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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkEntertainment | Restaurants & Dining | July 2008 

The Irreverent Chef: Anatomy of a Sandwich
email this pageprint this pageemail usLiana Turner - PVNN

Some people think you can slap a few things between two pieces of bread, and call it a sandwich.

There is a certain order and technique required for making the perfect sandwich, and if the rules are followed, the results will prove it.
In this week's column, we'll take a look at the anatomy of a sliced meat sandwich.

Some people think you can slap a few things between two pieces of bread, and call it a sandwich, but some people don't realize the importance of the subtle way that the flavors of the ingredients meet each other. They will either look each other in the eyes and shake hands, and create a satisfying partnership, or they will just sit there and not even look at each other.

Well, do you want a friendly sandwich or an indifferent one? For me, the choice is easy to make. There is a certain order and technique required for making the perfect sandwich, and if the rules are followed, the results will prove it.

Starting at the Bottom

If you want a good sandwich, you must start with good bread. Bimbo is okay for Thursday breakfast toast and for little kids to make squishy balls with, but if you want a really good sandwich, get some decent bread from a bakery.

I like my bread sliced thin, for caloric reasons, but others don't care and like a big fat slab. I am just trying not to "BE" a big fat slab. That is up to you.

The bottom piece of bread is the beginning. This is where we put the mustard or horseradish or other strongly flavored condiments. That is because the meat is next, and mustard and its brothers were created to hang out with meat. Their flavors compliment each other.

The Meat

This is where Mexico and I disagree. Most Mexican sandwiches have the meat lying there flat, even if there are two or more slices, and usually it is just one lonely, flat, thin piece. This makes a dull and unappealing sandwich in my book. The meat should be folded in loose piles and the pile should be a little thicker in the middle of the bread than around the edges.

Middle Ground

If it is going to be a hot sandwich and you are using cheese and onions, then the onions should go on the meat, and then the cheese. That way the melting cheese will carry the onion flavor directly to the meat.

If it is to be a cold sandwich, the cheese can go directly onto the meat, and the onions on top of the cheese. Next come the sliced tomatoes. They should not be too thin, but not so thick that they make everything topple over.

Top it All Off

Then, for a cold sandwich, the lettuce is next. After that, the mayonnaise goes on the top bread (it goes with lettuce and tomato. It is all making sense now.) Serve with soup, salad, pickles, chips, or any combination of those things. Now that's a good sandwich! Slice diagonally and admire before devouring.


At Paradise Bakery & Catering, we make fresh sandwiches to order. The meat changes regularly, and some options may include sautéed chicken breast or real roasted turkey or roasted pork. Bread choices also change. We have our own rosemary focaccia and whole wheat seed bread every day. We are looking forward to the high season, when we can really go crazy with more sandwich options.

The Irreverent Chef, a.k.a. Liana Turner, is the chef and owner of Paradise Bakery and Catering. Serving the "Best Cinnamon Rolls in Vallarta," along with delicious sandwiches, salads, main dishes and yummy sweet treats every day but Sunday, and providing all styles of catering services, from pre-prepared meals to-go for informal gatherings to full service elegance for dinners, cocktail parties, wedding receptions and special events, Paradise Bakery & Catering is located at Sierra Aconcagua 299, Prolongacion Brasil, Colonia Lazaro Cardenas, Puerto Vallarta. For more information, call (322) 222-5133 or visit

Click HERE for more articles by The Irreverent Chef

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