AoM Month of Sandwiches Day #11: The Colonel’s Favorite

by Brett on April 15, 2013 · 9 comments

in Cooking, Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure


Welcome to Day #11 of the AoM sandwich project. Last month we asked readers for their best sandwich recommendations. Out of 483 submissions, we picked 20 to highlight here on the site each weekday during the month of April. At the end, we’ll publish all the entries into an epic man-sandwich cookbook. Enjoy.

Today’s Sandwich: The Colonel’s Favorite by Steve Cavanaugh 

With its name, you might be thinking this sandwich will involve fried chicken. It doesn’t; the reason for the “Colonel” in the “Colonel’s Favorite” is known only to Steve. Nonetheless, it was one of the first sandwich submissions to catch my eye. First, because it was a double-decker, and second, because it looked like a variation on my all-time favorite sandwich, the Reuben. Will Steve’s double-decker twist on a classic stack up? Let’s find out.



  • 2 slices of pumpernickel bread
  • 1 slice of rye bread
  • Pastrami
  • Roasted turkey
  • Mayo
  • Thousand Island dressing
  • Red cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Onion
  • Celery seed
  • Black pepper

Step 1: Make Coleslaw

This was the first time I’ve ever made coleslaw. Let’s see how it turns out.

Chop red cabbage into thin slices.

Use a peeler to create thin carrot slices.

Chop an onion. I could have gone thinner with all my vegetable chunks, ala classic slaw, but didn’t have the patience.

Add two dollops of mayo.

Add some celery seed and black pepper.

Mix. Yep, looks like coleslaw.

Step 3: Spread a Generous Amount of Thousand Island Dressing on a Slice of Pumpernickel

Step 4: Add Pastrami


Step 5: Add Slices of Swiss Cheese


Step 6: Add Layer of Rye Bread


Step 7: Spread Thin Amount of Mayo on Rye Bread


Step 8: Pile on the Turkey


Step 9: Pile on the Coleslaw


Step 10: Top with Slice of Pumpernickel


Finished Product


Taster’s Notes


There was a lot going on with this sandwich, but all the parts came together to create a delicious symphony in my mouth. The best way to describe the taste is as a refreshing Reuben, as the coleslaw and mayo add a tangy coolness to an otherwise  savory and salty sandwich. My first attempt at making coleslaw turned out great! Can’t wait to eat this again.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andrew April 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

I can’t wait to create a “delicious symphony” in my own mouth. Thanks for showing us how.

2 Lance April 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm

Well I’m not a huge fan of the reuban and as I was reading how to make this sandwich I was thinking that it looks like a reuban. And then you have it away in your tasters notes. If the coleslaw works like you say it does then I’ll give it a try.

By the way. Who in the world invented this!? It’s seems to be a very complicated sandwich.

3 Trevor Fenn April 15, 2013 at 6:29 pm

I never really got the point of a double decker before; bread is great and all but I’m there for the meat. And vegetables I guess. But using a different kind of bread for the middle slice totally opens up new possibilities, especially if you use contrasting and flavorful types of bread.

4 Patrick April 15, 2013 at 7:19 pm

This looks fantastic, but hopefully there will be a couple more meatless sandwhiches on the list at some point. As a newly vegetarianized person, I look forward to the options provided us!

5 Stephen April 16, 2013 at 10:28 am

Sorry, I’m looking at this as a chef. IMHO it looks good, but with the exception of a traditional club, real sandwiches should only have two slices of bread; why fill up on the least interesting part of the sandwich. Also, while the mayo could easily be placed on the upper slice of bread but truly I think it’s redundant. Mayo is already a main ingredient in both the slaw and the russian dressing,

6 Steve Cavanaugh April 16, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Hi gents,
I submitted this sandwich. It was on the menu of a neighborhood pub I worked at in the mid 1980s (the place closed a year or so ago) called “Colonel Brooks Tavern” (named after a 19th century resident of Brookland in NE Washington, DC. It was the menu’s answer to a club sandwich. I don’t think the mayo on the second layer was part of the original recipe; as the other Stephen noted, there’s plenty there in the red cabbage slaw.

7 Brett McKay April 16, 2013 at 1:31 pm

You don’t need to apologize before making a comment.

Thanks for submitting the recipe and checking in to add some background. The recipe you submitted said, “Layer 2: Slice of rye, topped with roast turkey slices and topped with cole slaw made of red cabbage (very thinly sliced) and mayo, then topped with the 2nd slice of pumpernickel.” I read it as saying cole slaw AND mayo, but I can see what you really meant now.

8 JeffC April 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Brett posted:
You don’t need to apologize before making a comment.

I saw what you did there. ;)

9 Justin April 19, 2013 at 9:59 am

Sounds fantastic! My favorite too is a reuben so this is right up my alley. I’ll keep this recipe for the next time I want a serious sandwich. Oh, and let us know about that collection cookbook. If the price is right, is sounds like it would make a great gift for my dad, brother, etc.

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