Scotty’s Snacks: Top 5 Sandwiches in Fort Collins

Scott Powell

Nothing dampens the joy of eating quite like silverware. It’s the most useless invention ever created. With the rare exceptions of Toothless the dragon and my great aunt Marge, most of us already have a perfectly sound set of 32 knives arranged in our mouths to cut up our food for us. We don’t need some fancy metal utensils to do the work.

I know that the whole purpose of this great American experiment we are taking part in was to eliminate the need for us as humans to ever do any work ourselves and live in a world where we can all live as equally lazy, apathetic buffoons without having to face blow back from the government or society for choosing to do so, but surely we can still chew our own food without having to cut it up into bite-sized pieces first?

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And as far as sanitation is concerned, silverware hardly makes any difference. The human mouth is already one of the germiest parts of the body, so you’re food’s going to be infected by plenty of gross bacteria anyway. Using silverware to guard against disease is like scrubbing your garbage with Formula 409 before dumping it onto a landfill.

Silverware is pointless. Or it would be if forks and knives weren’t so pointy. Either way, it’s still useless. This is why we have sandwiches. Since its humble beginnings in late 18th century Europe, this lunchtime staple has been the saving grace for silverware haters around the world. If you’re in the market for a nice, hand-held, fork-free feast, here are some of the top sandwich shops around town to check out.

Da Chicago Beef (Elevated Sandwiches)

There’s nothing better than a nice, juicy sandwich except for a nice juicy sandwich that’s been dipped in its own juicy juices for a doubly juicy flavor. Or better yet — and just hear me out on this one, okay? — a nice, juicy sandwich that has been dipped into its own juicy juices for a doubly juicy flavor, AND THEN ALSO chased down with a swig of meat juice taken mid-chew, before the sandwich itself has been swallowed, thoroughly dousing the already juice-drenched meal in a flood of extra juice for TRIPLE the juiciness.

It could be called “the Juice-inator,” and have Arnold Schwarzeneger as a spokesperson — or O.J. Simpson, if the advertising agency is feeling especially daring.

You laugh now, but stranger meals have been invented, lest we forget Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Double-Down, Burger King’s Cheetos Chicken Fries or anything sold at Taco Bell. We Americans don’t care what we eat so long as it sounds bigger, cooler and more cholesterol-dense than all the plain, loser, non-global-superpower food that the rest of the world consumes. Yes, I think “the Juice-inator” will be quite successful, thank you very much.

But, alas, this sandwich savior’s time has not yet come, and we must await its promised, succulent arrival a little bit longer. But fear not, my moisture-starved children, for there is still one glimmer of light in these dark, dry, Juice-inator-less times — Elevated Sandwiches’s Da Chicago Beef.

A glistening baguette crammed full of dripping shaved beef and spicy giardiniera, this sandwich is served “au jus” — au jus being a French term for with juice, and not, as I initially thought, an indication that the person you are talking to has just sneezed. (When I was ordering, the lady at the counter told me the sandwich was served “au jus” and I responded, “gesundheit.”) When it comes to juicy sandwiches, this one is Noah’s flood. A deluge of warm, savory, meaty flavor dripping out of every bite, and the closest thing we mere mortals have to the “Juice-inator” almighty.

Shrimp Po’Boy (Lucile’s Creole Cafe)

The world is a strange and mysterious place. But if there’s one thing that we as humans can be certain of in this vast, chaotic space-time void that we are constantly, inescapably plummeting through, it’s that New Orleanians know how to make a good sandwich. Also that the moon landing was a hoax designed by Hasbro to boost the sales of G.I. Joe Spacemen action figures.

These are facts. Well, they could be facts. That is, if you change the definition of the word “fact” from “a thing that is known or proved to be true” to “a thing that is known or proved to maybe, potentially be true and is backed up by the internet,” the latter of which being, let’s face it, much closer to the definition of “facts” as it is used in our contemporary vernacular.

“Much as objectivity might contest it, the fact remains that New Orleanians are the kings of sandwich-making. And when it comes to Southern-style sammies, no bayou bite outdoes the Shrimp Po’Boy.”

And since language is merely a cultural construct, deriving meaning only from the contexts in which its words are used at a given point in time, this means the contemporary understanding of the word “facts” is the closest thing we have to an objective definition.

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So then it would seem these statements truly are facts, and you can’t peg me with a First Amendment violation for saying so. Ha ha ha. (Poststructuralism is such a wonderful and terrifying thing, isn’t it?) Yes, much as objectivity might contest it, the fact remains that New Orleanians are the kings of sandwich-making.

