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Tuesday, Oct 16, 2012 - Nibbles | Food & drink

Three fall food picks from the Grubby Bitch

Bird on bird action, a sandwich smothered in spuds and pumpkin gelato

By Amy Granite
IMG_9936 The open faced smoked turkey sandwich, served in a box, from Big Front Door
- Photo by Amy T. Granite

It’s that time leading up to the holidays when it becomes acceptable to eat like you’re preparing for hibernation; the season of pumpkin pies, spuds a million ways and extra gravy is upon us, so cozy up to these fall food finds.

The meat masters at Iowa Meat Farms (6041 Mission Gorge Road, Grantville) and Siesel’s (4131 Ashton St., Bay Park) have perfected a boneless Turducken recipe that feeds 8 to 10 people (the full-size triple-birds feed 15 to 20). It’s made from layers of turkey, duck and chicken breasts with three kinds of stuffing in between: sage, Cajun cornbread and apple cinnamon. The breast gets rolled up then frozen—keeping the breast meat moist as it cooks—and it’s best served sliced, doused in gravy. On that note, it’s also the inaugural year of Turducken gravy. Turkey bones and duck bits go for a swim in chicken stock to make what sounds like a magical slurry.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating three bird species in one forkful, check out the Turducken Festival happening at both stores from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4. There will be cooking demos and, best of all, samples.

Big Front Door (4135 Park Blvd., University Heights) is the new sandwich shop on the block, and they’ve got a killer open-faced turkey sandwich that’s been CityBeat tested and grub-approved. It starts with a tangy slice of Sadie Rose sourdough bread, followed by a scoop of rustic mashed potatoes, chunks of plump, house-smoked turkey breast and gravy that tastes like your Mama made it. The bite-sized hunks of turkey on this sandwich are so juicy, and the whole combo is comfort food to the max. It’s served in a box, which can be tough if you’re sharing, but that’s our only bone to pick. Besides, you’ll want to eat this one on your own.

If you haven’t had Gelato Vero Cafe’s (3753 India St., Middletown) seasonal pumpkin flavor, then get right to it, because the first batch of the year just hit the case a couple of days ago. The gelato at this local institution is different than others in town because of its heavy, wet consistency that's kind of like soft serve, but is more dense and stringy when you pull back a spoonful. After Thanksgiving, the next seasonal flavor Gelato Vero puts out is Zabaione—the frozen version of an egg yolk / Marsala wine custard with a flavor that brings to mind eggnog with a mix of strawberries.