nauvoo sandwich 052915The blackened chicken sandwich at Nauvoo Grill Club in Fair Haven. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)


nauvoo 052915In the mood for something southwestern-but-not-quite Mexican, PieHole was drawn to the lodge-like Nauvoo Grill Club in Fair Haven on a lovely Friday afternoon in late spring.

At the height of the lunch hour, we found the place strangely empty. But what we ate satisfied our craving, even if it left our fingers sticky.

Without another diner in sight, our distractions were music piped in – loudly – from what might have been a Red Hot Chili Peppers radio channel, and the Mission-style architectural trim and decor, which creates a sense of clubby comfort amid rugged mountains.

Among the sandwich offerings on the extensive lunch menu: a lobster-on-brioche-roll ($19.95); a grilled filet mignon steak on focaccia ($13.95); a crab cake BLT ($14.95) and a regular grilled chicken sandwich ($10.95).

Hey, PieHole‘s on a tight budget, but we’ll spend the extra buck to when an itch just has to be scratched. So we went with the blackened chicken sandwich, which layers chicken breast, avocado, red onion, tomato and lettuce on a ciabatta roll smeared with chipotle mayonnaise ($11.95).

It’s asking a lot of the bread to hold all those juicy contents together, and in this case, it wasn’t up to to challenge, as the bottom slice disintegrated in our hands.

Messy as it was, though, the sandwich delivered an explosive payload of flavor: zesty bite in the threesome of tender blackened chicken, mayo and fresh red onion. The avocado softened that effect just a tad with earthy creaminess, and the tomato chimed in to good effect, too, though it probably bore most of the blame for the structural issues.