100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 99, Texas Turkey at Spec's

This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

I'm admittedly not that big of a sandwich fan. I could take or leave most sandwiches, as they're often just a collection of middling meats and flabby pieces of produce on boring-tasting bread. A sandwich is one of those things that are always greater than the sum of their parts, but the parts are usually so disappointing as to render the entire exercise moot.

Not so at Spec's Deli, which is one of those rare Houston delis that make your entire sandwich fresh -- slicing the meats and cheeses and breads after you order, never before. And because it's Spec's, you know that the meat, cheese, bread and every other component that goes into your sandwich are top-notch stuff. I've met Spec's buyer Pablo Valqui; he is a serious man that takes his foodstuffs equally seriously.

The Texas Turkey is my current favorite in a rotation that often includes the Pâté de France and the Scottish Kilt. It's the Texas Turkey that's been suiting my recent desires for a little extra kick in my sandwich days: soft jalapeño-cheese bread envelopes a simple filling of roasted turkey breast, lettuce and tomatoes that's kicked up with raw red onions, pepper-jack cheese and jalapeño-lime mayo.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac



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Katharine Shilcutt