Here, Eat This

Houston's Best Sandwiches: Smoked Turkey at Onion Creek

The smoked turkey at Onion Creeks seems like a simple turkey sandwich, but it's much more.
The smoked turkey at Onion Creeks seems like a simple turkey sandwich, but it's much more. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

Getting a turkey sandwich for lunch is like having eggs for breakfast. It's plain, boring even. If it were fashion, it would be normcore. It's the basic bitch of sandwiches.

But it doesn't have to be. The people who sell turkey have managed to disassociate their product from something served only at the holidays by turning us all onto the fairly low cal albeit somewhat bland sliced turkey breast. As such, it often becomes the vehicle for flavor rather than the transmitter. It provides a clean meat canvas, which sounds extremely creepy, but we're moving on.

Onion Creek, which has remarkably been around for more than 15 years, serves one of the best versions of this otherwise standard lunch offering. It includes plenty of mildly smoked turkey breast on ciabatta with bacon, havarti, avocado and chipotle mayo. Lettuce, onion and tomato are standard as well with sides that include fries, sweet potato fries (pictured above) or their deliciously sweet and creamy potato salad. Do yourself a favor and have it on the patio on a nice Friday with a frozen mimosa, then take the rest of the day off.

First a note about the bun. Ciabatta is an interesting bread that adds some heft without overdoing it, the bread-to-ingredient ratio being one of the most critical equations for a good sandwich. In this case, the ciabatta is also soft enough that you don't bite into it and have half the sandwich come flying out the back of the roll.

As to the rest, personally I can take or leave bacon. I know, it's sacrilege to those who worship at the alter of pork, but it can be overpowering. Fortunately here, the avocado and slightly spicy mayo help balance out the saltiness of the fatty pork. And since we're on the topic, avocado should come on nearly every sandwich. It could easily replace mayonnaise in most instances, but also pairs with it really well, particularly a tangy variety such as this.

All put together, the perfect bite is often the very first, right on one of the corner edges, combining everything into one seriously savory mouthful. Best of all, you can grab it on the patio on a lovely day like I did. It may be a turkey sandwich, but it sure as hell isn't ordinary.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke