Epic Sandwich: Patrick's Bakery and the ketchup surprise

The merguez burger at Patrick's Bakery
The merguez burger at Patrick's Bakery
Teddy Hobbins

Take-out can be an excellent time-saver around the holidays, but it can also be a source of frustration. Say you don't notice an error in your order until you are at home. At that point you either have to accept it, or endure a pretty sizeable inconvenience to get it right. Typically, I find that asking as many questions up front helps the cause, but that isn't always the case.

I decided to grab some take-out from Patrick's Bakery after a long day of holiday shopping. I'm a total sucker for merguez sausage--a mixture of ground lamb and various spices such as harissa or paprika--so it seemed only natural to jump all over their merguez sausage sandwich ($10). I quickly asked their waitstaff what was included on the sandwich, and they said it was just the sausage. I thought a little sauce or some simple veg might be nice, but at the end of the day, I really like the flavors of traditional merguez, so I went with it.

I was shocked when I got home and found that the sausages were slathered in ketchup. It seemed like a really odd pair with such a robust combination of flavors, but I figured that it must be a tradition somewhere and decided to dig in.

The sandwich was served on a soft grilled baguette and the sausage was spot-on. The lamb was rich and hearty while the spice combination offered the familiar and craveable heat I enjoy in a good merguez. The ketchup's sweetness wasn't as offensive as I would have thought, but I would have much preferred a different sauce, or some roasted peppers in their place.

Sandwich Rating: Good, not Great. The spicy merguez helped repel the sting of the take-out remorse bug, but had I dined at the restaurant, I would have asked them to switch it up, or lose the ketchup. I think merguez is something I'll source at my local butcher to prepare at home, and I definitely think I need to find a few more reliable sources for take-out moving forward.

Epic Sandwich copyright 2009 by Teddy Hobbins

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