Sunday, October 24, 2010


I feel like I've been waiting for years to do this one. I'm scared and intimidated and nervous and excited and hungry and a little sleepy, but mostly ready. I'm ready. To write a blog about sandwiches.

Ah, the Elusive Sandwich. Well, not elusive, I guess. More so Easy to Find in Most Cities, Pretty Common, Mostly Regular Sandwich. Such a simple idea, yet such unique and eloquent combinations. The possibilities for sandwich recipes seem endless. I would eat sandwiches every day. I would like to have three sandwiches (or more) every day; one at each meal. A tasty egg and breakfast meat sandwich to start off, a nice cold cut with potato chip combo for lunch, and a delicious toasted version with soup or fries for dinner. What a great life.

In an attempt to calm the hell down, I pared down my sandwich pictures to a mere 44 for this entry. It was the best I could do. But before encountering these magnificent pictures, let's real quick talk about what a sandwich is. The relatively new and little-known site Wikipedia describes sandwiches in the following way:

A sandwich is a food item, often consisting of two or more slices of bread with one or more fillings between them, or one slice of bread with a topping or toppings, commonly called an open sandwich. Sandwiches are a widely popular type of lunch food, typically taken to work or school, or picnics to be eaten as part of a packed lunch. They generally contain a combination of salad vegetables, meat, cheese, and a variety of sauces. The bread can be used as it is, or it can be coated with any condiments to enhance flavor and texture. They are widely sold in restaurants and cafes.

Well. This must be why I love sandwiches so much. Look, I love carbs, i.e. bread, I really love cheese (and am totally spoiled living in the Midwest), and I freaking LOVE sauce and condiments. I do really like meat, but I can go without it once in awhile, which is why sandwiches work so well for me. I mean seriously. Carbs and cheese and sauce and sometimes meat. The most perfect combination ever in life.

Some people might consider a burger a type of sandwich. In fact, one might call it "a hamburger sandwich." You know, if one is an old lady. "I'll have a hamburger sandwich with a small cup of Orange Slice with no ice." Yep. Old lady. Anyhow, I don't really care whether or not you want to consider the burger a sandwich, but look at this:
Carbs, cheese, sauce, meat - it's all there. And it's all ridiculous. Side note: If you go to Five Guys and order a "regular" burger rather than a "small" burger, you'll get one with two giant patties on it. I couldn't finish this one so I wrapped it up and carried it around in my purse while I shopped at Target and had to finish it a couple hours later. True story.

For those of you who don't think a burger is a sandwich, what about a patty melt? It's on bread and grilled like a grilled cheese, only it has a burger inside of it.

Next question: Is this a sandwich? This is how I like to eat cupcakes. They stay neater this way, and you get more even bites of cake and frosting. Sandwich or not? You can decide.

Another very important question: Is a wrap a sandwich? Some people don't think so because they think the wrap is too much of a wiener food to be considered in the same category as the mighty sandwich. Again, I don't really care. The insides are good. The carbs could be better. Call it what you want; just calm down and let me eat, okay?

What I really love is a good make-your-own-sandwich station. These are usually found at people's houses, often at a crashed party. Platters of meats and cheeses and vegetables - you can control how much of everything goes inside the bread. Ugh, my mouth is watering looking at these next two pictures, and they're not even official sandwiches yet!
Olives are a great addition, whether they're inside a sandwich or on the outside. If you're going to put them inside, you'll probably have to cut them up real small, which takes a long time, and you're going to need some patience for that. But the reward will be worth it. Just try. For once in your life, TRY!

Speaking of making your own, I gotta say, I'm pretty damn good at that. I may not be the best cook in the world, and I may be a big lazy jerk, but I can make a delicious sandwich. Here is a breakfast sandwich made with a bagel, chive cream cheese, scrambled eggs, veggie bacon, and sauteed spinach. I bet you're all like "Holy Crap" right now. Well, you're right. It was amazing.

As an aside, I love breakfast sandwiches. Love them. These first two are from the Marigold Kitchen in Madison, WI. A simple sandwich made with a fried egg, cheddar-spiked boursin, applewood smoked bacon, tomato and green onion on toasted ciabatta. I'd say it's my favorite breakfast sandwich.

This one is a funny one because I don't think it looks as appetizing. But it was, fools! This is where I fist experienced the combination of eggs, breakfast meat, and goat cheese. Phenomenal. Don't knock it til you try it. Or I'll knock you. Believe you me, I'm serious when it comes to breakfast sandwiches. Try this.

Back to homemade for a second. Occasionally, I keep it simple with some lightly toasted bread, white american cheese, and sliced tomato. This is almost like an appetizer sandwich, but it does the job.

