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Food Grade: Chicken cordon bleu sandwich

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Here at the View, we aim to cover all aspects of campus life, and that includes the food. With Food Grade, we will take you on a culinary tour of the Skyline cafeteria one menu item at a time, and with each item, we will tell you what you’d probably need to be drinking to make it edible. So without further ado, here is your first edible assignment.

Chicken cordon bleu sandwich, $6.29.

The culinary term “cordon bleu” typically invokes thoughts of French cuisine, but in fact, the cordon bleu mode of cooking, which involves wrapping a piece of meat around cheese and often a slice of ham, then breading it and frying it, originates in Switzerland. Slapping it between two slabs of French bread, however, originated in America, where slapping anything between two pieces of bread is pretty much the best culinary idea we had until we figured out how to replace the bread with more fried chicken.

The French connection comes from the name, which is French for “blue ribbon”, indicating that something prepared “cordon bleu” should be the best item on the menu. Skyline’s chicken cordon bleu sandwich, however, is more akin to a Pabst Blue Ribbon than an award-winning schnitzel. That is to say, it’s cheap, it should be eaten fast so you don’t have to taste it, and perhaps, one day, hipsters will think your bar is cool if you serve them.

In truth, the Skyline café’s chicken cordon bleu is a fusion food, so they get points for ambition, but lose points for smothering chicken, ham and processed cheese in teriyaki sauce.

Let’s talk about that chicken, by the way. I haven’t seen a piece of white meat that skinny since, well, since last time I looked in the mirror. Perhaps in true haute cuisine, small portions evoke classy food, but I’m eating a fried cutlet wrapped in cheese, ham, and teriyaki sauce. I’m already at rock bottom. Just let me eat my feelings while I’m down here, please.

The lesson here is that not everything is improved by making it into a sandwich, and most concept sandwiches are spoiled by adding lettuce and tomato, turning it into a common mini-mart hoagie.

If you must eat this sandwich, you’re going to need libations. Coincidentally, both teriyaki chicken, and chicken cordon bleu pair well with sweet, aromatic, white wines, like rieslings or gewürztraminers.

It’s almost an insult to the (teriyaki) chicken cordon bleu sandwich to go straight for the classic pairings, though. One blue ribbon surely deserves another, so a tallboy of Pabst would not be out of order here, but this is a fusion food. This sort-of-French, sort-of-Japanese endeavor needs a sort-of-French, sort-of-Japanese beverage. Enter the champagne saké bomb. Find yourself the cheapest bottle of champagne you can, a pint glass, two chopsticks, and a shot of dry saké, and bombs away.

Paired with the teriyaki cordon bleu sandwich, Franco-Nippon relations haven’t been this smooth since silk lingerie.

Grade: The sandwich alone gets a passable C-. In the world of cheesy, fried chicken, ham sandwiches, it’s better than the KFC Double Down, but so is food poisoning. Inspiring the champagne saké bomb deserves major extra-credit points, however. Dinner and drinks gets a B+.

Disclaimer, the writer of this column want to keep themselves anonymous for the sake of keeping the reviews unbiased and fair
 

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Food Grade: Chicken cordon bleu sandwich