Picnics from the Picnic Basket, Narragansett RI

I think D’Deli is spoiling me, because it is really tough to find sandwiches that compare. This sandwich blog has really gotten me into some funny conversations, and when people see my credit card with a sandwich on it, they think I am insane! Well, I went to the eye doctors the other day in Wakefield RI, which is right down the street from Narragansett Beach. There are all sorts of chains as well as small shops to go to, so my aunt and cousin and I went to this little place called the Picnic Basket. The location was great, right across from the beach and in a fun little space. I bet they get tons of traffic because of their location and their name! Even when we were in there, there were a lot of sandwiches going out the door.

I walked in and was pretty excited as it reminded me of my home deli. Chalkboards hanging above the meat counter with what I thought were options of meats, veggies, and cheeses to put on my sandwich! I was pretty excited, but as I got closer, I realized that they were all of the “specials” that they had, that were really just sandwiches. There was a tiny little hand written piece of scrap paper next to the ORDER NOW sign that said “condiments”. There is a big difference to me between a condiment, and a sandwich filling. I personally wouldn’t lump sauces with fillings. I think that they are two very distinct and unique aspects to the sandwich. That should have been my first clue. So I looked at the menu for a while, and nothing really jumped out at me. They had a turkey, stuffing and cranberry sandwich which sounded pretty good, and a cowabunga, which was roast beef with some spicy mustard and chipotle stuff. I really wanted to make my own, but i couldn’t find a list of veggies that they had to put on the sandwich. I even tried dissecting the veggie sandwiches, but they didn’t look like they had a lot to them from the menu descriptions.

I finally settled on a turkey sandwich with a chipotle aioli, lettuce and tomato. I had been standing over by the ORDER NOW sign, and nobody asked me what I wanted, so i figured that they moved the ordering process to the cash register. So did the other 10 people that were in the restaurant. All of us were wrong.

We got up there and the guy looked at us and said, “just a drink and a cookie?”
“No, we are going to order sandwiches as well” my aunt said.
“Oh, you have to order over there…” said the guy as he pointed to the order now sign…. So the whole line moved over there to order. We ordered our sandwiches, i got the turkey with chipotle “mayo”, my aunt got the cowabunga, and my cousin noah got the thanksgiving, without the cranberry sauce.

Then we waited for our sandwiches….

Then we had to wait in line again to pay for our sandwiches…. They did have cookies by the register, so we bought some of those as well.

We got our sandwiches and went for a drive, so we could eat our picnic. We went to a nice little spot by a pond and hung out and started to eat our sandwiches. I had no idea my aunt was into sandwiches as well and she started telling me about this article in the providence Journal about how to properly make a sandwich. She started talking about how the sandwiches that we were eating left something to be desired, and how they should really have not put the meat next to the lettuce, and they should have had the sauce next to the meat. I laughed as we started talking about the sandwich blog….. and how I spend a lot of time talking about what could have made my sandwich better.

Here is a picture of the sandwich… tell me what you think?

it looks ok, but if you compare it to some of my other sandwiches, you can probably guess what i would be looking for. First of all, it is slim. There are barely any veggies, and even though it only said turkey, tomato and lettuce, I was expecting a little more of each. Especially for the price. The other thing that is wrong with it, is the layers. Bread, Sauce, Lettuce, Tomato, Meat. It should be Bread Sauce Meat Tomatoe Lettuce Tomato Meat. That would make a good sandwich. The third thing that was wrong with it was flavors. I only got one bite out of the whole sandwich that was really tasty. i wanted to mix all the flavors together and have some of them jump out at me. This one just tasted like a mouthful of bread with some dry turkey. Then the next bite was bread with a hint of sauce. After that it was all bread and dry again…. I wanted some basil, cilantro, peppers, sprouts, or anything with some different texture. I wanted the sandwich to really involve all 5 of my senses… but this one didn’t.

i had a bite of the Cowabunga, which was a lot tastier, but the tomato against the bread seeped in all the way though to the outside, and the lettuce was acting as a barrier between the sauce and the roast beef. I probably should have gone with that one, but it was still not even close to the best sandwich i have ever had. My little cousin Noah just got braces, so he got his on more of a hamburger roll. he also doesn’t like cranberry sauce, so that took away from some of his sandwich. When he opened up his sandwich, he was also a little disappointed. He said that he was expecting it to have lettuce and tomato on his as well… he was wrong.

He said he was having trouble eating the sandwich because of his braces, so he moved onto the cookies, but I finished his sandwich for him. i think it would have been a lot better for sure with the cranberry sauce, as his was pretty dry and kind of like eating paste with the stuffing and no sauce with it. Overall, it was pretty bland, like my sandwich.

So I don’t want it to sound like I am totally bashing the Picnic Basket, because I did have an ok sandwich there, it wasn’t a chain, and the ingredients were not bad. The bread was tasty, and the atmosphere was good. Lots of choices for sodas and chips and stuff that wasn’t your everyday chip category. i just wish that the ordering system was easier, that there was a way to add in more veggies and toppings, and that they didn’t consider sauces and veggies condiments. I wish that they had some fresh basil and cilantro to spice up the sandwich, and that they would learn how to layer properly. I want them to be creative, and enjoy making sandwiches. It felt to me like it was the kind of attitude that employees in a subway would have, but this was a cool little sub shop….

Final Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars.


3 thoughts on “Picnics from the Picnic Basket, Narragansett RI

  1. I don’t get how it not being a chain is a plus. To me, a good sandwich is a good sandwich. And vice versa. The rest doesn’t matter.

    • that is true, but generally the non-chain delis have better bread and better meat. I mean, what are the chains out there that have good sandwiches?

  2. I hate when the tomato is next to the bread, that is just wrong. And it doesn’t take rocket science to know this. It is for sure a pet peeve of mine, and my husband loves handing me a sandwich with the tomato in the wrong order. He always has a back-up sandwich for me, that one is his. Kind of silly but it is the way it is.

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