Close your eyes and visualize the strangest food combination you’ve eaten and enjoyed. Bananas dipped in ketchup? Cheetos covered in milk? Red Bull mixed with merlot? Good for you, you weirdo. Unexpected food pairings should be celebrated. Life is too short to cower behind the taboos of spreading the wrong condiment on the wrong carbohydrate. Fly your Nutella-on-pepperoni-pizza flag freely. It’s your life.
The folks at Spiral Diner & Bakery subscribe to this hedonistic mentality—they smear pineapple-ghost pepper jam and vegan cream cheese on veggie burgers, for Pete’s sake. But this isn’t the most bizarre item on the menu.
Under the “Wraps & Sandwiches” section you’ll find a pickle sandwich. The description: “Cri’s classic poor man meal. Two slices of grilled bread with mayo and pickles.” The sandwich has been a staple since 2004. Cri Rivera, Spiral’s first employee, wanted something cheap and easy. The dish was conceived and quickly became his go-to break meal.
The sandwich: two thick, and slightly toasted, slices of Yellow French Toast from Rotella’s Italian Bakery, out of Las Vista, Nebraska, are slathered with Follow Your Heart Vegenaise. For those who aren’t familiar with the anatomy of vegan mayonnaise, it’s made from expeller-pressed canola oil, brown rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, soy protein, sea salt, mustard flour, and lemon juice concentrate. The main distinction between this and regular mayonnaise is the lack of eggs.
Then come the pickles. A generous cluster of Don Hermann & Sons dill pickle chips are scattered across the mayo-covered toast. They’re tangy and juicy. The perfect textual compliment to the oily spread. There’s an option to add a protein, avocado, cheese, or organic spinach for an up-charge—but why mess with a good thing?
Those of you who just cringed, quivered, and dramatically gagged should take a deep breath, close your eyes, and consider expanding your palates. Maybe you’ll like it? Maybe you won’t? But with a price-tag of $3.95 you can afford to find out for yourself.