Sandwich #7: Roast Turkey by Uppercrust

£4.39 – British roast turkey breast, stuffing, bacon, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, white baguette.

I have exhausted all of the sandwich places close to the office so had to venture further afield in the cold today and went to Uppercrust at Victoria station. A bit of a trek but that’s how dedicated I am to the cause. I’ve never bought anything from Uppercrust before ( they shouldn’t put them next to a Burger King when I’m drunk) and looking at their wares over the counter it looked like I might be missing out. The Meat Feast Pizza baguette and Hog Roast baguettes caught my eye, so depending on how this goes, I might be going back there. Plus I get a whopping 20% off with my Bite card – a bargain in anyone’s eyes.

So looking at this sandwich, it looks pretty good. There are proper fillings in there – real cranberries in the cranberry sauce, actual real stuffing and decent bacon. Going on looks alone, I might be onto a winner. Unbelievebly it almosts looks like the photo on their adverts. Almost. Stupidly, I had it heated up without thinking that it is so BLOODY FREEZING today that it would be cold by the time I got back to my desk. Schoolboy error.

I’m a bit disappointed that the sandwich went cold, because this is a good one. It is filled with nice fillings that could be left over from a Christmas dinner, as opposed to thinly sliced rubbish, and tastes just like one you’d make at home. The apple sauce and the stuffing play perfectly off each other, the turkey and bacon are actually something you’d put into a sandwich and the crunchy baguette is so much better than the soggy bread usually holding your office lunch. Going on what I’ve tried so far, I’d say go for this sandwich. It’s a bit pricier than the rest, but totally worth it. I reckon it would taste even better warm, so eat yours immediately at the till in front of the woman’s face.

Sandwich #6: Turkey Feast by Boots

£2.60 – Turkey breast and pork, sage & onion stuffing with mayonnaise, cranberry sauce, sweetcured bacon and spinach on malted bread.

Today I’ve been to Boots. I was disappointed to find there wasn’t a Christmas sandwich in the Jamie Oliver range, because I’d like that. Again I nearly went for a Christmas sandwich triple pack, but on comparing fillings the turkey sandwich in the triple pack didn’t have bacon. I’m out! Maybe if I run out of traditional turkey sandwiches to try before Christmas I’ll hit some Christmas variant sandwiches. But not today.

So today’s sandwich comes in at the cheapest, but isn’t giving anything to a homeless charity. Tut tut, Boots! They have gone for the traditional fillings with some spinach thrown in and it’s in another boring red box, but at least it has a round window and a decoration pattern I guess. Lunchtimes are getting very repetitive this month. The box also says Delicious in big letters, so let’s find out…

Ah, so this is why it’s only £2.60 – it’s a bit light on the turkey and the very thin layer of cranberry sauce is barely noticeable. If anything, this tastes more like a bacon and (not much) jam sandwich. Not a horrible combination in itself (trust me), but considering it is the same fillings as most of the sandwiches I’ve tried so far this really doesn’t cut it. Surely a turkey feast should be overwhelmingly turkeyish. I’ve also just realised I can’t taste or even see the stuffing, and opening the sandwich reveals a very small amount thinly spread across one slice like some sort of stuffing spread. Do they make stuffing spread? Because it that did that would be good, but put about 10 times more in please.

Sandwich #5: Turkey Feast by Marks and Spencer

£3 – Marinated roast British turkey, pork and chestnut stuffing, spiced cranberry chutney with smoked British bacon with mayonnaise on malted brown bread.

I understand some of you have been waiting for this one, so HERE WE GO!

I was tempted to buy the Christmas sandwich triple pack but I don’t like salmon so traditional turkey it is. And M&S have added their usual flair to this sandwich. Just look at the all the unnecessary sexy words in the fillings above. Read it in that sexy advert voice. It’s pretty much the same as Gregg’s sandwich but SEXIER! And look at the cheeky (green?) Santa on the box – no generic red box here. This one might be the best before I’ve even tasted it. Plus they are giving to a homeless charity as well (but their 5p is still not as impressive as Eat’s 25P).So how does it taste? Maybe slightly dry (which is probably better than soggy), but all the flavours are there enhanced by the cranberry which you can taste that bit of spice in. And unlike any other sandwich I’ve had so far this December, the bacon actually adds some texture to it. I did find it strange there was nothing green in the sandwich, but actually it doesn’t need it. This is like a quick Christmas sandwich you’ve knocked up on Boxing day and just went for the basics and it gets better with every bite. Good.

Stay tuned for more sandwiches tomorrow and don’t go looking for other reviews of Christmas sandwiches bashed out in 5 mins because this is the original and the best right here, okay?

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Sandwich #4: Christmas Full Works by Eat

£3.50 – Turkey, smoked ham, pork, sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, reduced fat mayonnaise, mixed leaf salad, lack pepper, malted granary bread.

I have been accused of being quite negative about the chains I have bought sandwiches from so far, and that this blog might be a stand against franchises and globalisation. But let’s focus on the positives here – this blog is about sandwiches and I love sandwiches! And today I went to another chain – Eat. Eat have always gone for the simple approach to their sandwiches, slightly more traditional fillings sometimes with a twist. But they have also branched into more than just sandwiches, including the incredible looking Christmas Turkey Lunch Hot Pot which I will have to try soon. But sandwiches come first!

