I was so inspired by Willi$’s tales of the Gobbler sandwich that I called Brit a hater because he didn’t want to try it. The idea of eating Thanksgiving dinner on a 6″ hoagie roll got me excited, and your incessant advertising keeps telling me that I want to try it for a mere $2.99 on sale. No longer willing to wait on Willi$ to post the conclusion to his Gobbler saga, I set out on my own tonight.
The first and closest Wawa brightly advertised the Gobbler sandwich and bowl on its computer touch screens. I pressed my index finger down to select the Gobbler, and it took me to the next screen, where it showed me my size options. Only there were no size options available. In desperation, I went back a menu to select the bowl version, only there was no cranberry available. As in, there was no Gobbler. And when your heart and stomach are set on an idea of a sandwich, or even a bowl version, nothing else quite fills the void. I thought about ordering something else, but instead I wandered aimlessly through the store before leaving empty-handed.
The second Wawa had the same on-screen advertising, to entice or perhaps taunt me. I selected the Gobbler, but, again, nothing further happened. And this time, there was no bowl option on the screen. Again, no Gobbler.
At the third Wawa, I was starting to fear that this was a futile struggle, my dream deferred endlessly with no sign of hope. The Gobbler advertising was intact, but there was no Gobbler sandwich listed on the display. I selected the Hot Turkey with Gravy sandwich, not believing that would really work, but it moved on to the cranberry sauce selection screen. The only option available was a bright red “No” button, as in “No, I don’t want cranberry sauce.” How presumptive, and how very wrong. I back-tracked, this time going with the Hot Turkey with Gravy bowl, and it did let me select both Gravy and Cranberry. Jackpot! Now, dear Wawa, it seems to me that something was awry, as you had the ingredients to make the Gobbler sandwich – after all, you clearly had the ingredients for the Gobbler bowl. Your evasiveness did not prevent me from getting that bowl and taking it home.
My quest had not prepared me for this. I had assumed that obtaining the Gobbler Bowl meant success, but just look at the photo. This thing looks like human-sized cat food with a dollop of cranberry sauce on the side. I overcame the unappetizing appearance and dove in with my fork. The turkey was actually quite tasty, but the gravy was a little too salty and unappealing. The cranberry sauce did help a bit in balancing out the flavors. The entire bottom of the bowl was covered with stuffing. I think that was probably way too much and was ultimately the Gobbler Bowl’s downfall. I am a fan of stuffing, but this particular type of stuffing was too moist, and while it had a nice flavor, the texture was hard to avoid. Of course, encountering everything slopped together in a black plastic bowl wasn’t probably the best experience. These kinds of thing always remind me of my one uncle who liked to take his Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner and stir it all up on his plate with his fork. I guess this bowl trend is for people like him. Or for stoners in some special state of enlightenment.
My cat Oscar was watching me eat this thing. I thought some bits of turkey in gravy might be just the dinner he needed, so I scooped a few pieces out into the plastic lid and watched him go to town. He seemed to love it. He was a little annoyed because the plastic lid kept spinning around on the tile floor, but he was able to wolf it down. He was so fast that the photos of him are blurry. This appears to lend further support to my “human-sized cat food” suspicion.
I should mention that the one defensible thing about the Gobbler Bowl is that there is a lot of food in that bowl. For $3, there is a mound of turkey with gravy and lots of stuffing. Unfortunately, it’s not really all that good, and the mixing of food in a bowl isn’t very appealing to me. The cranberry does help redeem things, but it isn’t enough. This poor Gobbler Bowl just doesn’t cut it.
So, Wawa, why the Gobbler shortage at so many of your locations? Maybe enterprising Wawa employees, afraid to sell these to unsuspecting consumers, try to remove them from the ordering system. Or maybe the idea of Thanksgiving dinner in a bowl or on a bun really is just so appealing that you can’t keep enough of these things in stock. I may never know.
Thank you for a frustrating night.