When In Roam

Carl Chu's Food & Travel Blog

Sunday, September 02, 2007

United BOB: Trader Vic's Turkey Sandwich

After working in Washington for the week, my trip home started with a two hour air traffic delay at Dulles Airport. A line of thunderstorms up and down the Appalachians halted all westbound traffic. Our flight was packed, as everyone wanted an early start to the Labor Day weekend. My upgrade did not clear, but I was able to score an exit row seat so in the least I had decent leg room to stretch out and squeeze in a few more hours of work. As well, I enjoyed a nice meal that I assembled for myself.

Dinner in coach is nothing romantic these days. Free hot meals are gone, unless you are flying Continental, so you are left to your own devices. My meal today started with beer and pretzels from the beverage cart. I chose Heineken instead of Miller Genuine Draft, which I generally get. The flight attendant was nice to offer it to me free, waiving off the “beverage voucher” I had in hand.

I then bought one of those buy-on-board food items, lovingly termed “BOB” on flyertalk. I chose the Mesquite Turkey Sandwich, designed by Trader Vic’s. It was described in the inflight magazine this way: “Mesquite turkey breast topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, iceberg lettuce, and a Dijon mustard/mayonnaise, served on an Asiago roll.

The sandwich had a nice, fresh taste, not overpowering in anyway, the least of which is the smoke. I would have preferred a smokier flavor in the turkey, but for $5 can you really complain? The Asiago roll had a delectably firm texture to it, which was nice when compared to the many soggy sandwiches I had had in the past.

I saved half a can of the Heineken to drink with the sandwich. Beer and smoked turkey are a good match for each other. Maybe a pinot noir would have worked well, too, but they didn't have that on the beverage cart—only your popular cabernet.

Just as I finished the sandwich, a flight attendant came by with coffee—perfect timing. United has served Starbucks onboard for at least ten years and running. I took my coffee black. What blend was it? I don’t know, but it was smooth and eminently drinkable. For a Strabucks Skeptic like me, that’s a compliment.

For dessert, I brought out of my carry-on bag a red apple and package of Walker’s chocolate cookies filched from the Red Carpet Club. The apple was surprisingly juicy and crunchy—surprising because apples are generally terrible in the summer because they are not fresh but holdovers from last season. It’s almost Labor Day—are apples coming in season already?

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