I haven’t met very many bodybuilders in my life, and the ones I’ve met have been mostly female. I’d always assumed that bodybuilders lived on protein shakes and steroids, but one of them told me she did just fine by eating a lot of baked potatoes. She wasn’t very keen on sandwiches or burgers however. But you know, it does always strike me that there’s something roasted and crisped up about bodybuilders’ flesh, like you could sink your teeth right into it.
For reasons I can’t completely fathom, I was reminded of this when I had lunch at Marcona, a newish sandwich place on Melrose Boulevard, run by Collier Ulrich, and Matthew Moss is the chef. Mr. U. was there at the till taking orders and making change. They’d run out of the pulled pork, so I had a Spanish Gyro. It looked like this:
It confused me at first. It looked like just a pile of arugula on pita. Where was the flesh I could sink my teeth right into? But a little excavation revealed a terrific sausage, actually a Spanish merguez, hunkered down underneath the greenery. The menu says that sheep’s milk yogurt, piquillos, arugula, and cucumber are also involved. A piquillo, I learn, is a small Spanish red pepper: the name means “little beak.” A good 36 hours after I’d eaten this, the Loved One sniffed my flesh, and said, “When did you last have garlic?” It was somehow very satisfying to tell her it was 36 hours ago.