Across the country, 16-year-olds sprint to the DMV for their learners’ permits. In New York City, we meander there, by subway, public bus, and yellow taxi. At least a few of my friends didn’t see a reason to get learners’ permits til they were 25.
I sprinted to get mine. Though I’m from New York City, I didn’t grow up in Manhattan. I lived in a neighborhood where you needed a car – or at least that’s how it felt at 16. As soon as I was equipped with my license, my friends were thrilled, and we planned adventures.
Here’s what we did with our wheels: we traversed two whole miles to get to a cafe where we ordered cappuccinos and cookies. We drove to the nearby deli where we’d been walking to get lunch ever since freshman year, when we first got off-campus privileges.
The deli looks like a deli, but the sandwiches are superheroes (ha). Really, they’re named after superheroes: Superman, Catwoman, and Batman. Jordana and I always got the Batman – smoked turkey, pepper jack cheese, honey mustard, and sliced apple – hold the turkey. Soon, on our drives there, we started tweaking poor Batman, subbing in brie (her) or Swiss (me) for the jack.
The nutty cheese, crunchy apple, and spicy-sweet honey mustard were irresistible, as appealing as the mile drive back to school, windows down, music up.
This simple sandwich has followed me for so long – from my first months as a licensed driver to my college days (it was easy to recreate in the dining hall) to today – that it was the obvious choice when Panera asked me to help spread the word about a sandwich contest it’s hosting. The details for the Panera Bread Sandwich Showdown are here. Basically, you play around with the virtual sandwich-maker app (really fun!) and submit a story about the legendary sandwich you’ve created for a chance to win money ($10,000! $500 Panera gift cards!) and glory (the winning sandwich will be on Panera’s menu for a year!). If you want to share the contest with friends, the hashtag for twitter and pinterest is #SandwichShowdown. Go make a sandwich before the contest ends on Oct. 6!
My update to the Batman turns it from an ordinary (super)hero to an autumnal cousin of the BLT. Apple replaces the tomato, slices of Swiss stand in for the lettuce, and honey mustard moistens the bread instead of mayo. I decided to throw on some apple chips for extra crunch, but they’re optional. The end result is a sandwich I’m thrilled to find in my lunchbox, a sandwich I’d drive even more than a mile for.
I wrote this sponsored post in partnership with Panera, in order to spread the word about Panera Bread’s Sandwich Showdown contest. Thanks, Panera! I occasionally post sponsored posts on the blog – read my affiliate disclosure here if you’d like to know more about how it works.
Bacon, Apple and Swiss on Whole Wheat
Makes 1 sandwich
This sandwich is best with thick-cut, fairly soft bread. If possible, avoid toasting the bread.
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
2 teaspoons honey
2 slices soft whole wheat bread
2-3 slices cooked bacon (I make a big batch on a baking sheet in a 425°F oven for about 15 minutes and store the cooked bacon in a container in the fridge)
1/2 of a small apple, trimmed and thinly sliced
Small handful apple chips (optional)
2 slices Swiss cheese
In a small prep bowl, combine the mustard and the honey and mix well. Spread the honey-mustard on one slice of the bread. Pile on the bacon – breaking up the slices to fit your bread – then the apple slices, apple chips, and Swiss cheese. Press on the second slice of bread and cut your sandwich in half.