Friday, April 1, 2011


"Oh, how this spring of love resembleth, The uncertain glory of an April day, Which now shows all beauty of the Sun, And by and by a cloud takes all away." William Shakespeare certainly wasn't talking about this first day of April because if love "resembleth" this spring day it would be a cat-and-dog love, a drencher and a drizzler, a love like a cloudburst, deluge, flood, flurry, monsoon, sprinkling and a rainstorm. This love would be a watered-down love, a soggy love, a wet and waterlogged love. We all know love can be furious and fickle, heart-filling and crazy-making and untrustworthy, like the weather, but there is a love that is sublime and can always be counted upon and that is the love of a good sandwich.

The love of a good sandwich can't be beat, whether it's a Cuban pulled pork or a croque-monsieur, a juicy French dip or a chicken parmigiana, a double-decker Dagwood my mother stuffs with hot peppers or the Reuben my friend Jim pan-fries for poker parties.

“There are sandwich shops in New York which offer the nobility and gentry a choice of no less than 100 different sandwiches, all of them alluring and some of them downright masterpieces.”
-H.L. Mencken

Mencken was right. The great delis of New York--the Carnegie and the Stage and Katz's--have elevated the sandwich to godlike levels, in particular the hot pastrami sandwich. This is food, sure, but this is Art as impressive as anything you might catch on museum mile. Pastrami masters are zen monks of an exacting faith. They have looked into the void and returned with a sandwich. They have created something beautiful. Check out these deli guys and you might get a clue.

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