And when it comes to Southern-style sammies, no bayou bite outdoes the Shrimp Po’Boy. A crunchy loaf of Louisianan French bread stuffed with crispy, oily shrimp, lettuce and tomato and drizzled with wasabi and Lucile’s black bean and red chili sauce, this scrumptious, spicy lunchtime swallow is the perfect choice for a jazzy midday meal.

Chicken Up-in-Da Club (Snack Attack)

What is a sandwich without bread? Just lettuce, meat, cheese and dressing on a plate — otherwise known as a salad. And we all know that salads are just a Soviet plot designed to turn good old-fashioned, refined-carbohydrate-loving Americans into health-conscious, carrot-crunching communists who do things like eat pancakes with the syrup on the side and refuse to shop at Walmart.

For those of us who love our country, though, and want to defend it against the evils of hybrid cars and kale, bread is an essential part of the sandwich-eating experience. Bread is to a sandwich as a mustache is to Tom Selleck. It’s the thing that sets it apart from its fellow lunches. A sandwich without a good, sturdy bun is like a hipster without a firmly held contrarian opinion on the movie “Hackers.” So it’s absolutely imperative that the bread a sandwich is served on be just as inviting as the fixings it conceals.

And when it comes to quality buns, nobody’s bread beats Snack Attack’s. Certainly, the sandwich itself is a work of art — piled high with chicken, pepper jack cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and a spicy southwest ranch dressing that arm this lunchtime munch with plenty of rich flavors. However, it’s the soft, toasted, slightly crunchy baguette these fillings are served in that seals the deal here and makes Chicken Up-in-Da Club the breadwinner of this list.

Country Road (Yampa Sandwich Company)

Two words: Pesto mayo. 

Thank you. 

*Critic drops microphone. Exits.* 

*Readers read on expectantly, certain that the words “pesto mayo” are not all this guy has to say about this sandwich and that he will surely return soon with a more thorough and thought-provoking evaluation. “After all,” they think, “he’s writing food reviews for a newspaper, so he really ought to be able to generate more nuanced critiques of the food he’s reviewing, right? That’s his job, isn’t it? To review food, not to waste our time with over-long meta-speculations of our reactions to his articles?”*

*Critic sighs, returns to typewriter.*

Fine. I’ll give you “more details.” Although there really shouldn’t be any need when pesto mayo is involved. Pesto mayo is the Betty White of sandwich dressings. Anything you put it in automatically becomes 10 thousand times better. Mary Tyler Moore, The Golden Girls, you name it, pesto mayo improves it.

And Yampa’s Country Road sandwich is no exception. Boasting a hearty, earthy flavor created by its combination of grilled chicken, field greens, gooey melted Gouda, red onions and rich and smoky roasted tomatoes drenched in a healthy drizzle of the sandwich god’s one and only son, pesto mayo, this sandwich is the perfect choice for a zesty afternoon chow.

Charlotte’s Shenandoah Shuffle (Pickle Barrel)

I love meat. And not just because I derive sadistic pleasure from butchering innocent living things for human consumption. It’s also because I like making People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals cry. Sometimes, when I’m eating a steak, I imagine its succulent, bovine juices as the tears of those bunny-cuddling jerks who so rudely dumped red paint on my brand-new imitation leather jacket as I was walking out of the store with it. IMITATION.

I mean, really, is it that difficult to simply ask someone whether or not their clothes are made with real or synthetic animal products before you destroy them? You just walk up, say, “Hello, I see you’re wearing a leather jacket. May I ask if it’s made of real leather?” Then, if they say yes, you can drench them with paint feeling satisfied that you’ve taken the time to fully understand the situation before acting on it. And if they say no, you simply say, “Oh, my mistake. Thank you for the clarification,” and walk away. It’s common decency.

Meat is also patriotic. I mean, let’s face it, we’ve all read “Animal Farm.” We know how these things go. When animals are given freedom, they form a coup, tear down society and establish autocratic regimes. This isn’t Charlotte’s Web fantasy farmland folks, this is real life.

It’s about time we accept that Wilbur the pig is a bestiacratic propaganda puppet designed to manipulate ignorant humans into believing animals are their friends, when, in fact, they are a highly trained underground militia group intent on overthrowing the government and establishing a tyrannical oligarchy ruled by pigs. We need to wake up! We need to stop falling for the lies! We need to learn the truth!

And the truth is that animals are treasonous, autocratic conspirators and deserve to be eaten as meat. And when it comes to sandwiches, the meatier the merrier. No sammy gives you more beef (or ham or turkey) for your buck than Charlotte’s Shenandoah Shuffle from Pickle Barrel. Stocked with coleslaw, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, and a mountain of honey-cured ham and turkey, this sandwich is a deliciously meaty meal to feed your inner carnivore.

Scott Powell can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on twitter @scottysseus.