step beyond "hungry") that the bread was wrong, but even if I had noticed it earlier, I would've felt like a dick asking for another sandwich. Granted, blogging about it so the Internet can read about my sandwich snafu is sort of dick-ish also. I don't feel too bad about it though—when I ordered and paid for the sandwich, no one told me they either ran out of baguettes or didn't feel like using one for my sandwich. And there's a lesson to be learned about all this. Maybe.

Turkey sandwich
Iz got wheaty wheat bread.

I don't hate whole grain bread, by the way. If it complements the filling, it's perfectly fine. I ate half of a turkey sandwich from Joseph Leonard the day before that came on great whole grain bread that was probably the best part of the sandwich. (Admittedly, I wouldn't order that sandwich again, but that's not the bread's fault.) But in the case of this tomato, mozzarella, and basil pesto sandwich, the flavor of the whole grain bread didn't complement the fillings; it almost completely overpowered them, meaning every bite basically tasted like...whole grain bread. The texture was wrong too; instead of the chewy heftiness of a baguette, the bread lacked body, chew, and a top and bottom crust. There's a time and place for this kind of bread, but not on this sandwich.

The fillings were lacking as well—they tasted like bland. A bit of salt would've helped, perhaps with a side of salt and an infusion of salt. I didn't want my sandwich to go to waste, but I couldn't finish it.

In conclusion: This sandwich left me sad. But merely saying "sad" doesn't really capture the feeling of the sandwich-shaped void that tormented my, torment that ceased when I ate dinner later that night in Chinatown. My advice if you run a sandwich shop or are thinking of opening one: Don't replace the bread listed on your menu item's description without warning customers. And don't make sandwiches in the tomato, mozzarella, and basil family with sliced whole grain bread. And don't give me any more of those sad sandwich-shaped void things.

Next time I want a sandwich near the office, I'll go to Milanese for a cuban.


Angeline / January 10, 2011 10:56 AM

I wonder if someone else ordered the same sandwich on wheat. Imagine the same comic but substitute "This isn't wheat, this is a baguette, fuuuuuuuu". Maybe?

I'm sure heads will roll once word gets out about this blog post.

Joyce / January 10, 2011 10:59 AM

You were right to rage over a disappointing sandwich. FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU whole-grain non-baguette sandwich!

John / January 10, 2011 12:34 PM


I'll be the jerk to point out your early-year January/December 2010/2011 dyslexia. I'm such a bastard. :P

roboppy / January 10, 2011 12:38 PM

Belinda, Helen, Joyce: RIGHT ONNN

Angeline: Nooo I don't want head rolling! But I would like a baguette. :)

John: HAHA, ah it's not bad to point out things that are wrong. I will correct it now. 3 a.m. brain fail!

roboppy / January 11, 2011 12:13 AM

Gastronomer: I got to try a good mozz-tomato-basil sandwich at work last week, so...sandwich order has been restored! :)

serena: I felt like I was crying without the tears. Dry sadness.

Mikey / January 11, 2011 2:21 PM

Life lesson #129: Always keep your sandwich within eyesight while it is being made for you.

chocopuff / January 11, 2011 2:23 PM

Poorly made sandwiches get me riled up too! Sadness. What a terrific FAIL!

The other day I was getting ready to eat a hot turkey sandwich on foccacia, only to discover that the tomatoes had completely soaked through the bottom... can you say LAME?

If I could have any job I wanted, I might in fact turn into the sandwich police. Giving people bad sandwiches is just not okay by me. (But not unlike you, it is usually my official policy not to embarrass myself by complaining directly to the establishment.)

Nicholas / January 11, 2011 9:29 PM

I too plan to write a blog post like his ;) hehe, I like your take on the issue! Now let me tell you about these hats I sell...

