Mexican Sandwich – Juquila, Shrewsbury Ave, Red Bank, NJ

mexican sandwich final

Though I recognize and celebrate the incredible diversity in the sandwich world, the basic pattern for a standard sandwich-shop is meat, vegetable and cheese. There is a lot of room in there to do a great number of things but what I have found is that too often this template is fleshed out to excess. Two or three types of meats are used as a base, all manner of vegetables are included and the cheese is piled on. I do not mean to claim that this cannot result in a tasty sandwich, indeed I have had my fair share of delicious substantial sandwiches. But often in these kinds of arrangements something is lost. Smaller, more subtle ingredients are drowned out or lost beneath the cheese. The more ingredients involved in a sandwich the lighter the touch required, the more care needed to ensure a proper balance of things.

I very nearly missed this sandwich entirely, as I scanned the menu for any kind of torta I completely missed the more direct ‘Mexican Sandwich.’ An associate pointed it out to me and so I got to see what it had to offer. I will praise the simplicity of it. It neatly sidesteps the issue I described above, being a simple construction of chicken, oaxaca cheese and avocado. The oaxaca cheese is a great cheese and is underutilized in the sandwich world. It has an understated flavor that goes with rather than over the other ingredients. I would sing the praises of avocados but I fear I would not come close to doing them justice and besides, I have no doubt you’re aware of how tasty a ripe avocado is. The chicken was undoubtedly the low point of the sandwich and is the main reason I’m going on about sandwich complexity rather than how good this sandwich was. Seasoned and grilled on the flattop the chicken had that sharp chemical taste that comes from an abundance of overcooked adobo. So while I will praise the restraint present in the construction of this sandwich, I am unable to praise the sandwich itself.


1 thought on “Mexican Sandwich – Juquila, Shrewsbury Ave, Red Bank, NJ

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