Let’s finish each other’s sandwiches

by Angelica Leicht

There’s nothing quite like a good sandwich, some soup, and a salad on a spring day. As a kid, I took for granted how delicious those types of simple food items could be. Sandwiches seemed boring, almost too easy. As an adult, I relish in them.

That said, my young self wasn’t quite off base with those feelings of tepidness toward sandwiches. There are good sandwiches, and then there are subpar sandwiches. You know the type — the soggy bread, or thin, grainy toast, with thick slices of salty meat and wilted iceberg lettuce.

Luckily, it seems like this town excels at making a mean sandwich. There are tons of good sandwich haunts within the confines of Durango. Spread your wings out a little further into the Four Corners and you’ll catch a few more.

The Soup Palette, Durango’s newest sandwich spot, is one of those haunts. This little shop, which recently opened behind The Power House off of Camino del Rio, knows exactly how to make the perfect sandwich.

To say The Soup Palette is completely new is being slightly disingenuous, though. This current iteration of The Soup Palette may be new, but The Soup Palette itself was a Durango favorite for many years.

Once a brick-and-mortar shop, this old hidden gem was tucked away in the shops at 555 Rivergate Lane next to Animas Surgical Hospital. It had a staunch following thanks to its simple but unique menu of — you guessed it — soups, sandwiches, and salads.

That all ended in 2019 when the building was sold and The Soup Palette closed its doors.

It’s back now, though, in food truck form. Back and better than ever.

Well, back with some changes, anyway. As a relatively new Durango resident (read: the last few years or so), I didn’t make my way to the old Soup Palette before it closed up shop. I can only speak for this current one. But, if I had to guess based on the food I got from the food truck, I’d venture to guess that this one is better.

While the old Soup Palette specialized in soups, soups, and more soups — with at least 12 on rotation at any time — the current iteration of the Soup Palette is a bit more limited. It rotates a menu of six different sandwiches, all named after different painters to stick with the artsy theme, along with three salads, quiches and frittatas, and a few soups.

I decided to check it out for lunch one afternoon, and opted for the Van Gogh sandwich, made with turkey, provolone, lettuce, tomato, red onions, and the Palette’s famous homemade fresh pesto mayo, on fresh baguette bread. I also grabbed a Horiatiki salad, made with mixed greens, tomatoes, Feta cheese, cucumbers, kalamata olives, porcini peppers, with the owner’s famous greek dressing, and added some salami for good measure.

I took both to go (thanks, pandemic), but it was clear before I’d even sneaked a peek at my delicious wares that I’d made a good choice by swinging by this food truck. The smell of fresh bread wafted through my car, begging me to open the box. It took all of my self control not to open the box and shovel it into my mouth on the three-block drive to my home.

One bite of the Van Gogh confirmed that I was not hallucinating from hunger. This sandwich was everything. The baguette was the perfect mix of crisp crust and soft interior, and the pesto…oh, do I dream of that pesto even now. I finished every bite of it before I even realized what was happening.

From there, I moved on to that salad, which was every bit as noteworthy as the Van Gogh. There’s an expertise required to get the right ratio of ingredients in a good salad, and I tip my hat to this salad chef. They ticked every single box.

From the crunch of the spicy peppers to the fresh tomatoes, every single ingredient, and every ratio, was right. Even the greek dressing, which can be tough to nail, was perfect. I’d buy bottles of it if I could.

I’m not sure what makes this food truck as special as it is, but I know I’ll be back, and back, and then back again. I’m curious to see what other culinary tricks The Soup Palette has up its sleeve, and I may even venture out of the sandwich zone into some soups.

Livin’ on the edge these days…just me, my beloved salads, and some deli slices.

Angelica Leicht

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