On the fifth season of the sitcom Friends, Ross Geller's "moist maker" sandwich, crammed with Thanksgiving leftovers and named for the gravy-soaked piece of bread in the middle, was pilfered from the shared refrigerator at work, whipping Ross into a career-endangering frenzy. The moral of this episode: people are passionate about Thanksgiving trimmings as a portable meal, and everybody has their own special recipe.
The Real Deal deli, with three Boston locations (West Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, and Cleveland Circle), staves off widespread bouts of Ross-style histrionics by introducing its day-after take well before the holiday itself. Served year-round, the Turkey Terrific sandwich ($8.50) starts with sliced roasted turkey and a fluffy mound of seasoned stuffing. And since dry leftovers are the cardinal sin of Thanksgiving— hence the genesis of the moist maker—the Real Deal keeps this sandwich plenty moist, not with gravy, but with a tart cranberry sauce and a good slathering of mayonnaise.
All these fixings are served on a warmed—not toasted—foot-long sub roll. That's an important distinction: there's no crunch to this sandwich, and while some textural contrast would be welcome, sometimes, it's nice to take a kick back with a simple, soothing meal (if only we could all say the same about our Thanksgiving family gatherings). And while it's not the most beautiful sandwich ever constructed, the rim of ruby relish provides a nice pop of color.
This holiday season, be thankful that the Turkey Terrific means you can get a taste of the best part of Thanksgiving, all year round. Just think twice about leaving any leftovers in the office fridge.