Restaurant News

National Comedy Theatre's "Brown Bag Fowl" on the Menu at Dilly's Deli

There's a new sandwich on the menu at select Dilly's Deli locations in the Valley. It's called the "Brown Bag Fowl," and it was invented by a local comedy group, but there's nothing funny about this yummy lunch item. It's seriously tasty.

The Brown Bag Fowl is the brainchild of Erica Connell, a member of the Phoenix branch of National Comedy Theatre. Her sandwich was the chosen winner from more than 12 entries in a contest sponsored by The competitors were all local theatre groups, and NCT's Brown Bag Fowl beat out the likes of Stray Cat Theatre, whose "Stray Kitty" (tuna fish and jalapenos) gave them some tough competition.

Connell says the Brown Bag Fowl is something she makes every year from her Thanksgiving leftovers. The sandwich consist of turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, onion, and french sour cream on bread. "We wanted to make something that actually tasted good," Connell says. "I wanted it to feel like comfort food."

The sandwich takes its name from a rule the National Comedy Theatre has at its performances. Connell describes NCT as "a competitive improv group, like Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and says their performances include lots of audience interaction. One of NCT's rules is, if a player says something pun-oriented or an audience member suggests something un-PC, they get a "brown bag foul," and have to wear a brown paper bag over their heads for the rest of the show.

Playing on words, NCT decided to call Connell's sandwich "The Brown Bag Fowl." The theatre group spent months promoting their sandwich and soliciting votes for the contest. By the end of February, they'd garnered more votes than Stay Cat Theatre (they came in second) and Arizona Theatre Company (they came in third).

The prize? The Brown Bag Fowl will be featured on the Dilly's Deli menu through the end of March. A launch party was held on March 1 at the Tempe location, and Connell says she was happy to see so many people show up and chow down. And, she admits, "It's cool to have a sandwich I invented on somebody's menu."

The Brown Bag Fowl is on the menu at the Dilly's Deli locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, and Chandler through March 31. Visit or for more information.