One Great Improve This Sandwich: Prairie Moon's Blackened Salmon Club

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Man, did we have hopes for this sandwich. We lunch a couple times a week at Prairie Moon in Evanston (1502 Sherman, 847-864-8328). Their blackened salmon club ($8.95) is a Cajun seasoned salmon filet served on toasted marble rye with caramelized onions, fresh spinach and a chive dressing. Huge fans of blackened anything, we thought "what can go wrong?" It turned out to be more of a sloppy mess than it looks in the photo, the sandwich fell apart in our hands, leaving oil and dressing trickling down our wrists. A shame, really: we wanted this to be a "OGS" selection. Instead, we decided to deconstruct this sammich and see where it went wrong.

Let's start with the bread. Marble rye is great for sandwiches, so there's no complaint on choice. What it could have used was some more toasting to not fall apart under the weight and combination of oil and dressing. The toppings could also use some work. The caramelized onions are a nice touch, but the spinach looked sautéd added extra weight and oil to the mix. Given the spice of the seasoning, we would loved to have seen some Swiss chard here, under the salmon.

On to the dressing. We liked the use of chives with blackened salmon, but this sandwich practically begged for an aioli packed with roasted garlic and chives. Finally, calling any sandwich a "club" indicates to us that there should be some bacon in the mix, served as a double decker, and held together with toothpicks. Take a look at that picture. Now imagine a blackened salmon club, cut into quarters surrounding the fresh fruit, with the garlic chive aioli in the middle of the plate. Looks like we'll be making it in this manner at home to see how it turns out. Stay tuned.

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