Category Archives: Sandwich Joints

Into the Wild-ish in Search of Our Sandwich Tribe

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I heard it there first, at work for the Washingtonian, wrangling sandwiches in their boardroom. Community carries a first-rate club. So off we set, Did-You-Know-She’s-Canadian Michelle and I, across the river on a Saturday sandwich safari.


Community’s dining room is attractive. Flawlessly so. Set down, whole plaid cloth.

She took our order and was calm. We liked her and she seemed happy to be there communing with the customers.


Nice wich. Well done. #notaclub


So well done that it got me thinking. Is community formed gradually, or can it be sprung wholecloth? Is it created by a flawed journey, with as much to disdain and dislike as to admire and adore? Yes, I think so.


The food was good. The name – Community – set my standards beyond capability for an establishment sans histoire. Or for any establishment. Community is deeply personal. With proper fairy dust, instant, although rare. More likely it takes time, weathering, fits and starts, adaptation.


Michelle and I are community. The dictionary term is shockingly dry so I am upping the ante to include the sharing of sandwiches. The tip of the toast point. Venture down to find the sharing of stories, theories, flights and fancies.



I wonder, has Community attracted a community? Is there such a thing as a regular anymore? We need to go there first thing in the morning and see if we can find tables of codgers drinking coffee and joking with the waitresses.


Should you exit without satisfaction, there is a donut window. Or perhaps you have arrived without satisfaction. There is a donut window. Find your community in a sugar rush. It’s brief. It will tide you over till the real thing.



Reliable Source – Drive North – Poughkeepsie!

The Imports Mix, a “house favorite panini.” The anticipation triggered by the oil-soaked paper is almost as pleasurable as the eating. Almost.


My main sandwich man in New York nailed it once again, this time a bit north of his usual beat, sending me to Poughkeepsie on sandwich intel. He heard it from a guy, who heard it from a guy. Thank you, MMSMINY, once again, for steering me right.

When Rosticceria Rossi and Sons made their debut in 1979,  I was graduating from the Culinary Institute of America and packing up my apartment just blocks away. Poughkeepsie’s historic Italian neighborhood – the Mount Carmel District – was home, at the time, to several bakeries, but no rosticceria’s. Rossi’s fills that gap with gusto.

Just a couple blocks off the Mid-Hudson Bridge, Poughkeepsie’s  Little Italy hugs the river and feels cozy, tight knit and secluded. Give the wheel a hard pull and there you are. Your own private Italy.

Head to the back to order a sandwich, then browse the packed shelves and cases, drinking in the scents, while the strapping sandwich man loads your focaccia or ciabatta with prosciutto, sopressata, copper, olive salad, “spicy sauce”, arugula, whatever your pleasure. Giant pork roasts lounge in wait. Roasted peppers are mounded high, slick with olive oil.

Time simultaneously marches on and pauses in the Mount Carmel District. While Rossi’s is newish for this hood, the Caffe Aurora, opened in 1941, remains unchanged, at least since 1979 when I was last in. The potted palms flourish, the cookies abound, the air of quiet anticipation is deep and velvety yet. Espresso and cannoli for old time’s sake. And new.

Later the same day, on the grass, the majestic Hudson gliding by, I sank into my panini and sighed. Mmdemmlimmcious…


Come On and Safari with Me

On a Happy-Global-Warming-the-Daffodils-are-Blooming-in-February kinda Saturday we dropped the teenager at Katsucon and beelined it for 9th Street. The buzz did not do Smoked and Stacked justice. No, it did not. Our city sandwich safari was smokin’ hot and stacked in our favor. And yow, did we eat! Chef Marjorie Meek-Bradley has done a good thing by DC, creating a lunch encounter deluxe. screen-shot-2017-02-19-at-8-24-20-am


Is pastrami not the king of cured meat? Do not answer that. We all have our prejudices. Is pastrami fat not the lily that gilds? Do not answer that either unless you are nodding vigorously. Maple-Leaf-Michelle did not feel the fat so much, but I like its effect on my lips. Slippery and porky and flavor-laden, it is the grease that wheels the sandwich. Pastrami and pork fat are unquestionably in Chef Meeks-Bradley’s wheelhouse.

After Smoked and Stacked, if you have the time, cross the street and duck down Blagden Alley to Colombe Coffee, the lights above the coffee-swilling beasts below. Any proper expedition deserves a cortado capper.


The Grace of 46

Forty-six is a Wedderburn-Etherington number, an enneagonal number and a centered triangular number. It is the sum of the totient function for the first twelve integers. 46 is the largest even integer that can not be expressed as a sum of two abundant numbers.

46 is the 16th semiprime.

46 is a beautiful number. 

46 is the number of high peaks in the Adirondacks.  Grace Peak, Sawteeth, Gothics, Gray, poetic names, each peak has one.


46 Sandwiches in the Adirondacks


46 thanks to Karen Barry Schwarz and Reuben Jackson for the sandwich missive. Lucky ducks they both near to the Adirondacks. I’m just a mere 512 miles. Meet me for a sandwich, Karen and Reuben, yes? Stand on a peak, drink in the air, raise your face to the sky, unwrap your sandwich. Lunch. Encounter it!

