Tag Archives: Hoagie

Commentary: The Ephemerality of the Sandwich

“All we are is dust in the wind, dude.” – Bill S. Preston, Esq.

The Michaelangelo, from the erstwhile The Italian Market, in Merrifield.

The Michaelangelo, from the erstwhile The Italian Market, in Merrifield.

One of the major themes of this blog is the enduring nature of the medium to which it is dedicated. While Sandwich Jack’s recent post What is a Sandwich? demonstrated that there is room for debate over the exact taxonomy of a sandwich, the entire exercise was an attempt to apply a timeless standard that would be as recognizable to an 18th century English nobleman as it would to a hoverboarding, vest-wearing, time-traveling 21st-century high schooler. Such a definition is a tribute to the form and its endless adaptability.

In another sense, though, a sandwich is an inherently fleeting thing. No matter how standardized the McDonalds, Subways, and Burger Kings of the world may become, or how exacting the French Laundrys, an indelible feature of the culinary arts is that each production is unique, unrepeatable, and subjectively experienced by the diner. No Big Mac is exactly the same as another, just as no two rillettes of poullarde can be identical. I have groused innumerable times at the variability of my Chipotle burrito. Continue reading

Meatless September: The Bulgarian Feta at Bub and Pop’s

Bulgarian

The Bulgarian Feta: Sheep’s milk feta, arugula, eggplant caponata, oven-roasted tomato, caramelized onion, caramelized mushroom, grilled zucchini, grilled fennel, balsamic vin cotto, hazelnut gremolata and pecorino romana on a sub roll

Among meatless sandwiches, there are those that are simply free of animal proteins, and there are those that — SHOCK — highlight actual vegetables. It’s the latter I’ve attempted to celebrate during our month-long exploration of vegetarian sandwiches. One of the most popular varieties within this category is what I’ll call the vegetable mixed grill, in which a mélange of veggies is seasoned, seared and stacked atop a crusty hoagie roll or baguette. Woodward Table’s Provençale, the first sandwich we featured for Meatless September, is an excellent example. The vegetable sandwich at Cork Market is similarly constructed and similarly delicious. At their best, these sandwiches are characterized by a seamless integration of sometimes contrasting ingredients. The vegetables are prepared more or less uniformly, and each bite brings a consistent and reliable blend of texture and flavor. Continue reading