REVIEW: Turkey, Stuffing & Bacon by Waitrose (2017)

£3.20 – Turkey breast, pork and chestnut stuffing, cranberry, port and orange chutney with mayonnaise, smoked bacon and spinach in sliced malted bread.

Whoa, where have I been? How have you, my sandwich review addicted wastrels, coped without me for two whole days? Well let me get my excuses in first. On Tuesday I was travelling over lunch time, and although I did make the effort and go into a Greggs, Cafe Nero and Starbucks, none of them had a Christmas sandwich that didn’t require toasting and as I was a) in a rush and b) getting on the tube for an hour, so that didn’t work for me. Then yesterday it was raining and I simply couldn’t be bothered. How about that then?

But today my beautiful little followers, I have produced the goods! I went for short run to Waitrose, and that shit is uphill the whole way so I  think I have paid my penance for the lack of updates. I know, I’m a hero but please hold your admiration because, like all heroes nowadays, I could be outed as a nonce or sex pest at any moment.

So have Waitrose done what every other shop has done and brought out exactly the same sandwich? Yes. Sure, they may have changed the order of some the ingredients, but it is the same. The price is the same. Even the box is identical! Has this sandwich been sitting there for a whole year? I never go to Waitrose (man of the people) so there is a good chance it has. And yeah it’s still great, one of the best on the list, but why am I still doing this? Can I stop please?

COMING TOMORROW: Either the local Greggs or M&S and the haunting possibility of being hugged by a stranger.

REVIEW: Turkey, Bacon, Stuffing and Cranberry by Boots

£2.75 – Turkey breast, pork, sage and onion stuffing and sweetcured bacon with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce on malted bread

Welcome to a brand new week of sandwiches. As regular readers will know, I live exactly in between two high streets. Each of those two high streets has a Boots. So why have Boots ever appeared on the list before? Because they don’t do sandwiches. So how have I acquired this sandwich? As you can probably tell from the photo, I’m not at home today so I went to a different Boots. And before any of you oh-so-clever readers point out the date on the sandwich, yes I bought it yesterday whilst travelling to my secret location because it was snowing quite heavily and I had no idea what conditions would be like today because I don’t look at the weather forecast because it’s boring. Weather is boring. Your photos of weather are boring. But sandwiches reviews? Well, they ain’t boring.

So yes it’s Boots’ first appearance on the blog and boy did they go all out in the meeting where they decided what to call their Christmas sandwich. The box is also deceiving –  the sandwich looks pretty hefty in the photo, but the front of the box has a superfluous flap sticking out of the side. Some sort of forced perspective going on.  And in a first for the blog, there is a possibility of a scratch card inside worth £1000 in Boots vouchers. Imagine that! I genuinely think that would last me at least a decade, chipping a bit off every time I’m at a train station and have forgotten to pack a deodorant, which I genuinely do most times I pack a bag. Unless I’m getting a flight with only hand luggage, then I remember and security make me throw it away and once I’m through security I’m allowed to buy the exact same deodorant in the exact same size and then get the hump. Ask the missus.

Anyway, I didn’t win. There wasn’t even a scratch card. But there was a sandwich! And it’s not a bad sandwich. The meats and stuffing are all good, and there’s just a hint of cranberry, which could be stronger but then I’d probably moan about it over powering the other stuff. So once again we have another solid entry that is good, but nothing special. I’m going to have to find a Pret or an EAT for the fancy stuff, aren’t I?

REVIEW: Turkey & Trimmings by Co-Op (2017)

£2.95 – Cooked turkey breast, pork, sage and onion stuffing, cranberry sauce, mayonnaise, smoked bacon and fried onions on malted bread.

Did you all miss me yesterday? Did you think I’d given up on the sandwich blog like previous years? Well fear not my feathered friends, it was just a case of being too busy and when I did have a window of opportunity to go get a sandwich it was absolutely pissing it down and very windy. Do I want to go out in that weather just to get a sandwich that tastes exactly the same as one from last year? Of course not, I stayed in the warm, dry house. But today is another day! A freezing but sunny day, so I have performed my duties masters, please read on.

