Bowl and Roll

Photo by Joan Lebow

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Spare Time in Colchester,Vermont

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Easy Day in Portland, Maine

Let It Roll Bowl and Oaxaca Restaurant in Phoenix, Arizona

A restaurant inside a bowling alley is different from a bowling alley that serves food. All bowling alleys serve food – default food. But to choose to locate your labor of love – and let’s face it, personally-run restaurants are labors of love (or love of labor), in a bowling alley shows a level of imaginative commitment that is admirable. Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 4.48.46 PM.png

Sandwiches are the ultimate bowling food. Sandwich in one hand, ten-pounder in the other, put a little action on it. And what a soundtrack.

Call us meat ‘n cheese cause we’re on a roll.

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Neal’s Sandwich Shop was located inside an unknown bowling alley in Wilmington. Ice cream, malts, and sundaes were also available. From the LAPL photo archive. Circa 1940.



I shudder to think

of what this stuff is made. Sandwiches. Potato chips. Benign enough. You don’t gotta make them yourself (boo hoo hoo). Tear into a couple packages while watching the Superbowl and let oblivion reign.


gripped in one hand,


in the other.

Meat is one thing. Meat is flesh, a substance with which you must wrestle and chew. Visceral, created by death, meat is an outer deal with your inner animal. One needs teeth and a soul comfortable with the food chain to relish meat. Yup yup yup.

Meat flavor though. What is it? Bacon flavored (already dubious) cookies and Reuben sandwich flavored chips. What the what? I would truly like to know how food scientists created both these products. What what what is in there? Cut the murk please. And, if you are listening and you are a food scientist, what drove you to create these things?

Say you did buy both these products. And say eating something that is more “product” than food is something you are willing to do in your brief, bright life – how was it?  Did the chip taste of pastrami, rye, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing?  Reductionism maximized. Amazing, maybe, and frackin’ freaky. My heart bleeds for every human who ever brined a brisket, created a starter, set cabbage to ferment or a curd to age.

And then I bought the bag of Reuben chips. Salty, crispy, chip chip chippy! I have not encountered a chip I did not devour with relish. So there. I am only human – flesh, desire, appetite, weakness.

So, you’ve got a package in each of your paws. Chips! Cookies! Origins? Effects? Oh for chrissakes. It’s the Superbowl. Why are you hitting yourself on the head? Why are you hitting yourself on the head? A one-two flavor concussion!

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The Cowboy Poet

Cowboy. Poet. Two powerful words. We think of autonomy, no boundary, hearts that rip apart and heel back together. Theirs and ours. Cowboys and poets, stars in the galaxies of our fantasies.

Lunch. Plebian, mundane, a quotidian event that is not essential. Not breakfast, the “most important meal of the day”. Not dinner, the meal that creates national merit scholars. Lunch. So optional. Lunch, the star of garden variety hedonists. Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 9.09.11 PM

LUNCH IS ON, THEN OFF, then on again, depending on how they’re getting along on the given day.

Yes lunch. “Joe and I are meeting at the Safeway at noon.”

No lunch. “Chris is being difficult.”

Yes lunch. “Joe and I have smoothed things over.”

Chris Earnshaw and Joe Mills are kindred spirits who can be passionate foes. They are now also photographer and printmaker, respectively, and artist and curator. They’ve got a baguette, mustard packets, loose supermarket roast beef and a heap of liverwurst. They are inspired by each other, not listening to each other, at each other’s throats about everything. Art. Film. Life. Death. It’s June 2012 at the Wisconsin Avenue Safeway.

Read on here.Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 9.08.06 PM

Thank you, Mr. Fixit, for sending this story to me. Makes me love Washington.


Stillness is the New Chase


Chase the Submarine in Vienna makes a fine sandwich, laced with ambition, loaded with cool. Add a side of sass and you have an It Wich.


The faster you chase, the farther away you get. That’s how it looks from here. Stand still for a sec and the world appears before you.


Smilishly. In an apron. Ready for action. Action that splashes. Action that spills and greases your lips.


