I Heart Turkey
True love found in a seasonal sandwich
By Holly A. PhillipsPosted Nov 16, 2011
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Now that November has finally arrived, the countdown to Turkey Day is in full swing. As someone who loves (read: is mildly obsessed with) all things Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for one restaurant that serves a sandwich fit for the season.
Enter La Madeleine’s Cranberry Turkey Melt – a sandwich created for the Thanksgiving-obsessed, like me. This sandwich holds a special place in my heart, and in my stomach, as I look forward to the day it’s unveiled each year.
In the first week of November, the Cranberry Turkey Melt made its annual debut on La Madeleine’s menu, in all its delicious glory. And I could not wait to get my plate of goodness.
The sandwich combines everything on a traditional Thanksgiving table: turkey, cranberry relish, mushroom stuffing, all wrapped up in a cranberry roll and dressed with lettuce and provolone cheese.
If there is a heaven, I’m convinced it’s paved with La Madeleine’s cranberry relish. If it isn’t, then I’m not so sure that’s where I want to be.
I discovered this sandwich many years ago when I worked in the Mall of Louisiana – and when La Madeleine had a location there. I hesitated upon ordering it because, although I love the turkey-cranberry sauce combination, I despise stuffing.
But I went for it anyway. One bite of that crusty roll dotted with dried cranberries and I was sold. A love affair began.
Each year since, I have looked forward to the seasonal greatness that lies between the delicious bread slices.
When I arrived at La Madeleine last week, I had put so much bank on my lunch – planned it for weeks after the La Madeline Twitter account informed me of the day I could finally indulge – I was worried there’d be no sandwich this year. Rest assured, a sign greeted me with the good news: seasonal favorites had arrived.
Upon ordering, the host read my mind.
“I’ve already had one and it’s really good,” he said.
He had no idea this craving was 12 months in the making.
But, after a short wait with my carved wooden spoon on the table, my order arrived. It was just as glorious as I remember: the cranberry bread, a layer of relish, lettuce, a thick slice of roasted turkey, cheese melting off the sides, a layer of stuffing; all surrounded by a plate of potato chips.
I’m aware this isn’t an unlikely or even a unique combination. For years, my family has used cranberry sauce to mask a dry turkey. And I’m certain thousands of Americans create a similar sandwich in the days after Thanksgiving to make use of leftovers.
But the fact is, La Madeleine offers this sandwich before Thanksgiving – no leftovers necessary. It’s a simple meal that holds me over until one of my favorite days of the year – and I don’t even have to roast a turkey or create my own cranberry rolls.
My only suggestion would be a side of sweet potato chips. However, I know love means accepting something for what it is – and I wouldn’t have my Cranberry Turkey Melt any other way.
La Madeleine’s seasonal menu is now available. See what all the fuss is about at La Madeleine’s in Perkins Rowe or at 7615 Jefferson Hwy.