Today’s sandwich is served in an eerily similar box to Pret’s Christmas Lunch but Eat have outdone Pret by giving 25p instead of 5p to charity from my sandwich. POW, take that Pret. The Christmas Full Works does have turkey, stuffing cranberry sauce and even Bonus Ham, but let’s be careful when throwing the term ‘full works’ around. The sandwich I’m going to make from leftovers at Christmas will be the full works, as it will have everything in it – sprouts, parsnips, anything I can find. And anyway, this sandwich doesn’t even have bacon in it, so they have got way ahead of themselves with the name. Lookswise, it looks like my mum made it and put it in my packed lunch. THIS IS NOT A BAD THING.

So how does it taste? It seems slightly flat at first, but the combo of turkey and ham is always a winner in my book and the sweet cranberry goes well with that. And then the stuffing hits you, which is a great surprise. But if I have one complaint about this sandwich, it’s that it tastes like it was made by my mum as well. The ham is the thin stuff straight out of the packet, and the turkey is dry and seems pretty processed as well. It started with promised but ends up a pretty average sandwich you could make for yourself after nipping to the supermarket.

 

Sandwich #3: ‘Festive’ Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt Sub by Subway

£5.39 (meal deal) – Chicken strips, bacon, Monterey cheese, ranch sauce, lettuce, onion, honey & oat bread.

I was wondering where to buy a Christmas sandwich today because I have already exhausted the two options closest to the office and would need to venture out into the cold for more than one minute. Who should I grace with my boring sandwich dweeb hat on next? Then an email popped up with the subject Gimpson, get double points on our Festive Meal Deal! Subway! A Christmas sandwich with a drink and a new Raspberry Cheesecake cookie? Decision made. Another place where the queue is usually mental, today I waltzed straight in and ordered 6 inches and went through the usual Subway interrogation.

So Subway have gone ALL OUT on the Christmas theme by making a ‘festive’ chicken and bacon sandwich with melted cheese. I mean seriously, why bother at all? Surely this is on the menu all year round? Oh wait, it has ranch sauce in the name. And Jesus was born in a stable. Yeah maybe that’s the link. And it comes with a Raspberry Cheesecake cookie, that traditional Christmas treat. Except today when they don’t have those and you have to have a normal cookie. Faced with the equally non-festive salad, I opted for a simple lettuce and onion before the sub was mummified and bagged.

You could try to imagine the chicken in this sandwich is turkey, but that’s about as Christmassy as you could fool yourself. The strong onion, slightly clinical ranch dressing and plain cheese rather than Monterey made this pretty disappointing for Subway as it is, let alone a Christmas sub. The chicken and bacon were lost in amongst the simplest ingredients, so maybe I should have just had all the rubbish thrown in as usual. Or not bothered buying something which was always going to be rubbish from the start. But still, DOUBLE SUBWAY POINTS!

Sandwich #2: Christmas Dinner Sandwich by Greggs

£2.55 – Turkey, pork and sage stuffing, sweetcure bacon, cranberry relish, mayonnaise, brown bread.

Today’s sandwich is from Greggs, mainly because from the office it is the nearest place after Pret. And a good contrast to the faux fanciness and caring of Pret. As with most Greggs there was a queue out of the door, but instead of the usual grey track suit Kerry Katona clientele this Greggs is in Westminster darling, so it was packed to bursting point with people in suits looking for a quick and dirty lunchtime fix before they go back to the office. A culinary brothel, if you will. A brothel where all the prostitutes are Kerry Katona and you know you shouldn’t but oh well you’re there now and they’re pretty cheap.

What? Oh yeah, sandwiches. So this was 95p cheaper than Pret and fairly basic. They have gone for the standard turkey, stuffing and bacon mix and served in a generic plastic package. No green stuff or pretentious copy all over your lunch with Greggs. Here’s your sandwich, now piss off! Which is also how I imagine the Kerry Katona brothel works.

The sandwich itself is pretty standard. The overpowering taste of the stuffing is backed up with a hit of cranberry relish and slight taste of bacon, but overall it is the standard dry Greggs affair. Greggs sandwiches always taste like something I made myself and have left in my bag all day.

Sandwich #1: Christmas Lunch by Pret

£3.50 – Roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, turkey sausage stuffing, crispy onions, spinach, mayo, Pret’s seasoning, granary bread.

We’re kicking things off with Pret, mainly because it is opposite work. At university, we used to joke about Pret’s expensive fancy sandwiches made from unicorn and avacado chutney. 10 years later they don’t seem so fancy when you are forcing one down your face at your desk in an office like you do every day.

So we have a slight twist on the usual shop bought Christmas sandwich here as there is no bacon (on the website it is billed as Pret’s Holiday Lunch, which might explain that). Instead there is turkey sausage stuffing and crispy onions, in an attempt to keep it fancy, and they have also shoved in spinach like they do with every sandwich they make and “Pret’s seasoning”, which must be the stuff that makes all of their sandwiches taste the same despite having completely different fillings (with spinach).

The package has the usual “No ‘sell-by’ date, no nightlife label” but there is refreshing lack of crap about ‘no nasty things’ in their food or what a loving company this McDonald’s owned franchise is. Instead most of the packaging is reminding you that 5p from this sandwich has been donated to the homeless. And it wouldn’t be Christmas if you didn’t briefly think about those worse off than you before shoving more food in your mouth, so they have got that part of Christmas nailed. Out of the packet, the sandwich itself looks the same as every other Pret sandwich – grey, green and red in some bread.

This sandwich has one thing saving it from tasting like every other Pret sandwich – that stuffing and crispy onion combo. In fact the onion gives it a very satisfying crunch in amongst the usual Pret mush of mayo and overwhelming cranberry. But without the onions and stuffing, this would taste exactly the same as the ham and dodo egg bloomer (with platinum mustard) or the dolphin with jasmine mayo baguette.