Thursday, October 10, 2013


Look, I don’t make this stuff up, I just observe, snicker and report back.   This week’s New Yorker asks, apparently in all seriousness,  “Has there ever been a better time to eat a sandwich?”  It’s in the Table for Two column, and it’s the opening line of a review of two Brooklyn establishments; Glady’s in Franklin Avenue, and the Court Street Grocers Hero Shop in Sullivan Street.

The hero place sounds just fine and that’s their nicely low-tech sign above, but Glady’s sounds like one helluva place.  The review recommends you start with a “custom cocktail” (aren’t all cocktails custom?) such as the Greenwich Sour: “flush with bourbon, lemon, Cointreau and Lumbrusco” (yep, really – flush indeed), followed by a bowl of pickled beet, radish, fennel, egg, and lamb pastrami with peach mostarda; then – and only then - it’s time for the sandwich.  They recommend the Brocc’Obama: grilled broccoli and ricotta, with collard greens and mustard vinaigrette on “squishy flauta bread.”  Has there ever been a better time to cry “enough already”?

Here’s a picture from the Glady’s website; it shows a sandwich but they don’t say what’s in it.

Such high fallutin jiggery-pokery reminds me of one of my favorite sandwich scenes.  It comes from The Odd Couple, the movie version with Jack Lemon and Walter Matthau, rather than the TV series, and of course it was a stage play before that.

Oscar Madison (Matthau) is playing poker with his buddies, and Neil Simon’s dialogue runs like this:

Oscar: I'm in for a quarter.
Murray: Aren't you going to look at your cards first?
Oscar: What for? I'm gonna bluff anyway. Who gets a Pepsi?
Murray: I get a Pepsi. 
Oscar: My friend Murray the policeman gets a warm Pepsi.
Roy: You still didn't fix the refrigerator. It's been two weeks now - no wonder it stinks in here.
Oscar: Temper, temper. If I wanted nagging, I'd go back with my wife. I'm out. Who wants food?
Murray: What do you got?
Oscar: I got, uh, brown sandwiches and, uh, green sandwiches. Which one do you want?
Murray: What's the green?
Oscar: It's either very new cheese or very old meat.
Murray: I'll take the brown.
[Oscar hands Murray a sandwich which Murray starts wolfing down]
Roy: Are you crazy? You're not going to eat that, are you?
Murray: I'm hungry!
Roy: His refrigerator has been out of order for two weeks now. I saw milk standing in there that wasn't even in the bottle!
Oscar: What are you, some kind of health nut? Eat, Murray, eat!

Ah, they don’t make sandwiches like that anymore.  Although actually I suspect that despite all the gentrification, there are places in Brooklyn where they still do.


  1. This is probably not the response you were hoping for, but it's interesting to me that you say "in" Franklin Avenue/"in" Sullivan Street (as opposed to the "on" I would instinctively use) must be a US/UK distinction.

    To keep things topical, here is little manifesto I once wrote on sandwiches (spoiler: I don't like them):

    1. Ooh Michelle - perhaps the most controversial post ever on this blog. But what about the BLT? There is something magical (alchemical?) about those ingredients together on bread that isn't there if you ate them separately without bread, no? I suspect you'll say no.

  2. Unlike Ms. Humes above, I like sandwiches, but I never understood the BLT. The architecure of smushed bacon yields very empty feelings inside me after every bite. My life is vapid enough as it is, I don't need sandwiches that lack core substance.

    1. I'm sure it's all to do with childhood angst - but when I'm feeling really, really down, nothing comforts me as much as a bacon sandwich - I don't need the L or the T - but I do like to have HP brown sauce - A1 would be the American equivalent. I know it's not gourmet but it triggers something very deep.