by Alice Levitt
2 North Winooski Avenue, Burlington, 802-951-1652
Yesterday, my longtime favorite sandwich shop, PK Café in Colchester, closed. Though the owners are looking for a new space, there's a chance I'll never savor my beloved turkey, cheddar, apples and cranberry mayo on homemade focaccia again. I'll miss you, Vermonster.
That's why I have to seriously cross my fingers for the Vermont Sandwich Company. Three locations have closed in recent years, leaving only the stores in Burlington and Williston.
Where would I be if I could no longer sup on "The Pilgrim?"
Everyone has their signature sandwich at the Sandwich Company and "The Pilgrim" is mine.
My standard goes beyond the main dish to include a bag of Miss Vickie's sea salt and vinegar kettle chips. They're low on grease and crisp. Most importantly, they don't burn my mouth by the end of the bag the way many salt and vinegar chips do.
I believe there's no better pairing for those chips than cherry Coke Zero. Yep, diet soda. Somehow, though, this diet soda doesn't taste of saccharin, and packs just the right fruity punch to balance the salty, tangy chips.
Then there's the sandwich itself. There are plenty of Thanksgiving-in-a-sandwich options in the Burlington area. In fact, the Sandwich Company has a classic one in the form of "The Patriot," with its turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce.
Extremist that I am, I take it a step further. I have to go for the meatier, manlier "Pilgrim" with its thick, salty roast beef and slabs of bacon replacing namby-pamby turkey.
As you can see, the lettuce is fresh and there's just enough to make me feel like there's some roughage in my diet. There's also some vegetable matter in the the slab of stuffing — some onions and celery. The thick mound of stuffing on top of the grinder roll always leaves me feeling slightly over-breaded, so after the first few bites, I usually pick most of it out.
That perfects the harmony of "The Pilgrim," possibly my new favorite sandwich. The "Vermonster" is dead (for now). Long live "The Pilgrim."