The Billy Club

Behold, four thick, perfect triangular prisms. Creating a new standard in sandwichery, providing four attempts to master the flavors. The scent of savory bacon forms a hand with an inviting motion like classic cartoons when the character finally gets a meal. Succulent turkey atop lettuce and juicy tomato. Three pieces of toasted bread, soft to the touch but strong enough to endure all of the toppings. I present to you The Billy Club, served in our own cafeteria, the ultimate solution for starving students.

My first bite was indescribable. All of the ingredients holding hands together and dancing on my tongue not even worried about their impending doom awaiting in the bottomless pit of my stomach. However, my stomach was no longer bottomless, the love that was put into the sandwich created a foundation solid enough to fill my hunger.

I cannot take full credit for the discovery. One fateful, hungry day I ran into my friend Anthony, a very tall and portly fellow, I asked him, “I have no idea what to eat, what do you usually get?” Without hesitation, before I could finish the word “get?” He interrupts “The Billy Club Sandwich, it’s smack.” I took his advice to heart; after all, judging by our size you can tell we don’t take hunger lightly.

I placed my order with miss Carlina working the deli that day. Little did she know that she was participating in a what would be a revelation for me. Quickly, she began assembling the vessel of truth, with deft precision and care. I marveled at each ingredient just like you would do when your home team’s players as they were introduced at the championship game. She handed me the plate with a smile.

           It’s like an edible canvas, with a medley of colors and I was going to be the one who would get to enjoy the destruction of this piece of art and magic. Golden bread, smoked ham, roasted turkey, sizzling bacon, Swiss cheese, American cheese, ruby red tomatoes, crisp lettuce, soft mayonnaise and mustard with pickles and carrots on the side. Poetry for the hungry. I know it comes in four pieces, but it is still painful to share.

Hungry student, Rolando Recoder, described his initial bite with such honesty, “I’m not a huge fan of mustard, but in contrast with the other meats, the flavors were symphonic.”

“I like that the sandwich is classic. They have the whole bacon, lettuce, and mayo thing going on. Oh, I love that! The fact that is like a double sandwich is dope too!” says student Jazmine Carter, after her first Billy Club.

So many questions popped into my head, and I knew the right people to ask. Pacific Dining is the company that manages the cafeteria and kitchen. One day I shared an elevator ride with Octavio Amezcua, Pacific Dining’s General Manager at Chabot College. I had tons of questions, and I didn’t want to take away from his task at hand so I told I would have a gang of questions for him in the near future. When the time came, he was able to answer all of them!

    “The ingredients come from a local vendor in San Jose, Chef Choice,” Octavio clarified. “How many are made daily?” I asked. “About 20, we offer them in wheat, white, sourdough or a wrap. The Billy Club and AvoTurkey are my favorite sandwiches on our menu.” Octavio stated. My final question, “Who decided to put Billy Clubs on the menu?” “The owner of Pacific Dining, Rick McMahon, put the Billy Club on our menu many years ago. Since then, it’s been a staple of our operation.”

Luckily, I was able to get in contact with Mr. McMahon. I wanted to know about the meats and bread. “All our products are sourced from food service certified suppliers. We have strict specifications on the turkey breast, smoked ham, and bacon used in the Billy Club. All of these items are exclusive to Pacific Dining.  Galasso’s Bakery bakes the bread. They specialize in high-end bread for retail and restaurants.” Well damn, no wonder why when I make them at home they don’t taste the same.

“How popular is it?” I asked. “Hmm, Billy Club is very popular, but our number one item is our Angus Beef Burger.” But popular doesn’t always mean better

The term “Billy Club” originates from a slang term referring to a police officer’s knight stick or baton which can be used to knock someone out.  The origin somewhat holds up considering you might need a nap after devouring this double-decker. There is a strong underground following of the Billy Club sandwich with a “fight club” movie type of bond and meetings. Oops, I already said too much.

Check out the Billy Club for yourself and don’t forget to customize it (I usually add avocado and sprouts). And for some reason, if you genuinely dislike the Billy Club, and can look me in the eye and tell me that you don’t like it, I will gladly pay you for the remainder.

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