BLT Mania

Where did the summer go? Ours went to Asheville, Greece, the Zuni Mountains, Martha’s Vineyard. A wonderful, wanderful couple months. While we didn’t stay home much, the computer did – a spectacular formula for vacationing, not so much for the Lunch Encounter. Neglected. Sad. I feel bad about it.

The formica carries a coating of dust, the fryer is cold and the walk-in bare. Time to get those purveyors on the horn, fire up the grill and yank the chain on the OPEN sign.  Let’s sand wich it, shall we.

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A sandwich is a collaboration, of course, and we all know the beauty of sums and parts. Four is the magic number – bacon, lettuce, tomato, bread. Begin at the beginning – bread, use a loving touch, many hands and all that.


We had many hands and the eating was splendid over the long (but not long enough) weekend of July 4th. Warmed  up with fried chicken, potato salad and cole slaw – not to mention the hours and days of foraging for the proper ingredients (thank you,  Extra-Steps Kay, for the whipcracking), and swung into BLTmania with absolute ease.

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Begin at the beginning. The vehicle. The bread. The boys knew what to do, I’ll betcha.


All you need is bread…provided it’s been toasted and smeared, while warm, with mayonnaise. Mayonnaise haters will not be tolerated. So good when it melts into the toast.


This is how it’s done. Everyone knows.


Not my idea, but the foraging was epic. An island safari in search of THE bread, THE mayonnaise, THE tomatoes, THE bacon. Thank god I did not burn the bacon as I would have been dropped at the ferry pronto.


The thing is, and any true maniac can tell you, once you are nuts for something, anything, you’ll down it with gusto, superlative or not. A BLT…well…puffy white bread, sweet salad dressing, ho hum tomatoes, greasy-ass bacon? Even at it’s worst it’s still the best.

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The same can be said for you-know-who. Yeah, that’s right, anybody I love. Even at their worst, they are the best. Tell you what, at my worst I am the worst. Praying to Demeter, goddess of bread, that I compensate with sandwiches.


It was a fab four days over the fab Fourth. It’s good to know, now and again, that I too can cook. Thank you, Barbara, Bruce, Jeff, Kay and dogs, dogs, dogs for feeding  my heart and my mania. Boom, boom, boom.



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Jack Sprat We Are Not

A mindfully lubricated life might include a Thin Man Sandwich Shop white anchovy and whipped lardo (WHIPPED LARDO??!!) sandwich. Swing by Pittsburgh and get yer lube on. IMG_0637



+ Browsing


+ Mulling


+ Schmoozing


+ Perusing


+ Viewing


+ Vying


+ Piling


+ Dripping




The Thin Man Sandwich Shop


Play It, Shem’uel

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Photos by Sasha Mazlov

Not again, as it is often misquoted (by lots of people, say me, for example), but still rather. Play it still, Sam. The old pastrami on rye, just the way it’s always been. It’s near absence has made our gusto grow fonder.

Everything New is Old Again

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Toast me a bialy!

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David Sax made a call to arms and arms they have raised, hoisting smoked fish, chopped liver, blintzes, bakkas and bialys. The deli has been saved!

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I eat my words. With schmaltz.


Rise and shine, Clementine!

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Photo by Renee Comet and Styling by
Yours Truly

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Can a Breakfast Sandwich Change Your Life?


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Ray Davies says so and my bets are on his knowing.

Lift yourself out of the doldrums
Make yourself a cuppa tea
Drag your emotions out of the gutter
Don’t wallow in self pity

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When you wake up, all of a fluster
Thinking life has passed you by
Give yourself a kick up the backside
Jump out of bed and punch the sky

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Is there life after breakfast
Full of possibilities
Is there life after breakfast?
Yes there is, after breakfast
So don’t live in agony
Is there life after breakfast?
Yes there is, after breakfast

Wakey, wakey, eggs and bakey!

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Thank you, Hey-Pal Susan!


Whither the Pig Ear Sammich?