Today it’s the Co-Op, with Turkey & Trimmings. Like last year. More ghosts of the Sandwiches of Christmas Past. But OwO what’s this? It looks slightly different. 15p more expensive thanks to our wonderful Brexit voters, but it also has fried onions. And they’ve written mayonnaise on the ingredients, not mayo. Someone at Co-Op has been reading and understands my autistic moaning. So, will the 15p worth of fried onions make all the difference? Will it bring back a renewed sense of purpose for the world famous Christmas Sandwich and Lunchtime Errand Blog? HOLD ON TO YOUR CHRISTMAS AND /OR OTHER NON-DENOMINATIONAL HATS.

Well, I have to say those onions do make a big difference! This sandwich has a nice crunch to it and as a big fan of onions I like the added flavour. And unlike last year, the cranberry sauce has tons more flavor and makes an impact.  This is all going great. The blog will live again! Buuuut…the bacon is nowhere near as smoky as last year. Whyyyyyyyyyy? This is a bitter sweet moment for me, the onions and cranberry are a big improvement on last year, and this sandwich was already in the top 3 then. But I love smoky bacon and it’s a real shame to see its decline. Still, it’s one of the best yet and worth your time, but just not as good as the glory years. Let’s hope they get it right next year and have a winner on their hands.

And finally, yes I did get the 2 mini pork & cranberry pies again.

REVIEW: Turkey & Trimmings by Tesco (2017)

£2.35 – Turkey breast, chicken stock mayonnaise, pork sausage, cranberry sauce, sage and onion stuffing and  beechwood smoked bacon in malted brown bread.

Well the blog is late again for you lunchtime readers because today I had TWO meetings over lunch. And it’ll probably be late again tomorrow because I’ve got to see a man about a dog at lunchtime. I could get up early and go get one before work, but don’t hold your breath.

I’ve mentioned before that I live exactly in between two high streets, and today I went to the other one because the drop off point for Amazon returns is there, and I had to return a Christmas present I ordered that turned up all in German. Zut alors! And the nearest sandwich stockist to the drop off? Yes that’s right Tesco.

You may recall last year that the first time I went into Tesco and they had no Christmas sandwiches. Well that was almost the case today – none to be seen except for in the Finest range. Although I make quite a comfortable living from the 15 odd Christmas sandwich reviews I write a year, I’m not a fool and don’t waste my money on such expensive luxuries as Finest sandwiches. I’m also a man of the people and I don’t want you, the unwashed masses that make up my audience, to think I’ve sold out. So in one last ditch attempt, I read every sandwich price label on the shelves and lo-and-behold there was a price for the old Turkey & Trimmings sandwich. I parted the sandwiches above it and, like Moses parting the Red Sea, I set the last remaining Christmas sandwich free to slide into my soft, eager mouth.

Has it happened again? Is this sandwich the same as last year? Almost. It’s 15p more expensive (you voted Brexit, it’s your fault) but it does have chicken stock mayonnaise. What the hell does that taste like? Will it make a difference? Let’s find out together my little Brexiteers.

Well, the first thing about that mayonnaise – there’s a lot of it! Maybe too much? I love mayonnaise but it’s overpowering everything, to the extent that you can’t really taste any cranberry sauce. This is madness. Are Tesco so happy about inventing chicken stock mayonnaise that they have lost the plot and started adding it with a ladle? That said, it’s a good sandwich, but it doesn’t taste like Christmas. It’s just a meat and mayonnaise sandwich, and I can buy those all year round. Tesco you stupid idiots!

Oh and sorry about the out of focus photo but I’m in a hurry and didn’t notice until after I’d eaten it.

