Who doesn’t love the club? It looks great, like a special-occasion BLT, and it’s got everything you could ask for in a sandwich: multitudes of texture, nuances of sweet-salty flavor, toothpicks (often frilly) holding it together. It’s a sandwich that belongs to that superb category of foodstuffs known as Good Even When Bad. And yet there’s an inherent architectural problem with the club. Once you remove the toothpicks, that’s it. Things fall out, structural integrity is lost, chaos reigns. Some folks embrace the messiness as part of the club experience. Others, like the late great James Beard, do not. Beard preferred his club sandwiches made with two slices of toast, calling the three-slice version “a horror.” Existing Conditions chef Josh Eden would beg to differ. “A club is not a club without three slices of toast,” he says. “A club with two slices of bread is just a turkey sandwich with bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo.”
On the menu at Existing Conditions; $18; 35 W. 8th St., nr. Macdougal St.; 212-203-8935.
*This article appears in the October 1, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!