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One Great Sandwich: Beans & Bagels' Smoking Winchester

By Laura Oppenheimer in Food on Dec 12, 2007 5:00PM


We sometimes feel that turkey is the ugly stepchild of sandwich meats. Why get dry, boring turkey when crispy bacon, juicy roast beef or succulent ham are calling? When paired with the right ingredients, turkey doesn't become a liability—it becomes an asset.

In the Smoking Winchester, the lean turkey meat is complimented with provolone cheese, red onion, BBQ sauce and spinach. This would be delicious on any type of bread, but Beans & Bagels' onion flatbread is what really makes the sandwich. First, each piece onion flatbread is massive, so the sandwich is large enough for two small lunches, if you wanted to play like that. Second, its texture is halfway between a ciabatta and a focaccia, so it's still tender while holding up to the ingredients.

What we like best about this sandwich is the way the different elements play off of each other. The turkey and BBQ sauce both have a smoky flavor, while the red onions play off the sweetness of the BBQ sauce. Then there is the cheese. We tend to avoid provolone, as it can oftentimes be overpowering, but the one Beans & Bagels uses is milder and provides some nice richness (there isn't any mayo on the sandwich). We've been told you can order this sandwich cold, but we always get it hot off the pannini press. It crisps up the edges of the flatbread, wilts the spinach just so, and helps meld the flavors together.

Beans & Bagels has two locations at 1812 W. Montrose (773-769-2000) and 2601 W. Leland (773-649-0015).