REVIEW: Deluxe Festive Feast by Subway

£6.20 (12 inch) – Butter marinated turkey breast, bacon and cranberry sauce

Today’s review is a bit late because I had a meeting scheduled over lunch, and then had some self-service machine shenanigans in the Post Office. I use the machines because the queue for humans is always full of old ladies taking a very long time to do not very much, but my self-service bad luck continued when the machine crashed just after I’d paid to send something quite expensive via special delivery, leaving me with no actual proof that I’d sent it. Joy of joys! The post office lady told me it would reset and print the receipts in about 10 minutes, so off I went to Subway, which is opposite.

The Subway around my way is new. Very new. I only learned it was there on the 3rd November when Subway sent out enough points for a free sandwich because it was World Sandwich Day and when I went on the website to find the nearest shop, it turned out it was only 5 minutes away. “No it isn’t!” I thought, as I had walked along that street only a few days ago. But I was very drunk then, and must’ve seen and instantly forgotten it because it was true, it did exist.

Subway are doing two Festive Feast sandwiches this year. The Classic Fest which has wafer thin turkey breast, sausage, bacon and cranberry sauce or the Deluxe Feast, which has chunks of butter marinated turkey breast, bacon and cranberry sauce. They have certainly upped their game since my last Subway review which was 5 years ago!

I’ve noticed every time I walk past this shop, the Deluxe Feast has a permanent Sold Out sign over it, so assumed they weren’t doing it at all. So imagine my shock when I asked for the Classic Feast and the fella dished up a Deluxe Feast! Although he wasn’t sure what was meant to go in it and kept looking at the poster for coaching and mentoring, so did he actually put butter marinated turkey breast in the sandwich? Or was it just chicken? A thrilling mystery to solve with my mouth! I went for honey oat bread and also threw in some lettuce because you have to add something. Oh and there was cheese because of my Pavlovian response to “Cheese and toasted?”

But before I could find out what the hell I actually had wrapped up and hanging from my tiny hands, I had to go back to the Post Office where to the surprise of no one, my receipts hadn’t surfaced and I had to wait as the whole process was done again manually the old fashioned way, my sandwich enigma turning over in my mind the whole time.

So now I am home and I can report that I think the mystery meat is the butter marinated turkey. It was very soft and buttery at the very least. And I’m happy to report that the sandwich overall is pretty good. The moist turkey and bacon make it nice and meaty, and the cranberry sauce is a bit ‘popped in Happy Shopper on Christmas day because I forgot to buy any’ but still sits well. And that’s the extent of the Christmas ingredients really. I guess Subway haters will say it tastes the same as all Subway because of the bread, and it does. But I don’t care, I like Subway, so shut up.

REVIEW: Turkey Feast by Sainsbury’s (2017)

£2.30 – Butter basted British turkey breast, British pork and chestnut stuffing, maple cured smoked British bacon, cranberry and port sauce, mayonnaise with spinach on malted bread.

Hooray, Sainsbury’s got their act together today and had some Christmas sandwiches. I went back to Sainsbury’s because it’s the easiest to get to without the Big Issue lady hugging me. The Sainsbury’s, Greggs and M&S near me form a sort of triangle, and that’s her territory, patrolling the area waiting to pounce and dish out hugs at any minute. To get to Sainsbury’s you only have to walk along the border where it is usually safe, but M&S is pretty much the belly of the beast. I’m sure you’ll get to read about some awkward hugging later this month.

I also took the opportunity to do a bit of a shop, which included booze and brought up that age old dilemma – go queue at the basket only till so you can breeze through without an age check, or go to the queue-less self-checkout and risk a load of dicking about for booze approval. Unfortunately I chose self-checkout. My first issue came when the machine refused to believe the weight of the first item. APPROVAL NEEDED. Then a barcode simply wouldn’t scan or be typed in, so I had to wait for that. Then, the booze approval. Just as I turned to look for my beloved approver, some hipster twat had already got her. Now before we get into this, I’m aware I am a beardy, craft beer drinking wanker, but I like to think of myself as a crap goth/Essex boy/fat nerd/hipster hybrid. This guy was full blown hipster.

