Remember on “Friends” when Joey had one of his meatball sandwiches. And there was that time when Joey appeared to be protecting Chandler from gun shots. It turned out that Joey was only lunging to save his meatball sandwich. There are many varieties of sandwiches. Jared lost like 200 pounds by eating at Subway. Elvis had his legendary fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches. There are even some sandwiches that you might not classify as sandwiches like gyros, pitas, hot dogs or wraps.
In celebration of something as old as Passover I have selected my favorite sandwiches of all times. Sandwiches are important to a person and who they are. I am not Joey, and I wouldn’t take a bullet for a sandwich. But I will classify and list my favorite sandwiches.
5. EALD Sandwich from Space Camp
The Early Arrival/Late Departure sandwich is something of Space Camp lore. It is so strange how a sandwich made of a burger bun, a slice of turkey, and slice of processed cheese product which has been in a cooler for over 24 hours could be so good. Maybe it is because when a person eats an EALD sandwich they are hungry and exhausted. Or it could be that it simply reminds you of Space Camp and childhood, something simple, something refreshing, and something that is grounded. An EALD sandwich is accompanied by two Oreo cookies, Lays potato chips, and a condiment/plasticware pack. I am sure the unneeded plasticware would make Al Gore anger but it is the unexplainable nature of Space Camp.
4. Open Face Roast Beef from Airport Grocery in Cleveland, Mississippi.
Ah… Airport Grocery! Is there anything better in the world than a Friday afternoon in the Mississippi Delta? The original Airport Grocery was along side Highway 8 in Cleveland near the airport and near the movie theater. I loved it. The open face roast beef with gravy fries is better than Jack & Coke! True, at the time I had not met Jasper Newton Daniel. But if you know me, you will understand the analogy. The old road signs and other produce signs along the wall only inspired me to fashion my back porch after my Delta roots. Or maybe it was the fact that eating gravy fries with beef shortened my life by fifteen minutes with each visit to the grocery that made life great as a college student!
3. Bacon Turkey Bravo from Panera Bread
Ok… when I first set out to make this list I didn’t want to put a “chain” sandwich on the list. But I can’t not put the Bacon Turkey Bravo on the list. The tomato basil bread with just a hint of cinnamon-sugar on the crust of the bread makes the sandwich unexpected and child like. Remember the first time your chocolate fell into the jar of peanut butter? Oh how the combination excited you? The Bacon Turkey Bravo reminds me of all those culinary accidents like peanut butter cups and penicillin. The smoked Gouda gives something to the noise and to the taste buds. The great thing about this sandwich is how many people love the sandwich, but can you blame anyone for loving something with bacon on it?
2. PBC Club at Prescott Brewing Company in Prescott, Arizona.
Some may be shocked to find the PBC Club at number two on my list of grand sandwiches. It is the best sandwich that can be purchased at a restaurant. I originally discovered the sandwich from a chance meeting in Prescott Arizona with a vegetarian. On a recruiting trip with Snapper and a dinner with Forecast I was introduced to a club on focaccia bread with a chipotle mayo spread. Yum!!! I guess I just love the club family of sandwiches. The PBC Club is the best version of the club to date. I know I am too young to be an expert and too old to be a friend. But the sandwich is good and the environment of Prescott is awesome! I can’t wait for Arizona 2009!
1. Peanut Butter and Jelly from my mother’s kitchen in Winona, Mississippi.
I am a finicky eater! As a red head who didn’t like pizza as a child the only protein for me was peanut butter! My mom would make me PBJs. With a knife she would meticulously smooth the peanut butter out over the Wonder Bread and then with a spoon she would apply the home made jelly. Only a NASA scientist could measure the thickness as exact as my mom. It was the perfect ratio of peanut butter to jelly. Only Jif peanut butter would do and only my mom could make the perfect sandwich. It was perfectly made to keep me alive. The bread was perfectly aligned, made with love, and tasted great. In some ways, I think my mom’s PBJ made me focused on perfection, because as a small carpet crawler I found perfection on a plate in Carroll County Mississippi!
I am sure there will be more sandwiches I will love along the road of life. I will some day tell you about pancake puppies and my fetish with corndogs as a child; but know that a sandwich is as close to perfection as we will see in this lifetime. Enjoy! Visit your favorite deli, sandwich shop, or kitchen soon! But most of all tell the chef or cook you love them!