The Bianco Guide to: The Best Club Sandwich Alive
I’m on the hunt for the best club sandwich alive. It’s that simple and it makes more sense than almost everything else I did before. This journey actually started and got inspired by a meeting I had a couple of weeks ago in a very posh, old money hotel lobby about...
[Oh shit, out of nowhere Superman wearing a Stone Island Shadow Project cape appears ahead of Bianco who is sitting in front of his fancy laptop trying to write an article about club sandwiches but actually starts by low-key flexing about fancy meetings in posh hotels with important people like a fool. He stops in front of Bianco, takes his laptop and cracks it in two. He looks at Bianco with his cold blue eyes and says with a monotone voice „Nobody cares about your meeting. You're just a grain of sand in the sea that is the observable universe. This story is about club sandwiches so stfu and go on.“]
Ok, ok, ok I AM SORRY. It's all about the Club sandwich now. The best Club sandwich actually. So let's head straight to the point: A club sandwich is probably the best definition of “it’s the simple things in life”. A club sandwich is something that reminds you about the good times, like holidays with your parents where you didn't have to pay anything and still got a club sandwich. A club sandwich is simple, but still complicated. A club sandwich is kind of a forgotten or unsung hero - it's like Carl Winslow, the best dad I ever had. How could you forget about him? A club sandwich is life, it’s real, it’s lovely and sexy and if done right it’s the best thing ever. So this is my journey, my hunt, my story to find the best club sandwich in the world. It will start in Munich and Berlin but will soon take over every place my journey takes me to. It will be slow, it will be fun, it will be worth it. This is an ongoing tale. Be part of it or get smashed by Superman. Let’s go!
ANNA HOTEL / MUNICH
Let's start this guide in my hometown - Munich. After asking a couple of my friends online about their favourite spot, it took me about 14 hours to sit offline in front of my very first club sandwich for this guide. The restaurant serves asian inspired food (never been there before) and generally looks awful to be honest. I could talk a lot about the light installations, the overall vibe going on and the comfiness of this place but let`s just stick with "awful". Im here for the club sandwich so this still could be a peng story. Besides dumplings and other asian classics I went straight forward and ordered my club sandwich with a coke light and slices of lemon and ice (very necessary). My first thought when they brought me my plate was, that this is no classical set up. There are some pickled vegetables on the plate, there is a sesame mayonnaise on top and the eggs are no sunny side up style but kind of a Japanese Tamogoyaki omelette style - which is cool. I like asian food so do your thing, chef. There were fries on top that were kinda nice/ok but pretty fast forgotten and not even finished - definitely not the best fries alive. Let's talk about the sandwich. It actually was good but then again pretty boring. I did not taste any remarkable highlight or flavor that got stuck in my mind, there was no actual pleasing sensation when I had my first bite, actually it just was ok. Even though its never easy to eat a club sandwich these little bastards really gave me hard time not falling apart from the very first minute I took a bite. At first I was disappointed not starting this guide with a big bang, but actually I'm pretty happy now to still have room for some glorious additions to the club sandwich gang. I'm really not a hater at least not when I talk about other peoples club sandwiches, so let's just say that for about 18 Euros and for sitting in a place that looks like The Enterprise in pink this whole thing could have ended way better. But do not give up, there is more to come, on to the next one (soonish).
2 out of 5 points for Team Anna
VABRIQUE / BERLIN
On to the next one. On to a good one. A lovely friend from Highsnobiety took me to that place around their office and made me order this thingy. So you kinda could say it’s #highsnobapproved - which isn’t a bad thing, right? The whole restaurant looks nice and comfy, I still not care about that so much, but at least you should know that this is no shit-hole at all. But what about the damn sandwich, right? The club sandwich is good! Actually the perfect example for a conversation like this:
- „How was it?“
- „It was good!“
The whole set up is pretty on point - Grilled chicken, (slightly overcooked) bacon and my personal highlight - some of that deep yellow cheddar cheese you normally just find on American burgers melted into she sunny side up eggs. Sexy! The fries were good by the way. Yes, good.
So this sandwich is approved! You can go there, eat it and you will not regret it at all. Still this is by far not the best club sandwich ever. Let’s just say I consider the best sandwich to be as strong as a Super Saiyan 3 and this one is Piccolo on Namek. You can not hate on his performance, but there is still some work to do!
3 out of 5 points for Vabrique
LA ZANZARA / ROME
I've had one of the best food weeks of my life in Rome (read the guide!). I also ate a club sandwich at La Zanzara because my hunt for the best club sandwich alive doesn’t even stop when there is the world’s best pasta around you. It’s called dedication, you know. So, let’s talk about La Zanzara. This place is kinda fancy and I don’t rate this, tbh. At least the waiters were cool and, because these were my holidays, I was already a little bit drunk since I drank wine in every restaurant I visited. There were three options of club sandwiches and I went (straight and smart) for the classic one, which didn’t look “classic” at all, once they brought it to my table. It had a huge load of mayonnaise, some hidden, but at least existing, egg, and no bacon on it - Huston, do we have a problem here?
