Sunday, May 27, 2007

Sandwiches I Have Loved

I’m a dog with a bone when it comes to metaphor. I just can’t let it go; it’s the English major’s curse.

So, tonight, I’m thinking about sandwiches and their boundaries.

Last night, I played around with the conventional definition of “Sandwich Generation.” But what of other sandwiches?

I think several of you might find some resonance in the idea of a sandwich with mismatched bread. Mine looks a little like this: one piece of bread is rich, yeasty-sweet, earthy-dark whole grain…hearty but not dry, complex in its flavors and nutritive value. The other is that bastardization: “whole grain white.” Its essence – its breadness, if you will - is subservient to conventional tastes; its nutrients are masked, hidden, sneaky.

Another image that pops into my mind? One slice: the crust perfectly trimmed off, destined for a ladies’ luncheon, utterly controlled and presentable. The other? Ripped from a luscious baguette, with a light but crispy crust and a soft, airy center. One side came home in a luxury car, the other in a bicycle’s wicker pannier.

Or what about this? You sit in a restaurant and listen to two diners as they order. One chooses turkey on sourdough…or maybe roast beef on white. The other chooses hummus with pita chips, a sandwich that requires participation and effort. How can these people get along? Make a marriage? Sustain a friendship?

That’s all a bit grim, so let me tell you about a few of my favorite non-figurative sandwiches to lighten things up. Interestingly enough, I seldom order a sandwich anymore; what follows are the reasons why (and then, of course, there's the fear of a King's Death).

Geppetto’s, in Ashland, OR, does amazing things with bread and meat (or its substitutes). If I order a burger, I request fagazi (sic) rather that a traditional bun. Amazing results. The menu always has “sandwich on today’s special roll.” I yearn for sliced leg of lamb on a rosemary/olive oil roll. I wince at the memory of locally caught steelhead on whatever bread they chose to use.

In Hanover, NH, two sandwiches come to mind: anything with boursin at Peter Christian’s ("Peter’s Favorite Fantasy" is a good pick) and the burger at EBA (Everything But Anchovies); the latter makes its own buns…some kind of Portuguese thing that I’ve never seen replicated. It’s been 15 years since I’ve been in Hanover, but I can still taste this food somewhere deep in my brain. I’d mention the lobster and steamers at Blood’s, but this is about sandwiches, damn it!

Many people think you need to visit the East Coast to get a real deli corned beef or hot pastrami sandwich. I’m sure those sandwiches are wonderful, but I’ll always love Gilbert’s in Dallas (this review is based on the old location at Preston/Forest. I fear they did not survive the move to Addison.), where the thinly sliced cured meat came almost three inches thick.

I’ve obviously veered off course…classic defense mechanism.

Please share your sandwiches, be they reality or metaphor.

I’m hungry for both.

2 comments:

L. said...

Leg of SHEEP, woman... leg of SHEEP! How many times do we have to tell you that you cannot eat a poor defenseless baby! :-) (Forget the fact that I think newborn's toes resemble Cheetoh remnants at the bottom of the bag.)

bluelikethesky said...

Jeeeeez...how did I ever forget our terminology agreement! I'll go vegan at lunch today to make it up to you! See you in a bit.