Anyway, I feel like the distinct lack of meat kinda amplified the amount of suck that came from the wheat bread. I like wheat bread with turkey or roast beef... not for plain cheese. I'd be sad too... maybe not lingering until the next meal sadness, but sad nonetheless...

bionicgrrrl / January 12, 2011 1:06 PM

Seriously, out of all the types of bread in the world, whole wheat sandwich bread is probably the polar opposite of baguettes. So wrong. No need to be sorry about the post. Seems you are not the dick-ish one in this story!

yuri / January 12, 2011 3:03 PM

i have a friend who, when she get hungry, gets very cranky.

we call it getting "hangry."

roboppy / January 13, 2011 12:44 AM

Mikey: It was made in a kitchen in the back, out of my sight, fail.

chocopuff: Tomato soak, nooo! Or any bread soak in general. :(

Nick: Will you draw a rageguy comic too? That would be swell.

The lack of meat was a blow, yeah. With meat, it would've had balance out grainy grain grain.

YES PLEASE SELL ME HATS, I trust your hats more than the spammers' hats.

bionicgrrrl: Opposite Bread Day is the worst. :[

yuri: I like that word. I don't get cranky when I'm hungry...I guess I just feel a bit empty inside. [sheds a tear]

Sherm: Life is funnier when dumb stuff happens. My life is too drama free. NEED MORE SANDWICH DRAMA.

egeria / January 13, 2011 2:26 PM

I feel your pain. The cafe where I get my Chicken Caesar sandwich (on Turkish flat bread) has, on more than one occasion, run out of lettuce. And yeah..chicken with Caesar dressing on Turkish flat bread is wrong...just...wrong.

Sandra / January 13, 2011 4:37 PM

This post reminded me of a sandwich I got at a cafe near Penn Station, when what you order might not be what you get. The description read, "Sauteed broccoli rabe, sweet chinese sausage, scallions, jalepeno peppers on a toasted baguette", sounds a bit all over the place but I took a chance. Except apparently sauteed broccoli rabe = steamed broccoli florets, scallions = scallions in mayo (I think, I didn't see scallions, but the mayo had stuff in it). I actually watched them make the sandwich and when I questioned the use of broccoli, the guy offered to make me another type of sandwich, but I didn't want them to throw the half-made sandwich out so I let him finish making the sandwich out of sheer curiousity (and hunger). I still remember this sandwich because it was so wtf, but it turned out not half-bad. The more recent experience was the egg and bacon bagel sandwich I was supposed to get at au bon pain that ended up being a bagel with just bacon...I was the only person ordering a sandwich at the time, so it wasn't even busy :/

jesi / January 13, 2011 10:31 PM

DUDE, you cant put mozzerella and tomato on WHOLE WHEAT. wtf kind of sandwich is that. everybody knows that is wrong. i like whole wheat too... exactly, with TURKEY. your sandwich fail is making me want to cry, i totally understand!
you know, with all the things not right in the world, somedays i just want my sandwich to be exactly the way i want, amirite?[oh god i sound like an entitled asshat...]

roboppy / January 15, 2011 12:12 AM

egeria: That sounds like a sad sandwichy concoction. :(

Sandra: That broccoli sandwich sounds...weird and kind of good. I KIND OF WANT IT. Better than my messed up mozz sandwich, surely.

Jesi: [hands you a virtual tissue, and a virtual sandwich, made correctly!...which means it wasn't made by me cos I suck at making sandwiches]

inafryingpan / January 15, 2011 7:59 AM

OMG, that comic cracked me up!! The funny thing is, I was having a dull moment & thought I needed some I honestly came straight to your site! (food is such a mood fix. and so is humor. but foodie humor like this is an all-time rockstar.) sorry to hear about the bread...I know the feeling of frustration when you've got a craving and then someone somewhere packs the wrong thing / yucky version of the right thing and it TOTALLY misses the mark.

Marsha Calhoun / January 15, 2011 2:15 PM

We all have our sandwich fail stories. You were just brave enough to publish yours.

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