Actually, this thingy was still pretty good/decent. I couldn’t really define or single out any special tastes or ingredients due to the shitload of mayonnaise. Plus, the chicken was shredded like canned tuna, but somehow I really liked that. Even though it was (I’m sorry I have to repeat myself) full of mayonnaise, it had a light touch - really smooth and not strong at all. This is definitely the Adele of club sandwiches. Let her sing, it’s all ok, but do I buy her CDs? No.
2,5 out of 5 points for Zanzara.
HOTEL DE ROME / BERLIN
The meeting I was talking about in the intro actually happened exactly in this particular hotel. The club sandwich I was eating back then was the one that caused a 5 seconds brain freeze which lead to the idea for this journey to find the best club sandwich alive. So after checking out a few spots I knew I had to come back to the birth place of this guide to get the fire starter of this guide to a place next to his brothers and sister.
Back then I was kinda blown away by this sandwich, happy and full of motivation to look for even better ones, but once things got real and I came back for a second dance things turned out quite different. But let’s start with the basics: The Hotel de Rome is a badass 5 star hotel in Berlin that definitely spent a lot of money on their interior, architecture and all that other shit that makes every expensive hotel in the world look almost the same. On the other hand the club sandwich looks pretty classy and definitely like a club sandwich should look like. Imagine Moses would have climbed up that mountain to get the best club sandwich picture possible from god - this would be the one file he would have brought down the mountain for sure. But let’s not talk about the fries, I have no idea why they put them in paper - this is no fish and chips - and I did not like them at all. Boring fries.
Next to my boring fries and beautiful sandwich they brought up the holy trinity of Heinz with three nice little jars consisting ketchup, mayonnaise and dijon mustard - you only get that in fancy hotels. And god damn these jars were necessary because this sandwich was the lamest duck ever. I did not taste anything special, the grilled chicken was a dusty dead chicken, no salty „baconess“, no sexy yolk, no special sauce, no nothing. The only way to actually enjoy this sandwich was to dip it deep down into the tomato ketchup to supply it with a sugar coated Heinz tomato-syrup . So after dipping my sandwich into Dijon, mayonnaise and ketchup like I was dipping MDMA in a dark club toilet I felt a little bit better. But same as feeling sad the day after taking MDMA in dark club toilets, I felt sad after eating this club sandwich. I don't know what they changed from the first time I’ve been there but if I step into your sandwich house equipped with a camera you only get one shot, so do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo).
1,5 out of 5 points for Hotel de Rome
CRISSCROSS / TOKYO
Finally, it’s time for another club sandwich, and this time I had to go 9000 miles to get my hands on one. After twice trying to get a proper one in Glasgow, and twice failing to find one (please contact me if you know a good spot for a good club there, a real club), I had to fly to Tokyo to at long last welcome another fighter in the ring. In the heart of Aoyama I found crisscross, a posh but def not too posh cafe in a neighbourhood where you can spend shitloads of money on `mani, Bape, Off White, Versace and so on.
I was really excited cause when the Japanese people turn their attention to something they seem to always master it within an inch of perfection. I was expecting greatness in form of a club sandwich and maybe even a new number one on this lovely yet still-modest list. So, let’s finally talk about the club! This thing was extra! The Criss Cross team didn’t stick with the og set up of a classic club sandwich, they opted for a more extravagant version and added some avocados with extra ham and bacon on top! Just looking at this thing made me incredibly happy and I knew I was getting some real shit.
Again, the fries were mediocre, but I actually was not expecting any better, because fries are a whole thing in themselves and like club sandwiches, really good ones are also hard to find.
My first bites into the sandwich were great since everything was grilled and prepared on a perfect level - except for the toast. which was missing some serious grilled texture, crunchiness, and overall feeling. A little bit too soggy, you know?
The rest of the sandwich? Again, this club sandwich was missing a distinctive orgasmic taste while biting into it. Lack of salt, pepper, mayonnaise and so on. Sadly, I needed lots of ketchup to spice things up and yet again a great sandwich failed because it was missing some very simple flavours. I really liked this one tho, and I would actually maybe go there for a second time if I lived nearby. But a second time in Tokyo? No, never, sorry. This means that despite 9,000 miles of travelling we have not found our new king of the hill, cause the one I’m looking for needs to drive me back like crack no matter where I am.
Still solid 3 out 5 Club points fro crisscross