Do You Know From Joe?

The New Jersey Sloppy Joe, that is. If you are drawing a blank, please read MMSMINY’s Skinny on the Joe before scrolling even a teensy bit. Click on the link. I promise you will be glad. It will save you a lot of headscratching and me a lot of sammysplaining. When James speaks, one is wise to listen. James knows the Joe, is not afraid of words and does not waste them. Plain speak and essential. He’s gifted that way.

Knowing about the Joe makes me excited about life in general. That is the power of a spectacular sandwich.

This was my maiden voyage to the Milburn Deli. Here’s my bucket list:

  1. Have a Joe at the Milburn Deli.


Do you know from MMSMINY? My Main Sandwich Man in New York is the inimitable James Farber, a man who has stayed successfully under the internet radar until…now. Sorry James. Sandwiches will put a person in  the spotlight. James’ phone numbers, SSN, mother’s maiden name and routing numbers are all below. Sorry James. Thanks, Obama.


I know from Joe now and can dish on its squish. A Joe is wet. At the Milburn the bread is very thin and firm, and there are three slices. They used to butter it, but no longer, unless requested. Personally, I think butter would take this sandwich from spectacular to stellar. We did not have butter, but I will next time. I like butter on  a sandwich, especially cold butter. Most folks do not, and that  is a-ok. The Joe is a stand out, butterless. Miraculously, the bread is not soggy.

Cole slaw is all over the place on a Joe. Between the layers, spilling out on the paper, on your hands, in your lap. If you start with a napkin, you will need a mess of em. What do you mean, you don’t like cole slaw? Speaking of head scratchers. It’s the mayonnaise,  you  say? No, say it ain’t so.

Are you a control freak? To find out, answer these questions.

When someone claims to dislike mayonnaise do you

  1.  Think that they do not know what they are talking about?
  2. Believe that they really do like mayonnaise but are unwilling to admit it?
  3. Think they are out of their minds?
  4. Feel sorry for them?

If you answered yes to any of the questions you are a control freak.

At the Milburn they make their own iced tea. And bottle it. Plain labels. Love me a plain label. Love me a plain anything. Anything that does not scream in your face. “Unsweetened Iced Tea” says it all. Succinctly. It tasted just right. Plain. No need to brag. Super cold, too.

James and I were at the Milburn Deli on a hot Thursday and we sat outside to accommodate my dog. At James’s insistence I did peek my head inside to absorb the atmosphere. Mayhem! Correction: orderly mayhem. Sandwiches flying out the door in  giant brown bags. These Jersey folks are on to something.

The Joe. Unleashed. I’m ALL in.




To To To Toronto


For spring break we went north. Yes, north. We had no problem finding flights and accomodations. Big surprise. Not. The skies in Toronto were grey or they rained ice. “Another perfect day for a museum,”said I. “It’s always a perfect day for a museum,” said Teddy.

Have you mentioned Canadian bacon to anyone Canadian, or virtually Canadian, such as a Buffaloan? Wait for it…. The “Oh brother” face. People, get with it. The thing to eat is peameal bacon. That’s right. Pea. Meal. Oh mother, is it good.


IMG_7236First stop after dropping our bags, the St. Lawrence Market for a peameal bacon sandwich on a soft country bun.


We browsed the goods, pretending to be natives. Wishing to be natives. Toronto is the total package. Smart, fun and sexy.


It’s plain. I like plain. Perhaps because it is less taxing on the brain. Meat, bread, butter. See it, taste it, know it.


Know what else? There is no hiding or fake-outs when food is plain. Either it’s good or it’s not. No poking around through the ruby amaranth, confit Romenesco and rice syrup gastrique to be sure that this is ACTUALLY WHAT YOU ORDERED.


Wanna make it yourself? Here’s how. Cheaper than airfare, I grant you that, but lacking the panache of a trip to the St. Lawrence Market. In a pinch, homemade, on a plane, Toronton. I’d do it again any day. As I said, Toronto is the whole package. We are peameal insider wanna-bes.

Alive and Living, Justin Bruegenhemke

Live from St. Louis, it’s living legend, Justin Bruegenhemke! A person could do worse – St. Lou is a stupendous sandwich town, home to stellar originals. It’s a solid town, solidly in the middle of the country. If there is going to be a king of the Hill, there must be a hill, and the hill must be strongly built. So when in St. Lou fortify oneself, with a sandwich from the Hill.

Screen Shot 2016-03-13 at 9.45.14 AMWhen we first caught up with Justin Bruegenhemke in September, he was 100 sandwiches into his goal of eating through the sandwich menus at all nine delicatessens and sandwich shops on The Hill. This past Saturday, January 16, at approximately 11:22 a.m. Central Standard Time, Bruegenhemke officially completed his Hill Topper project with the consumption of the Hogfather sandwich (hot salami, bacon and hot coppa on garlic cheese bread) at Gioia’s Deli.

Read on here.


Thank you, Morsty, lapsed St. Louan. Hope to meetcha there someday for a wich er two.