I'm thankful for Spinelli's Market

Gobble this, turkey!
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Spinelli’s Market 4621 East 23rd Avenue 303-329-8143

Turkey Cranberry Gouda House turkey, cranberry sauce, smoked Gouda, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise on a croissant, and served with a pickle $7

Spinelli’s Market has to be one of the best, least known, most wonderful places in Denver. A family-owned Italian-style store and deli, it has been in Park Hill since 1994, selling Italian specialties, produce, meats and cheeses, and just about anything else you’d need to make perfect pizzas, lasagnas or spaghetti and meatballs.

But until today, I’d never had a sandwich there.

And as much as I wanted to try Jerry’s Classic Italian Sub (Genoa salami, capicola, smoked ham, provolone, roasted red peppers, marinated onions, lettuce, tomato and house dressing on an Italian roll) or a Caprese (fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, Roma tomatoes, black pepper, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a baguette) or even an Italian sausage and pepper hoagie, I was here on a different mission.

Every November, a week or two before Thanksgiving, I get a hankerin’ for turkey, stuffing and gravy – as does the majority of America. But to keep myself from going crazy on the holiday itself, I often create a whole turkey dinner on days before the big day, to take some of the steam out of my craving. It usually works, and by the time T-day comes around, I have room in my gut for eggnog, too.

This year, though, I didn’t get a chance to make my decoy turkey, so I decided to do the next best thing and find a local version of the wonderfully under-hyped Thanksgiving, or Pilgrim, sandwich. But it wasn’t easy. I searched the menus of numerous delis around town, striking out repeatedly – until I got to Spinelli’s. Although its version was missing the stuffing, I was tired of searching: Turkey and cranberry came close enough.

In both theory, and fact: This sandwich came achingly close to being my favorite so far. The giant slabs of turkey combined with gouda made for a perfect combination, and the cranberry sauce was fantastic. But next time, I think I’d ask for more cranberry and less mayonnaise.

Oh, and I’d put the whole thing on an Italian roll. The croissant was simply an odd bread choice for an Italian market serving a Pilgrim sandwich. But then, it was also odd for someone in an Italian market not to order an Italian, caprese or sausage sub.

Happy Thanksgiving. – Jonathan Shikes

For previous sandwiches, log onto Our Weekly Bread archive.

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