Tanya’s Lunchbox is a new, unassuming little storefront, touting itself on its “kebabs, falafel, sandwiches, and salads.” I can’t speak to the other three options, but the sandwich I selected left me underwhelmed.
Granted, their sandwich selection was less than half a dozen options, nothing dazzling or avant-garde, which is perfectly acceptable if you’re starting something up and not attempting to put on any airs. “Don’t reach beyond your means” is a fine lesson for any new business. Certainly they cannot be faulted for this. I asked for a recommendation, and the attendant behind the counter suggested the Garlic Chicken pressed sandwich. The sandwich is chicken, lettuce, tomato, and garlic spread on a pressed, grilled roll.
The sandwich was fine, but its shortcoming was its blandness, its ordinariness. Let this not be confused with my earlier comment about putting on airs. There is a great difference between flaunting a fancy-pants sandwich that you can’t back up or doesn’t appeal to the average person, and presenting a humdrum, bland, dry sandwich that could be improved with minimal effort. The “garlic spread” was just that: garlic paste, spread along the length of the sandwich. It turned the sandwich into a dry, grueling affair that honestly made one feel was “too garlicky,” a phrase seldom used in our circles. Some sort of garlic mayo, garlic aioli, or garlic pesto would have been preferred here, anything to give the sandwich some creaminess or break from the monotony. Similarly, a bit of red onion for snap, a hint of dijon mustard, a strip or two of red pepper…any number of slight changes that would make the sandwich come alive, but still not turn away any potential customer with a finicky palate.
The sandwich was not terrible, but it was boring. A sandwich should not be a chore, but a reward.