WARNING: Don't go any further if you're on a diet!
LUCY BURDETTE: Gosh there’s been so much bad and scary news in the world, that I’ve had trouble thinking of something we might blog about. The one thing that kept sticking in my head is a sandwich I ate last week—as research, of course. I hadn’t intended to order a mango-jalapeno hot dog at Garbo’s Grill. We went for the shrimp burrito and the fish tacos. But while we were waiting to order, I saw a dog getting carried off—wrapped in bacon, layered with ripe yellow mango, and green peppers, and zig-zagged with the food truck’s special Caribbean sauce. “Hayley Snow would insist on trying that,” I told John, and he agreed. And so we ordered it too.
I’ve had a lot of good sandwiches in my life—Cuban mix in Key West, North Carolina barbecue with Molly Weston, meatball hoagies from my home town deli in New Jersey, to name a few—but this dog went right into the sandwich Hall of Fame. So Reds, if you could nominate one sandwich for that honor, what would it be? and do you remember where and when you ate it?
RHYS BOWEN: I'm not a fan of the huge, thick, multi-item sandwich that won't fit in my mouth and usually ends up down my front. But I do love bruschetta. And Barbara Peters introduced me to the best bruschetta I have ever tasted at Postino's in Phoenix. You choose your toppings from a long list: mine always include the hot artichoke spread, the smoked salmon, the brie, apple and fig jam and the sheep's cheese with tomato jam. The bread is fabulous (and so is the gluten free bread they serve) and the plate is just right for sharing. My perfect mid-day meal with a friend.
HALLIE EPHRON: OMG Rhys that sounds fabulous. I'll BE in Phoenix April 14 and I'm going to have to get over there.
I confess to quotidian sandwich favorites: a really good hot dog slathered in mustard and loaded down with sauerkraut; multigrain toast with Peter Pan peanut butter and real (seeded) raspberry jam; a BLT (fresh tomatoes, lots of mayo, Oscar Mayer bacon crisp crisp crisp) on white toast. I often eat an open-faced breakfast sandwich: multigrain toast, whipped cream cheese, and smoked trout.
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: I'm going to represent Maine with the best sandwich of all, the lobster roll. It may also be the simplest: chunks o' boiled lobster meat, a little mayo, and a fluffy white hot dog bun. The thing that makes a lobster roll great, though, isn't just the ingredients. Sure, anytime you can eat a quarter or half pound of lobster without having to deal with claw crackers and drippy salt water is great. But the fourth secret ingredient is the Maine coast. You should always eat a lobster roll in summer, preferably on a sunny day, in sight of the gray rocks and blue water of the Atlantic. Weathered docks leading to boats moored along the Androscoggin or Kennebec rivers can be substituted for the coast, if necessary.
Red's in Wiscasset is widely acclaimed to have the best lobster rolls in Maine, but my favorite is The Lobster Shack at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth. Bundle up, because the wind blowing across the picnic tables comes straight off the Gulf of Maine. Admire the light house that inspired Edward Hopper and the great tumbled rocks that inspired Winslow Homer, while eating one-handed (the other hand is to fend off the gulls.)
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: I'm a BLT girl, through and through. Basic BLT, B, L, T, and mayo, on white toast. Now, add avocado. YUM. Add turkey. Yum. Wait, that makes me a club sandwich girl. Another special treat (i'm easy to please) is turkey and cheddar and l/t with honey mustard on whole grain. That is perfect. OH! Tuna salad! With tomatoes, on pumpernickel toast. Ah. Sandwiches. A very sweet way to count blessings when the world is so sad right now.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: I'm not much of a sandwich girl. In fact, I'm famous (on infamous) in my family for picking sandwiches apart--tearing off chunks of bread to get to the good stuff. But, like Rhys, I adore bruschetta, especially made on very holey ciabatta. Yum. And I do like a really good BLT. I'll add avocado, but, Hank, leave off the turkey! It spoils the whole crispy bacon/juicy tomato thing. And Julia, I've never had a lobster roll, but I don't think it would take much to win me over!
Reds, would you like to nominate a sandwich in your life to the sandwich Hall of Fame?