A Sandwich A Day: Beecher's Cheddar from St. James Cheese Company in New Orleans
In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
When you walk into the pleasantly cluttered storefront of St. James Cheese Company, your first sight is of the overflowing cheese counter running nearly the length of the store. This is a cheese lover's paradise: it brims with paper-wrapped rounds of gruyere, brie, mozzarella, Stilton, and dozens of other varieties from all over the world. The shop is designed to set you up in style for your next wine-and-cheese shindig, with shelves of jams, nuts, crackers, and fondue pots lining the walls.
On a sunny weekend afternoon, though, the store and its adjacent patio are more likely to be crammed with people waiting for one of the store's thoughtfully composed sandwiches or salads. Each menu item (including a rotating list of specials) is built around one of the shop's favorite cheeses, but paired with a ginger ale and a seat in the shade, they become a satisfying way to while away a Saturday afternoon.
One of the most popular of these crowd-pleasing meals is the Beecher Cheddar ($8.95). It starts with a triple-layer of medium-sharp cheddar, made by Beecher's in Seattle. On top of this, you'll find a hefty layer of salty, flavorful house-smoked turkey, balanced by a smear of creamy, ripe avocado chunks. A layer of fresh basil adds a note of freshness, while crisp tomatoes, a thin layer of mayo, and a chewy ciabatta roll bring the whole thing together. The sandwich comes with a choice of salad or chips, and while I'm hardly a health nut, I always opt for the salad. It perfectly cuts the richness of the sandwich with a tangy mustard dressing—with, of course, a generous helping of shaved cheese on top.