Here is an open-faced variety: a poppyseed bagel with cream cheese, tomato, avocado, and poppyseed sprinkled on top. You see, the poppyseeds always fall off and I have a compulsion about wasting crumbs, so I scoop them up and dump them on top. Plus, it looks good.

When I'm in a lazier mood, I'll hit up the chain restaurants. There are plenty of good sandwiches out there, and even though there have been recent changes in the size of certain sandwiches (QUIZNO'S), they still taste good. Here's the turkey, bacon, guacamole with no onions and half-eaten.

Turkey sandwich from Potbelly with lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, and cheese. Toasted. Perfectly toasted.

Milio's Californian, which contains turkey, provolone, tomato, lettuce, and guacamole. Not the most photogenic sandwich in the bunch, but really delicious.

Einstein's turkey sandwich. By the way, I enjoy turkey sandwiches. This had sprouts on it, which sort of makes me want to barf, but they do make it look nice.

Um...okay, I'll be honest. This was from Denny's. I can't remember what was in it, but it was toasted and melty and pretty good. Don't judge.

Well, this one was actually one of my few non-successful sandwich experiences. It's a brie and tomato sandwich from Cosi. The bread was cold and hard, and the brie tasted like it was a little old. Also disappointing because I could have made this at home, and way better. It makes me think that Cosi is a bunch of jerks.

Okay, this one was a surprise. It was from Arby's! It's the turkey-bacon-ranch on this delicious bread, crisp bacon, nice fresh-tasting turkey. A really pleasant surprise. Totally not healthy, but probably a bit better for you than an effing beef & cheddar, am I right? Am I RIGHT?!

Once in awhile, I'll leave the chains behind and go for the local places. In Madison, WI there's a place called The Old Fashioned that will basically put a fried egg on anything. Here it is on a grilled cheese and bacon. Perfect. For real, perfect. Also, I'm glad I didn't die from Immediate Cholesterol that night.

Oh lord, I love a good reuben. I have no idea where any of these are from, but I know they're all local in one sense or another.

Look at those giant olives on top! Just like in the cartoons.

This is a sandwich from another place in Madison, WI called Mildred's. This sandwich, the Obreros, is roast beef, turkey breast, provolone, swiss, cucumbers and lettuce with mayonnaise and dressing on a whole wheat pita.

Top view - it's a hefty pita.

View of when you get it to go. Look at those sandwich halves, piled on top of each other.

These bagel sandwiches are from Gotham Bagels in Madison - wow, I'm just realizing how much time I spend there. Interesting. Look at how much meat!

This one went to my companion - a "vegetarian." I know, I try not to judge, but it's hard.

Okay, but this vegetarian sandwich is a whole other story. This is the stuffed grilled cheese from Alchemy in Madison, WI. Oh lord, it's good. Tons of veggies and cheese and a creamy pesto spread on thick bread.

That's the innards. When else would you want to eat innards so bad?

French Dip Sandwich! I love a sandwich that comes with a whole bowl of "dip," without which the sandwich would be incomplete. I mean, that's a good recipe right there. Make a sandwich and then dip it in something to make it whole. That's genius.

I think this is the Navajo sandwich from The Cheesecake Factory. I know, I know, but it was so good. Served on fry bread.

A roast beef po' boy from somewhere in New Orleans. Look. At. That. Meat. I can't believe I ate the whole thing.

Here we travel back to Madison for a grilled cheese from Lazy Jane's. This is havarti, tomato, avocado, and red onion on sourdough. Delicious! Served with salad, which is kind of annoying, because you don't make friends with salad. But you can totally get soup instead if you want. If you're smart.

The King Club from the Mermaid Cafe, also in Madison. That focaccia bread is so amazing.

The GBLT from Monty's Diner in Madison. I know, right? GBLT. Hehehe...Anyhow, the G is for guacamole and the other letters are what they're usually for.

Chicken salad sammich. A "healthy choice," so I don't do it very often. But this was fine.

My go-to sandwich that works every time: The Club Sandwich. I always get it with american cheese, and it's just ridiculous. It's like every processed food you could ever imagine between some crappy toasted bread. SO GOOD.

These next few are from the place that served me what is probably my all-time favorite sandwich: The Chicago Bagel Authority. Pretty boring name, I know, but listen. Just listen. This sandwich was ridiculous. They steam them, which isn't quite like toasting, or like warming it in the microwave; it's something in between. It's magic.

This is the Dirty Swede: turkey, cream cheese, bacon, colby, smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and mayo on a giant roll. I know, all that cheese, plus mayo, seems a bit excessive, but um...yeah, there's nothing wrong with excess.

