The specials at the assorted Parliamentary Cafeteria are often hit or miss, so if the special of the day doesn't catch my fancy I often fall back on a few standbys from the regular menu. And my most common go-to is the Club Sandwich.
Most of the cafeterias in the precinct (East Block, Confederation and Justice) are closed for the summer, but Centre Block (and Valour) is still open for lunch so, feeling peckish, I ventured up the Hill the other day for a club sandwich -- I've pretty well tired of most of the walkable lunching options outside the precinct.
Restaurant: Centre Block Cafeteria
Meal: Club Sandwich with chips
Price: $8.40 including tax
One thing they do right with their club sandwich is they toast the bread. Now, you're probably reading this and thinking "well of course they do, who the hell wouldn't toast the bread for a club sandwich? That's insane." And I agree. But some years back, while waiting for a flight out of Pearson Airport's Terminal Two, I wandered into the pub and ordered a club sandwich, which they served me on two pieces of un-toasted white bread, to my great dismay and disgust. So never assume anything in life, people. (They later tore down Terminal Two -- that may or may not be related).
But back to present day sandwiches. A wide variety of breads are on offer (toasted, of course) but my go-to is a light rye. After retrieving a fresh loaf, I was apologetically informed that the size of the slices in this loaf (and they did dive deeper into the load to check) were rather small.
They offered the chance to switch breads, but I opted to stay with the light rye. "Just don't short me on the fillings," I requested, and I was assured this would not be the case. I also described bread as a mere delivery vehicle for the fillings -- the heart of the sandwich.
The fillings were the usual -- lettuce, tomato, bacon, mayo, salt and pepper, and lots of sliced chicken. As you can see, they certainly didn't short me on the fillings. I did, though, come to regret not going to a larger bread option -- the small slices of eye were unfortunately not large enough to be a proper filling delivery system. I was forewarned though, so that's on me.
The sharp-eyed among you will note my sandwich is one slice short of being a traditional club, which typically has a middle slice of bread between the meat and the rest. This is deliberate. For reasons I don't fully understand, adding that extra slice would result in a noteworthy up-charge under the Commons sandwich pricing regime. Therefore I accept the standing recommendation to forego the expensive extra slice.
Because, at $8.40 with the kettle chips added (which were OK, but would have been better warmed), I'm already paying about $1 more for this lunch then I'd like. Hit the spot though. But next time, bigger bread.