Who’s Nancy Taylor?

“The Nancy Taylor” sandwich includes ham, sliced apple, spinach and mayo, all on a cinnamon swirl bread.

“The Nancy Taylor” sandwich includes ham, sliced apple, spinach and mayo, all on a cinnamon swirl bread.

The mascot for Dish is a wild woman with crazy hair wielding a fork that’s nearly as big as she is. I can relate.

“Comfort food from a modern café,” goes the Dish slogan. I was expecting macaroni and cheese. I got something else entirely.

I love delis, but I am often put off by the enormous glass cases of food with various workers bustling behind them. Where do I stand so they’ll see me? Even when they do see me, I can’t see what’s in the cases because other patrons are blocking them. I feel like I’ve just rung my buzzer on a game show, and I have exactly 10 seconds to blurt out my order/answer as I try to reconcile what’s in the cases with what’s written on the menu boards and how much money I have in my pocket. It’s all very overwhelming.

None of that at Dish.

The cases are not too enormous, and there are menus all over the place. I grabbed a menu and made myself at home at a table. I sat in the plush, padded chair.

They’ve got deli standards, from tuna to turkey, but “The Nancy Taylor” on the superstar sandwiches list grabbed my attention. “Ham with sliced apple, mayonnaise, Dijon, cheddar cheese, fresh spinach on apple cinnamon swirl bread, $6.95.”

What the … ? One of four chalk boards on the walls lists the options for bread. How could I ask for a sandwich on white or wheat when I had the option of apple cinnamon swirl bread? It sounded decadent, like a sandwich served on coffee cake.

I moseyed up to the counter and asked the woman working the cash register what the name meant, and she explained that Nancy Taylor is a character in the movie Groundhog Day. She also said she’s Nancy, and there was a Taylor.

It turns out this woman was running the whole shebang at Dish, and she could give lessons. She greeted everyone she knew by name and introduced herself to those she didn’t. During a lull in the lunch rush from Washoe Med and surrounding offices, she busied herself by walking around and spiffing up the place. She made time to stop at my table and elaborate on the Nancy Taylor reference.

As for my sandwich, the smell of cinnamon wafted up from the plate before I took my first bite. I could tell just by looking at it that there’d be no need for dessert, as irresistible as the snickerdoodles looked.

The bread melted in my mouth, the green apple slices were crisp and tart, the spinach was fresh, the Dijon tangy, the mayo slippery, the cheddar sharp, the ham hammy. The combination tasted as unique as it sounds.

I had a good feeling from the moment I opened the door to Dish, smiling to myself at the Clean Cuisine non-smoking sticker, till the moment I left, comforted by my lunch and the fact that I had a copy of the menu in my pocket.