For the second time in a row, my best meal in New Orleans turned out to be a sandwich shop. Coming to the Big Easy with my wife Jun, I didn’t think I would have an experience as memorable as I’ve had at Cochon Butcher which I had visited a couple of years ago (https://kenscale.com/2015/06/22/cochon-butcher/). Even when Turkey and the Wolf was declared the #1 best new restaurant in America by the highly respected Bon Appetit magazine, I was still somewhat skeptical (Cochon Butcher was that good!). After our lunch, however, I’m comfortable declaring that Turkey and the Wolf is one of the best restaurants in New Orleans, period. The ingenuity behind the art of sandwich-making was just so astounding that Jun and I were not sure if we can ever turn back to normal sandwiches again.
The concise menu at Turkey and the Wolf doesn’t look like much, but each sandwich that we ordered really stood out on its own. Take the fried bologna, a humongous sandwich that came with mustard, potato chips (whole ones, not crushed in bits and pieces), shredded lettuce (“shrettuce” in their parlance), mayo and American cheese. All of these seemingly random ingredients combined to create bites that are so unique and powerful (but not overwhelmingly heavy or salty) in flavor, a sensation that neither Jun nor I have quite experienced previously when eating sandwiches. I would have been so preoccupied wolfing down this masterpiece the entire time we sat down at the table if not for the other sandwich we ordered. The collard green melt was truly a thing of beauty. How could a simple combination of slow cooked collards with Swiss cheese, pickled cherry, pepper dressing and cole slaw be as impressive as the decadent fried bologna, especially if there is no meat? Our initial doubts were quickly gone once we started biting into the sandwich. I don’t know what kind of mad science goes into this one, but it sure was sensational! I didn’t expect to be so dazzled by a vegetarian sandwich that displayed a complexity of flavor and texture that was thoughtful and pure genius.
Turkey and Wolf doesn’t take reservations and the place packs up pretty quickly during lunchtime but the turnover rate is also fast so you wouldn’t have to wait too long before securing a table (you make orders at the counter and a server brings to food for you). I do encourage anyone coming to the sandwich shop to try one or two cocktails with playful names such as “They Grow Up Slow Fast” (a bourbon based cocktail that I liked very much) or “The Fish That Ate the Whale”. I feel sheer joy during my culinary journey with Jun when we discover a place with unassuming, simple philosophy that turns out to hand out some amazing foods. Turkey and the Wolf, not quite hidden after all the accolades, may look like a modest neighborhood sandwich joint but I won’t forget their sandwiches in a long, long time.
- Creativity: 9.0/10
- Execution: 9.0/10
- Ingredients: 8.5/10
- Flavor: 9.5/10
- Texture: 9.0/10
- Value: 9.5/10
Address: 739 Jackson Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130
Telephone: (504) 218-7428