Fabulous Claire from Brooklyn, True-to-HimSelf Teddy and I ordered. Actually, we asked nicely. Steak and Cheese, Pork and Pickles, Bulgogi. Around the world at the speed of the maillard reaction.


Watching was happening. Doing is our preference. In lieu of doing, watching it done with expertise and vivacity is vicariously satiating.


I like this place enough to go often were it in walking distance. I admire and envy Tim Ma’s sandwich sanctuary.



Bread and fillings exponentially expand into sandwiches ad infinitum, starting with its bread ectoskeleton. Chase the Submarine explores the natural kingdom of all four hemispheres.


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The young people. We love them. So many sandwich safaris ahead. And dang they are snappy. Had to stand still, stand back and love them till my fist of a heart pounded deeply in its deep, still waters.


Toast Poast Number: Wakey, Wakey, Eggs and Bakey

Love Poem With Toast

Some of what we do, we do

to make things happen,

the alarm to wake us up, the coffee to perc,

the car to start.

The rest of what we do, we do

trying to keep something from doing something,

the skin from aging, the hoe from rusting,

the truth from getting out.

With yes and no like the poles of a battery

powering our passage through the days,

we move, as we call it, forward,

wanting to be wanted,

wanting not to lose the rain forest,

wanting the water to boil,

wanting not to have cancer,

wanting to be home by dark,

wanting not to run out of gas,

as each of us wants the other

watching at the end,

as both want not to leave the other alone,

as wanting to love beyond this meat and bone,

we gaze across breakfast and pretend.

—Miller Williams

Thanks a million pieces of toast to Sorry-Birds Ellen for sending this wonderful poem to our Lunch Counter. Miller Williams is a treasure. Perhaps he’ll stop in for a sandwich someday.

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Toast Poast Number 7 For All Mankind

Turning towards collaboration rather than competition in this new year. A hard turn. Collaboration is my preference, but I am pulled by competition. Me, me, me and mine, mine, mine.

Hierarchy versus democracy. How do we turn towards democracy after being raised in a hierarchy – adults ruling children? Hierarchy has got to feel more comfortable out of familiarity. And now, being adults we gotta compete to find our place and keep ourselves there. It just feels normal and right.

And so wrong.

Ugh, what a tedious struggle. And futile. Separating, isolating, ineffective.


So, vertere, to turn. And versus, its past participle. To turn. So, yeah, how about turning towards, rather than away from. Towards, not in defiance or dominance, but compassion, collaboration. Towards.

The etymology of versus is fraught with contradiction. I take that as a message towards being conciliatory, not conflictive.
In Latin, versus: turned toward or against
To turn, turn back, be turned, convert, transform, translate, be changed
Are we not changed through collaboration?
Cognates: Toward,  befall, fate, destiny,
What befalls one, literally. To turn, to bend
In Sanskrit, vartate: turns round, rolls
Turn round towards, bend, change, transform.

Are we not bendy, inclined, turning, flipping before landing, butter-side-up? Let your fate befall you. Turn towards it and transform!




Thank you, Sorry-Birds Ellen!

Speaking Sandwich

Guest post from Mr. Fixit. Many thanks!


Football coaches get paid obscene amounts of money. In an effort to justify their salaries (and maybe win more games), they talk about teaching selflessness and building cohesiveness. One coach has discovered the power of sandwiches in imparting these lessons.

According to news reports, first year Florida Gators coach Jim McElwain used sandwiches as bait to encourage players to drop by his office and chat. He mostly made peanut butter and jellies, but also grilled some cheese sandwiches.

One player who couldn’t resist was freshman receiver Antonio Callaway. McElwain made him feel at home by preparing PB&Js with the crust cut off, just the way the kid likes ’em. Callaway finished the season as the most productive freshman pass catcher in UF history, and the Gators exceeded expectations in McElwain’s first year, so the coach is likely to keep serving in-office sandwiches to his players. Hopefully they can enjoy the snacks with a glass of milk, not Gatorade.


GAINESVILLE | Weeks ago, it was discovered that Florida coach Jim McElwain routinely makes freshman wide receiver Antonio Callaway peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in is office, specifically without crust per the freshman’s liking.

Read on here.