Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





What I Ate: April 18, 2009 (Wendy's, Schlotzsky's)

Posted 18 April, 2009 at 8:29pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate)

Another day of pure driving. It also doesn't help when driving east since you have to factor in that you lose an hour as you cross timezones. We stopped in Van Horn, Texas at a Pilot station with a Wendy's in it for lunch. Tina had Chicken Nuggets and I ordered a Mandarin Chicken Salad. I actually liked it quite a bit and the salad was a decent size. The dressing was sweet, tart, and had a strong sesame flavor and the individually bagged almond slices and crispy noodles added extra texture and flavor.
Wendy’s - Mandarin Chicken Salad

We made it all the way to New Braunfels before deciding to stop for dinner. We had discussed dinner options earlier and Tina and I had agreed if we could find a Schlotzsky's then we should go there for a quick dinner. Using Google Maps on my mobile phone, I found a couple on our way up the I-35, so we stopped at the New Braunfels Schlotzsky's (1037 S Walnut Ave, New Braunfels, TX‎ - (830) 629-2811‎). Tina and I have had Schlotzsky's three times before - every time it was purchased at the airport and eaten on the plane ride back to California (we missed it last time since our plane was so early none of the airport restaurants were open). There's something addictive about the "Original" sandwich sold at Schlotzsky's - the combination of salty Italian salami, cold cuts, slightly gooey melted cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, and Parmesan), crispy lettuce, and their abundant use of olives gives it a real satisfying taste. However, I think there's more to it. For both Tina and I, there's something magical about the so-called sourdough bread it's served on. (I say "so-called" because it doesn't taste or feel like any sourdough bread I'm familiar with, but I'm from the San Francisco Bay Area so I have particular views on sourdough bread.) The bread is spongy - not like a sponge bread, but like a Scotch-Brite cleaning sponge. I know that the comparison between a food product and a sanitation tool isn't all that appetizing, but it's the best comparison that I can think of. Somehow the crumb structure (mostly the size and distribution of the holes) and the slight resistance to chewing seems to match my mental picture of a sponge (okay, it's not difficult to chew through - just has a little resistance. I'd image a sponge would be really hard to chew through.) It all works really well - the holes capture the sauce of the sandwich and the bread has just enough chew to support the meats.
Schlotzsky’s - The Original Sandwich

3 comments to What I Ate: April 18, 2009 (Wendy's, Schlotzsky's)

Scott, April 18th, 2009 at 10:31 pm:

  • I've always had good luck with Wendy's Chicken. Jack in the Box's asian-y chicken salad is pretty alright, too. Very large.

    There were Schlotzsky's popping up in Wisconsin before I moved to the SF-area, but never got around to trying them. "Funny name, serious sandwich." Always seemed to end up at Jimmy John's, before they changed their menu and now they are like a limited-menu version of a Cousins'…

Linda, April 19th, 2009 at 3:18 pm:

  • I like your site. Being married to an engineer, I appreciate the way it is laid out, the photographs, and attention to detail to your recipes. Both my girls have the site, as well. : )

Nate, April 19th, 2009 at 9:17 pm:

  • You guys must be "home" now. That didn't seem too bad. And now the unpacking begins…