Into Shelley’s Belly: The House-Smoked Turkey Sandwich at Bolsa Mercado

Hipsters hunting for local products (left); prosciutto sandwich (right)

Like a good whisker tickling your ear on a Wednesday night, Bolsa Mercado is that revelatory night when you weren’t planning on being out, but found yourself living more than you ever expected watching fireworks at a dancing parade with a beautiful woman you had no business touching.

It’s close to noon and every lousy Uptown institution in walking distance just won’t fulfill the aching on your tongue.  Your Johnny Walker morning has left you starved for circumstance, something to draw you out from your dwelling. This comfortable space you relax between is not suiting you, and you want more. I have the answer. There is a small market that sits on Davis, just a couple blocks down from the Bishop Arts District. You can’t bring your cat, but you may as well bring your appetite. I’ll refrain from mentioning all the craft beer, zip code honey, fresh breads, cheeses, yogurt, soups, sauces, sides, pastas and local produce that you should take home. I’ll not mention, but I actually will, that the market meats, delicious coffee, chips, jams, and distinguished wine selection will wow your bitty bits. I feel the heaviness in my heart lift every time I walk through these doors. Bolsa Mercado holds a special key that opens the universe to grandiose imagination. If I speak in convolution, it is no fault of my own. These words carry themselves, as the tastes and magic of Bolsa Mercado speak through me.

The magic house-smoked turkey sandwich (photos by Matthew Shelley)
Freshly pressed juice made-to-order (left); the bountiful market interior (right)

Today I come to you with news of sandwiches and kolaches. I’ll give a play-by-play of all that beguiled my belly. While I waited on my lunch companion, I enjoyed one of Bolsa Mercado’s freshly pressed make-your-own juices with apple, beets, orange, spinach and carrots. Not a bad way to start a ravenous meal. For the first course, we had kolaches. They are divinely fluffy and savory. Even without the filling, these bad boys would incite a mouth riot. But with the house-cured Italian sausage, manchego cheese, and the bacon with pumpkin butter, these little love muffins danced a splendorous dance all through our mouths. They are an excellent breakfast if you have the time to swing by.

Caprese sandwich

Now, onto the sandwiches. The first was the La Quercia prosciutto sandwich on an Empire Bakery ciabatta with prosciutto, arugula, fontina cheese, and apple butter. It’s definitely for the prosciutto lover, as the saltiness and richness of the delicious prosciutto could be a little much for some. I’ve always considered this my favorite sandwich here until I tried the caprese sandwich. It’s an exercise in simplicity and perfection. Every ingredient is alive and enchanting. The Buffalo mozzarella is clean and bright; the tomato is fresh; and the basil, arugula, and walnut pesto build a lovely and light sandwich that embodies all the beauty that a meatless sandwich can be. Also on a lightly toasted Empire ciabatta, the caprese is one of the best sandwiches I’ve had in Dallas. However, none of us could keep our fingers away from the final sandwich. The house-smoked turkey sandwich has some sort of magic potion in it that I’m certain if Monsanto could recreate, it’d ensure this corporation’s food world dominance. Thankfully, it cannot. The avocado spread, sharp cheddar, pepper relish, bacon, and arugula makes the warmth of this little delight unparalleled. It carries you into a hall of glistening fireplaces atop a mountain of dancing virgins where the oxygen is as intoxicating as a dose of dimethyltryptamine. Needless to say, we finished it off and let our bodies lay low as the food settled. I haven’t been able to eat again since, but I’m sure I will soon. Until then, I hope you make your way to Bolsa Mercado to be amazed and fall in love. And now, like an ancient talisman beckoning from the harbor before winter’s unwoven play of love, we must look to our hearts and discover the lost truths of our missing treasure: Bolsa Mercado sandwiches and kolaches.

Italian sausage and fontina kolache (left); Bacon and pumpkin butter kolache (right)




  • twinwillow

    Had the smoked turkey ciabatta at Bolsa Mercado Monday for lunch.