When England’s Fourth Earl of Sandwich bestowed his title upon two slices of state bread wrapped around a cold slab of roast beef — or so the story goes — it was out of convenience rather than culinary creativity. His rousing 1762 card game simply couldn’t be interrupted for something so banal as sitting down to eat. Silverware be damned.
It would be centuries before Lord Sandwich’s rather blank culinary canvas became a respected food genre that includes such classics as the Dagwood with its mile-high lunch meat, bread and cheese; the sugary overload that is a Fluffernutter (marshmallow fluff with peanut butter); the open-faced croque-monsieur with ham, cheese and bechamel sauce; or the soon-to-be-legendary Hokkaido milk bread and egg salad sandwich now being served at Healdsburg’s Troubadour as a daily special.
Made with inch-thick slices of pillowy Japanese-style bread, creamy egg salad and whole hard-boiled eggs, it’s a monster of a sandwich (perhaps big enough for two) so light you won’t realize you’ve downed the whole thing until you’re holding nothing but crust. The bread is leavened with croissant trimmings, then mixed with buttermilk and toasted milk powder for a sweet, indulgent sandwich just asking for bites that are more face-plant than nibble ($12).
That’s the kind of magic bakers Melissa Yanc and Sean McGaughey are conjuring at Troubadour, their newly opened bread and sandwich shop. The Single Thread alums who opened the buzzy Quail & Condor bakery last year have spun off a second Healdsburg business at the former Moustache Bakery, promising “chef-inspired and locally sourced wizardry” in their ’wiches.
At Troubadour, they focus on their housemade sourdough breads rather than the lacquered pastries, cookies and sweet treats of Quail & Condor (though there are a handful of sweets to go with the sandwiches).
Here, messy heaps of warm pastrami are piled on slices of their Super Seed loaf (wheat, chia, quinoa, flax porridge) along with caraway kraut, Swiss cheese and pickled mustard seed ($18).
The chicken sandwich features roasted chicken on Yecora Rojo sourdough (a grain native to Southern California) and topped with shaved truffle, mayonnaise and pan drippings.
The list goes on, including daily specials like a Dungeness crab sandwich ($22) on dark Yecora Rojo sourdough bread with creamy crab salad and just enough yuzu mayonnaise to give it a light citrus kick. Mustard greens add a delightful bitter note.
Don’t miss the Chicken Liver Mousse ($12), a quenelle of velvety mousse with onion jam and toasted sourdough that’s a steal of a deal.
Wine by the glass and beer are available if you’re dining inside at long shared tables, and a small selection of deli items including roasted vegetables and premade sandwiches are available. Chocolate chip cookies, pie and cake along with loaves of bread are available for purchase.
You’ll likely feel overwhelmed with the choices, but you can thank Lord Sandwich for the blessings Troubadour is about to bestow on you.
381 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg, 707-756-3972, troubadourhbg.com