A pig ear sandwich is a thing. Of course it is.

pig ear taco
Mr. Walston and I went for tacos at Taqueria Los 3 Reyes. The man thinks he does not eat meat. Similar to my son, who at the age of four announced, “I do not eat meat. Only pig!” So he, the man, ordered chicken, which apparently, in this age, is not technically meat. I buy that, just as I buy that ketchup is a vegetable. I did not order chicken because THERE WAS PIG EAR ON THE MENU. He, the man, did take one teensy gnaw of the pig ear and was put off by what he called the cartilage, which I suppose it was.

Here comes the required rant, a prerequisite, not a perquisite, thank you, Mr Gingrich:

Why is the texture of ear offputting while we are fine with the texture of thigh? RHETORICAL QUESTION. DO NOT ANSWER. Anyway, I understand that some of us are accustomed to consuming thighs, but not ears. Should you decide to eat me, please do not discard any of the parts.

Now, back to business. With dedication. Wither the pig ear sammich? Were one in Mississippi there would be no need to wonder. Over there the pig ear is the best state sandwich, according to Business Insider.

SMOKES & EARS from Joe York on Vimeo.

In Mississippi, from what googling implies, the pig ear sandwich is not simply A thing, it is THE thing. Good on ya, pig ear sammich. Featured lovingly at The Big Apple Inn  in Jackson, this sandwich is the money maker.

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The Southern Foodways Alliance 

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 7.35.49 AMA big part of our mission here at the SFA is to document the stories behind the food and bring them to a larger audience. We’re stoked that an Associated Press article on the SFA’s documentary work has appeared in newspapers from the Washington Post to the New Orleans Times-Picayune in recent days. The article spotlights Geno Lee, the fourth-generation proprietor of Jackson, Mississippi’s Big Apple Inn. Lee was the recipient of the SFA’s 2009 Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award. If you haven’t seen it already, check out Joe York’s film about Lee, Smokes & Ears.
(Photograph of Geno Lee by Rogelio Solis/A.P.)

When a lovely flame dies and smokes gets in your ears, the sammich is ready! Please pass the mustard, Mr. Thang.

Local Hero

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Capitol City Eats Talks About Shawafel


Shawafel is refreshingly without gimmick. No horseshoes, mini golf, burlesque, craft beer, micro-bakery bread or other hipster touchstones.  The toum, however, is the difference maker and makes Shawafel a landmark. Immerse me in toum, please. Mark my soul with this glorious garlic cloud.

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The makings of chicken shawarma. Start with toum, end with fries, you can do no wrong.


A few months back Chef/Owner Alberto  stopped by the photo studio of Renee Comet  with his chicken shewarma for a Washingtonian sandwich story. Renee was taking the pictures, I was wrangling the sandwiches, and Chef Alberto stayed for a bit of a visit. He impressed me. A former Jose Andres protege, Chef Alberto has struck out on his own and hit a home run.


A person could hit a home run with one of these babies. They are rock solid and heavy  as hickory baseball bats.

Mr. Walston, feeling the omniscent gaze of his vegan daughter, chose crispy cauliflower with tahini. She’s got him wrapped around her little finger, as it should be.


Le French Fries doused gloriously with za’atar. We did not do a sludge test so I am taking an educated guess – sesame seeds, dried sumac, oregano and thyme. For sure on the sesame seeds and oregano.


Lebanese cooks have a handle on the goods, folks. Sheeeeeewafel, sheeeeeebang, sheeeeeedoobeeeeeee. Do me!



A Thousand Bites

Without sunlight there would be no visualization. Put that in your pan and fry it. Thank you, Mr. Glaser. Without you our visualization would be less luscious. 

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Milton Glaser


Screen Shot 2014-04-02 at 10.09.05 AMThanks to the fearless playfulness of the first human to make bread. And to you, Blexbolex, for a hotpop trip to the bakery and butcher for our sandwich fixins, and the genuine confidence of Je Sais Cuisinier. Yes, yes, I do know how to cook.

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And now this

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CCAD 17th Annual Art of Illustration Show

Opening Reception Saturday, April 5th, 2014

Columbus, Ohio

Rejoice, the adventure endures!

Thank you to Suits-Herself-Cindy for inspiration, links and time out from her time in.