When you look at Crack Del’s menu online, you notice a number of things. Firstly, that there are sandwiches other than the Spicy Special, and secondly, that Crack Del serves salad. The options range from a stomach turning “Seafood Salad” to the mysterious “All Other Salad.” I came across the menu entry in a grim period whilst studying for an exam, having taken a break from reciting the Eightfold Path to myself and psychotically cleaning my carpet with a comb, and wondered what this “All Other Salad” might be. My frantic mind eventually concluded that it must be some kind of a “create your own” salad bar with ingredients from Crack Del, and considered what I would order in such a situation.
“Got to be a Spicy Special Salad.” I told myself.
Moments later, I called the great West 109 Gourmet Deli Inc. and told them that I wanted the “All Other Salad” that they have on their menu online. The man taking the order responded defensively that they only had tuna salad. My heart sank, but I persevered:
“Do you have lettuce?”
“Can you make a salad with lettuce and tomato and the stuff that’s in a Spicy Special?”
After a minute of arguing with the guy about the fact that Spicy Specials already have lettuce and tomato in them, and explaining that I absolutely wanted no bread, I embarked on my second Culinary Contrarian adventure. I’m not quite sure what I expected to receive. I recall that a friend of mine once ordered a pack of Camel lights and a 40 of Budweiser, only to get a pack of Camel Crushes and a Colt 45. I shuddered at the thought of a surprise menthol salad making its way from Crack Del to my room.
When the food arrived, I thought my salad request had been overlooked, as the bag felt like it contained two sandwiches (didn’t I mention that I ordered a regular Spicy Special to legitimize my order?). However, one of them had an unusual wax paper wrapping that the other did not have, and felt like a warm bag of meat. Upon opening, I discovered that my worries were unfounded, and I was confronted by a huge pile of Cajun turkey atop a bed of shredded lettuce. I transferred the salad to a plate, and it fell with an audible thump, maintaining its rectangular shape. The taste was almost exactly like a spicy special—all the ingredients were the same, but the unique, notched hero was missing. However, the eponymous spice was much more pronounced, and the white liquid that adds moisture to the regular sandwich was notably absent in the salad version.
I was quite curious about how the salad had been made warm and so perfectly rectangular—I wonder if they pressed and heated it in bread, which they then discarded. Because of the lack of bread, it was quick to lose heat, and once cold, it became a little less palatable. Protip: eat your Spicy Special Salad quickly.
I almost felt like I was being healthy by ordering a low-carb version of the Spicy Special, until realized that I had also eaten a regular version of the sandwich, and that I had been impregnated with a spicy food baby that would force me to take an hour long nap.