What: The Hot Mess
Where: The Sandwich Spot, 240 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs
How much: $8.99
Contact: 778-7900; thesandwichspotps.com
Why: The wheat bread puts it over the top.
“So, what’s the best sandwich here?” I asked the friendly gentleman behind the counter.
He started pointing out different menu items. Then he added: “Well, there’s also our secret menu …”
Alrightie then. Tell me more about that.
He mentioned a sandwich called “the Hot Mess.” His description to me hewed pretty closely to the description in a post on the Sandwich Spot’s Facebook page, which reads: “A former employee was the inspiration for the latest Sandwich Spot Palm Springs spectacular, the Hot Mess. Layers of warm roast beef, turkey, pastrami and savory ham are skillfully stacked into a huge steaming pile onto which cheddar and provolone cheeses are lovingly melted. The soft bakery fresh roll of your choice (is) then anointed with mayonnaise, mustard, lettuce, tomato, pickles and … a viscous squirt of (thousand island) dressing. The sandwich then is complete. $8.99 for this experience, folks.”
Yes. Yes, I want that. (To be fair to the gentleman behind the counter, he had the sense not use the phrase “viscous squirt.”)
A few minutes later, the sandwich, viscous squirt and all, arrived at the table. And it was yuuuummmy.
What made this sandwich truly great—the aspect which put it over the figurative top—was the bread. The “soft bakery fresh roll” of my choice was a wheat roll, and it was the perfect vessel for the meats, cheeses, veggies and condiments contained inside. It was hearty and firm enough that it stayed together, yet was soft enough to be non-damaging—even pleasing—to my mouth. (Raise your hand if hard sandwich bread has done a number on the roof of your mouth. Yep, thought so.)
This shop—a part of an expanding California chain—has been earning raves on the various review sites, and the Hot Mess is one reason why. This secret-menu item may not be all that “secret” (How can it be secret if it’s mentioned prominently on the restaurant’s freakin’ Facebook page?), but that’s a good thing—because this sandwich is worth knowing about.