Sandwiches were simpler when I was young. Turkey and mustard. Roast beef and mustard. Salami and mustard. Sometimes I would sneak a potato chip in between the bread, but that was it. My lunch-time sandwiches consisted of meat plus mustard plus bread. (Actually, I liked my sandwiches on hamburger buns, but that’s a different story.)
Things have changed since 5th grade. I eat less meat; in fact, about 85 percent of my meals revolve around non-meat items. However, I don’t adhere to a specific regimen, like Meatless Mondays or Mark Bittman‘s “Vegan till 6.”
I’m lucky to live in a city that offers a decent amount of vegetarian options. However, I’m still struggling to find the veggie sandwich.
For lunch this week, I grabbed a sandwich at The Daily Market on Connecticut Avenue and L Street NW. I had approximately seven minutes to snag sustenance and jump to a conference call, so I decided quickly on the Mediterranean Midday: hummus slathered on both sides of pumpernickel, with chunks of artichoke hearts, wedges of avocado, slices of red onion and cucumbers, and a tumbleweed of sprouts. I omitted the tomato because — who are we kidding? — it’d taste like mush this time of year. Instead, I requested spicy mustard. (I haven’t kicked all my 5th grade habits.)
The sandwich measured an inch and a half too high for my mouth, ensuring the contents would fall out. Luckily, I remembered to hit the mute button before I cursed that damned faux-briny artichoke heart. And the taste = meh. It was fine but didn’t excite me. Unfortunately, this unsatisfied sentiment fills me after most veggie sandwiches.
Do veggie sandwiches try too hard? Do we really need that many vegetables in between two slices of bread? Can a veggie sandwich succeed with a limited number of ingredients?
Someone, please, point me in the direction of a streamlined veggie sandwich.