In this tasting, not a turkey to be found
There are two camps in the Thanksgiving turkey world.
On one side are those who tolerate the big bird on its special day - and can’t wait to heave the carcass into the trash, stuffing and all. Then there are those of us who gnaw on the last brittle bone and wonder wistfully, “Where has all the white meat gone?’’
For the latter, Bare Cove Café and Catering has a menu to drool over. The popular lunch spot off Hingham Harbor offers not one, or even two, but five turkey sandwiches daily.
In the interest of gluttony and post-Thanksgiving turkey withdrawal, we decided to test all five choices. I gathered a hearty crew of discerning eaters and we systematically gobbled our way through the list, making observations and carefully rating as we ate.
The envelope, please:
The number-one slot was a tie between “The Traditional’’ ($6.50) - hand-carved, roasted turkey, with stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise, on thick white bread - and “The Sophia’’($6.95), the same roasted turkey breast on crusty French bread with marinated mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and mixed greens,
The turkey on both sandwiches was moist and tender. “The Traditional’’ evoked cries of “yummy’’ and the comment that it tasted “homemade’’ and “like Thanksgiving.’’ There was a slight scuffle over the fallen bits of stuffing, but no serious injuries.
“The Sophia’’ was judged more sophisticated, with an interesting combination of flavors and textures. Perhaps because the bread was harder, it was more difficult to divide the sandwich into small pieces, leading to a disappointing lack of an extra serving.
“Turkey in the Garden’’($6.75) was everyone’s choice for third place with praise for the combination of turkey, avocado, sprouts, tomato, mayonnaise, and Swiss cheese on wheat bread. The bread was especially complimented, as was the creamy texture that the avocado contributed.
“The Stockbridge’’ ($6) roll-up came in fourth, although one judge said it would be the first choice of anyone who really loves honey mustard. The sandwich rolls thinly sliced smoked turkey, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, lettuce, and tangy honey mustard in a wrap. Our tasters commented on the freshness of all the ingredients and said the combination worked, although everyone could have used less red onion.
“Give Me the Skinny’’ ($6) was a unanimous fifth place and consisted of thinly sliced turkey with tomato, sprouts, cucumber, lettuce and Dijon mustard on a wheat wrap. The bread was slightly gummy, although the sprouts and cucumber added a nice crunch.
All the sandwiches were large enough to feed at least two turkey lovers.
Bare Cove is open seven days a week, starting at 6 a.m., and has a wide range of other sandwich choices, as well as salads, soups, and desserts. There’s also a large breakfast menu. The restaurant does a bustling takeout business, but has tables for dining in, a large array of frozen meals to take home, and a catering business.