July 22, 2014

Best and worst sandwich we’ve ever served

Share:

IMG_6317

The first Panella sandwich I had at the PRK truck made me sit down and write a post asking if it would be the next Chickpea Fritter. It was just knock-dead awesome. So so good. The panella was warm and comforting, mild but flavorful, very satisfying. The lemon was awesome, and the fennel was subtle and olives and olive oil were just perfect. (We just upgraded our olive oil to some serious stuff, and this sandwich was in part a way to feature that change.)

But this post is about something we screwed up. A bit intimidating to write right now as I’m working to raise money for Clover’s expansion. It’s tempting to stay quiet about our challenges and talk about how great that sandwich was. But if you’ve been around for a while you know that’s not our way.

I had my second Panella and it was almost inedible. One of the worst sandwich experiences I’ve had at Clover. And the third was as bad.

This sandwich has been humbling. Chris did an awesome rollout of this sandwich, training videos were on point, it’s inventive, the ingredients are great, the recipe is awesome. But we had a scaling issue in production that was causing variability in the panella itself. We also had issues with the fennel salad not being made to spec. I leaned on some materials processing knowledge (thanks Professor Cima!) and we were able to move to a method that made silky smooth panella in large batch sizes. We worked out the fennel with some revised training.

I just read this note today from a customer:

I had this yesterday. One of the best sandwiches I’ve had at the Clover Food truck. I loved the fennel and the consistency of the chickpea fritter. Will go back again!

That’s awesome. But the question I’m working on with the kitchen is how to we avoid the not-so-impressive sandwiches that were served in the time between the first awesome one and the most recent batches? We’re working on new systems of testing scale before we go into full production. If we do our job right we will not face this again. In the meantime, if you had a Panelle you didn’t love PLEASE EMAIL or mention to your favorite order taker. We’d love the chance to make it up to you.

 

Recent Posts

January 26, 2023
The Pizza Friday Box gave us an idea: calzones! Ayr has been making these at his house and texting us photos. They’re big and saucy and so good. Basically a stuffed pizza/turnover situation with origins in 17th century Naples.
January 13, 2023
Thanks all who joined for the first public food dev meeting after Covid. Phil did a great job pulling it all together. If you’re a customer, farmer, vendor (or Clover staff member) reading this, you are invited to Food Dev! These happen Thursday afternoons at the HUB and they’re where all new food ideas are born. Just make sure to sign up – spots are limited.
January 5, 2023
House-made carrot lox, hearty vegetable stews with bread and pickles, Tunisian breakfast bowls, a pizza party kit, and a dream of snow, all in one box. Our Snowed In Box is back. This was Greg’s idea back in 2020. He thought it would be cool to make a box that was equally whether eaten after snowboarding or cozied up on the couch watching a movie.
December 21, 2022
We’ve been getting a lot of requests for the ability to gift a friend Clover Meal Boxes. After a lot of late night tech sessions, we have a way to do this! Yay! I’ve been looking and seeing a few of you have started to discover this feature and are starting to gift away. So cool to see.
December 16, 2022
If you’re a weekly meal box subscriber, you may have noticed way fewer plastic containers in your deliveries recently.When we started the program, we were in the pandemic, new to this whole home delivery thing, and a big concern was making sure that nothing spilled inside the boxes. So we relied on post-consumer recycled containers (aka plastic deli containers) for a lot of the items.
December 13, 2022
We’ve been getting back into the merch game. First up: squash shirts. I thought it would be fun to celebrate the diversity of the squash world. Although butternut is probably the squash you see most in the grocery store, there are actually over 100 types of squash, all with their own patterns, colors, and textures.
December 6, 2022
The Bridgewater is back!! This is probably the most requested sandwich on our menu. Michelle who runs our social media says she reliably gets one message per week asking when it will return. In 2015, Paul and Bryan came up with this sandwich as an homage to the jalapeño poppers at The Charlie Horse, a now-closed tavern in their hometown of Bridgewater, MA.
December 6, 2022
I love the holidays. I love the lights, I love the traditions, I love ornaments and pine needles all over the floor.  I love the movies (“Muppet Christmas Carol”) and the books (“A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”) I love the good songs, I love the schlocky songs (if you’ve never heard “Suzy Snowflake” or “Dominic the Donkey”, stop reading right now and click through.)
December 1, 2022
It was inevitable. Our meal box program had to find its way into restaurants at some point. A bunch of you have been asking if we can sell “on demand” meal boxes in our restaurants – for those times when you have last-minute dinner guests or forgot to subscribe by the deadline. So we’ve been easing into the process of combining one part of Clover with another.
November 28, 2022
Brussels Sprouts are extra sweet this time of year, and King Brussels, in his infinite wisdom, has cooked up a Brussels Week in our meal boxes. Every single subscription box will contain a recipe inspired by brussels! This is the first time we’ve explored a seasonal theme across our entire lineup and we’re excited to dive in.
November 19, 2022
This was Jane’s last week at Clover. We’re wishing her the best in her next steps (but also not so secretly hoping she comes back!)
November 11, 2022
Have you ordered your Thanksgiving Box yet? It’s already 50% sold out, so get your orders in this weekend if you can. This box comes with everything from stuffing to porcini-thyme gravy to mashed PEI potatoes to local cranberry sauce to bread to make leftover sandwiches. Most of the items can go from box to oven to table with very minimal prep, and we’ve made multiple sizes whether you’re dining solo or with a crowd.