What can I say? I’m a festive man. I am a total sucker for holiday-themed menu items, no matter where I go. I like to immerse myself into each of the four seasons, and part of doing that is the seasonal cuisine. That’s how we ended up here this morning talking about this turkey and stuffing melt from IHOP.
See, this story actually starts last Friday night. My wife had a work function to tend to, so I was on my own for dinner. Whenever she’s not around, I like to eat things that she doesn’t particularly enjoy, but I do. High on that list is IHOP. I began fantasizing about a big steak omelette Friday morning. Plus, out here in Mount Juliet, there’s never anyone at our IHOP. I’m convinced people forget it exists. But, it’s just right down the road from my house, and I hate crowded places so it’s a win-win for me. My decision was made.
I’ve always been comfortable eating alone in public. As far back as I can remember, it’s been something I do from time to time to clear my head and enjoy a good meal with my thoughts. This time, I decided to get a little work done. A couple of Kansas State Wildcats accepted their invitation to the Senior Bowl, so I thought I’d take my notebook and do a little film study while I was there. When I sat down, I ordered my diet Pepsi and got to work. I ordered my omelette, but when I handed the menu back to my waiter, something caught my eye. IHOP apparently has a couple of festive Thanksgiving specials going. The homestyle turkey and stuffing looked good, but it was this turkey and stuffing melt that piqued my curiosity. It looked like everything I like about the Thanksgiving meal mushed up between two slices of bread and served up as a sandwich. I’d already ordered my omelette, but I knew I’d have to make time to try this monstrosity at some point before it was off the menu. Thankfully, I’m here to report that that time was last night at about 8PM.
A deliciously comforting melt with roasted turkey, mayo, grilled onions, cornbread stuffing, mixed berry topping and four-cheese blend. Griddled with our multigrain bread and served with turkey gravy. Served with choice of side.
So, I’m just now realizing that they forgot the turkey gravy, which would’ve been an absolutely sick (the good sick) condiment to dip this sandwich into. It really is everything you’d typically like about the traditional Thanksgiving menu piled onto one sandwich. When our server set this veritable cinder block of food down on our table, he said to me, “I hope you enjoy this. No one’s ordered it before.” How that could possibly be true, I couldn’t fathom. How can I be the only person who has walked through those IHOP doors and thought, “I can’t NOT know what this sandwich is like.” I just couldn’t see that picture and never order one for myself. It’s too fascinating.
And, I’ll say…the photos I took highlight that this thing does not look like a very appetizing sandwich. But, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s a heavy heavy sandwich. Those of you who know me know that I can eat with the best of ’em. I can tear up a Golden Corral. But, I had to stop and catch my breath after eating the first half of this sandwich. The stuffing itself is heavy on the herbs. The turkey adds a little tradition to the sandwich. I’m always a fan of grilled onions, and found that they added an interesting texture to the sandwich. They mayo gives it a little bit of tang, and the rich flavor of the cheese help to balance out the intensity of the heavily-seasoned stuffing. The sleeper of the sandwich, though? That would be the bread itself, buttery and toasted nice and crisp. It’s a lot, and I’m trusting all of you to read these ingredients and make the decision for yourself. I have the palate of a raccoon rummaging through the garbage and cannot be trusted in such manners. But, I enjoyed this sandwich and would love to have another one before Thanksgiving so that I can try it with the gravy. Well done, IHOP – damn sure feels like Thanksgiving now!
Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley.
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