There's a nice side view. Good looking, fantastic tasting...great sandwich all around.

My companion on this trip got the, uh, Hide the Salami. Yeah, for real, that's what he ordered. It's "salami hidden under bacon" (straight from the menu), pepperoni, banana peppers, provolone, lettuce, avocado, and ranch.

Giant sandwich halves. I love giant sandwich halves because there's almost always more.

Well...that's all I got. 44 pictures of sandwiches. Little meanness or judgement. I guess sandwiches bring out the best in me and make me a kinder, gentler, more loving individual.

Wait. This doesn't feel right. It's's not me. I'm freaking out. I gotta go. Jerks.

Ah, there it is.

xoxo, Delicious Food

Friday, October 22, 2010

Hot Doug's: A Total Sausage Fest

Okay, dudes. Okay. Try and stay calm. It finally happened...FINALLY. This past weekend, I went to a total sausage fest. And I mean a TOTAL sausage fest. And you know what? I actually enjoyed myself. Holy eff...

I was visiting Chicago, a small city just southeast of Beloit, Wisconsin, when my associates and I stumbled upon quite a sight. Underneath a small, cheap looking sign that included the tag line "The Sausage Superstore" was a line of about thirty people. "What the hell could they possibly be waiting for?" I wondered. It's not as if Chicago is known for it's fine cuisine or anything. What could be so delicious that somebody would wait for thirty other people to eat before they could even order? That's just absurd...what food could be that amazing?

My curiosity piqued and my stomach growling, we pulled over and got in line. And you know what? I found the answer to that question. The answer is...stuff in hot dog and sausage form, found at a little establishment called Hot Doug's. Get it? Hot Dog? Hot Doug? Brilliant. Thank god the guy's name was Doug. Imagine if it was Gerald! What would he even do with his life?!

Anyhow, I digress. Hot Doug's effing rules. They have perfected an art...the art of encasing meat. It grosses me out to write it, and I'm sure it will gross out some of you to read it, but if only you could taste it, dudes, you'd understand. Encased meat is a GOOD thing! Whether it's wild boar, lamb, or pork for the man's man, italian or polish sausage for you foreigners, or rattlesnake, alligator, or "vegetarian" (I know...totally weird) for you exotic eaters, they've got something that will suit your fancy. And toppings abound. And it's all served in a neat little package, otherwise known as a bun. Check the menu:

I like the idea of a restaurant serving food in only one shape. Why bother getting all fancy? Just make it into a sausage. You want a steak? How about a steak-flavored sausage! It's perfect! It reminds me of the Simpsons episode when Homer eats everything in bar form, turning a pound of spaghetti and meatballs into a compact granola-bar-sized item. It's inspiring, today's world, there's no time to waste! Everything should be in sausage form from now on - macaroni and cheese, pizza, fruit, vodka tonics...why not?

I mean really. An enjoyable sausage fest? This is remarkable.

Also they make their fries in duck fat, but only on the weekends. Come ON!!!
Here is one of the more popular items, the Chicago Dog: a grilled hot dog with tomato, relish, onions, mustard, pickle, and celery salt.
Another picture of The Chicago Dog. Classic.

The Irish Banger. With yellow mustard and cheddar cheese. BANG! This rocked

A lamb sausage with cheese on it. Rumor has it that "it tastes just like a mild kebab."

The reuben one, or the Teuben. Ugh. The name makes me want to barf, but the taste was remarkable.

Cheese fries! Not the best choice for you lactose-intolerant ones out there, but probably worth it anyway.

And the famous duck fat fries. I don't really even know what that means, but I would define it as "salty and more delicious than usual."

Check it: Hot Doug's!

You know, I've heard some negative talk about places like Hot Doug's, mostly people criticizing those who wait in line for so long just to eat hot dogs. Lame. Don't hate, haters! Not only is the food good, but it's all just so FUNNY. I mean, this place is called Hot Doug's; that's hilarious! It reminds me of Kuma's Corner, a burger place in Chicago where the menu is comprised mostly of burgers named after metal bands. You might end up waiting an hour or two for a table if you go on a Friday night, but so what? You're probably about to eat a burger called The Bongzilla, The Lair of the Minotaur, The Plague Bringer, or The Goblin Cock. That, too, is very funny! Plus, the burgers are damn good, and alls you need is some good friends and a few vodka drinks in you, and that hour or two just flies by. Before you know it, you'll be eating a Goblin Cock and all will be well in the world.

So stop your hating, wait in line for a little bit, and you'll earn your just desserts. You see, sometimes we do things for the experience, okay? And, in these cases, the experience results sexy results, i.e. Delicious Food. Come on now. Get with the program.