Massive Peaky Blinders hat, thick rim glasses, big beard, green bomber jacket (which admittedly I also have), insanely skinny jeans turned up so you can see his socks. And for some reason his machine refused to take his coins. APPROVAL NEEDED. But he kept putting them back in, and the approver was helping him. APPROVAL NEEDED. Why couldn’t he just pay by card like a normal 2017 human? APPROVAL NEEDED. I don’t know, perhaps he handcrafted sustainable bespoke coins. APPROVAL NEEDED. But he wouldn’t give up. APPROVAL NEEDED. I waited for about 5 mins until I could no longer take my machine barking APPROVAL NEEDED at me and stepped in. Hey, I’ve got a blog to write, I can’t keep you guys waiting. Surely someone like him knows how important blogs are, he must have written a few reviews and think pieces in his time. “Why Super Mario is problematic and a reflection of the internalised misogyny and rise of the far right in our society”.

Anyway enough moaning. I made it through the hugging Bermuda triangle untouched and here we are. But wait! Is this sandwich also exactly the same as last year’s? Yep. Maybe leaving 3 year gaps on the blog due to apathy was the smart move. Am I going to review exactly the same sandwiches again for a month this year? I guess I am. It gets me out of the house.

So like last year – it’s not a bad sandwich, but the layer of spinach is just too thick so the main texture in every bite is that slightly squeaky uncooked spinach texture. You don’t even have spinach at Christmas* so why do so many places use it? What the hell is going on?





*We don’t in my family, and my family is obviously the place where all Christmas traditions started and if you are doing things differently you are a literal Hitler. Did you know that most marriages end over Christmas traditions as it is the one thing most people are strangely belligerent about?

REVIEW: British Turkey Feast by Costa (2017)

£3.50 – Sliced turkey breast, Cumberland sausage and British smoked streaky with sage and onion stuffing, mayonnaise and cranberry sauce on malted bread.

Yes my friends, the 11 month wait is finally over! Behold your first Christmas sandwich review of 2017. Today also marks the first time I have been out of the house with only my blue tooth headphones and my watch and bought something from a shop with no cash or credit card on me. Yes that’s right, I have done something that wanky people have already been doing for months, maybe years. THE WANKY FUTURE IS NOW.

Today’s review is from Costa. That wasn’t the original plan. Originally I went for a very short, very slow run (hence just the headphones and watch) to Sainsbury’s. But Sainsbury’s had already run out of Christmas sandwiches. Is everybody else blogging about them now? So I went to Gregg’s and they had already sold out of their famous Christmas toastie. The next closest was Marks and Spencer, but I couldn’t go in there because the Big Issue lady was outside. I bought a copy off her a couple of Christmases ago and she gave me a big hug. Now, whenever I see her, she comes over and gives me another big hug. I’m not really the huggy sort with people I know, so I spend quite a bit of my life dodging Marks and Spencer unless I plan on also buying a copy of the Big Issue and being hugged. And I definitely had to avoid the hugging today because I was completely cashless. Now, I realise that saying you regularly dodge the Big Issue lady in the same breath as boasting about your watch/headphone set up that cost hundreds of pounds is very crass, but this is the world we live in now. Go on Twitter. There are thousands of people who live with their parents and have no discernible income, but somehow can afford an £800 phone which they use to talk about redistributing wealth and complain how life isn’t fair. We are all monsters now. Especially you.

Anyway, the next place en route was Costa. Now, look at the list of ingredients at the top. Is that exactly the same as last year? Even the price? Yes, except for the word beechwood. What wood was the bacon smoked with this year? We’ll never know. But despite making no effort whatsoever, it still has NEW written on it. Emperor’s new British Turkey Feast.

So how is the sandwich? Honestly, it’s the same as last year, just read that review. A solid, reliable rectangular sandwich, but nothing special.