Well the fact that it is now 84 degrees and only the 22nd of March can only mean one thing…I can’t keep wearing a jacket to hide my winter weight anymore without risking dehydration, being misidentified as Unabomber part deux or pulled into the back room of every store I go to and frisked for stolen merchandise. Yes dammit it’s that time of year again…it’s time to drop a couple pounds.
Normally this diet would start the end of April or the beginning of May here in New Hampshire…but with an unusually mild winter this year Mother Nature has seen fit to drag my ass out of hibernation mode and into that awful place called reality. This is a place I have always been comfortable in, if not happy with. I have always been what southerners like to call a “Biggin” (e.g…”he’s a Biggin!”) size.
So I have known diets to be part of my eating regimen all my life…or at least whenever I knew I had a date coming up. Thanks in part to genetics (and a steady diet of whatever the hell I want to eat) I’m of Acadian French, Scottish, English and Irish descent or what people around here lovingly call…a swamp Yankee.
To be kind I have descended from a hearty stock of people who were not known for their mad basketball or 100 meter freestyle swimming skills…but rather their ability to survive in cold mountainous terrain with little but a sheep’s stomach filled with bits of this and that while simultaneously being able to take more pain, and inflict more punishment on people trying to steal their parcel of rocky untillable land.
To these people having un unnecessarily long or lanky body meant there were more places you had to protect from a sharp instrument of death or at the very least bodily harm. To say I’m stocky might be an overstatement…Ok I’m basically built like a brick standing on end. So a few extra pounds added to my rather rectangular frame in the summer are not flattering but rather… fattering.
Anyway, this is the time of year I will put down the pot au feu and pick up salads and sandwiches, light on meat, heavy on the vegetables. And since I wrote my cynical piece on locavores I have taken a step back and decided that if it is at all possible to eat locally sourced produce I would. I can be a smart ass all I want, but the fact that I could eat something of better quality, and support my local economy seems like a win win to me.
So yesterday I decided I would try my new way of thinking about food with a nice sandwich. I had eaten at this particular restaurant several times before but was always disappointed. Armed with my new food ethos, I just knew my fortunes here were about to change. “Yup?” This was the fabulous greeting I received, and already I was excited. With this kind of enthusiasm, how could I possibly get a bad sandwich?!
Besides that I was ordering a vegetarian sandwich which means that their awful meat’s services (Which could aptly be described as approaching that of pressed gerbil or smoked guinea pig meat, but of lower quality so as to be fair to the noble hardworking gerbil and guinea pig) would not be required.
Yeah, I’m gonna have a wheat grinder roll with just vegetables. (“grinder” to recap… is what Subs, Heroes and Hoagies are called here in hee haw hell) “What size do you want?” What sizes do you have? With all the strength, energy and pizazz he could muster, and with what looked like an homage to those models on “The Price is Right”.
You know these bubble heads, they put on a fake captain’s hat with the low cut, tight fitting barely covering their Nah Nah nautical outfit and stand on the sailboat you could win doing the ahoy matey look to each other, and then slowly wave their hand over the poop deck with their palm facing out…as if you would have no idea what it is a boat does, or even is. (Truth is, I’d buy one of these boat contraptions if it came fully equipped with a pair of these…but I digress) Anyway, he slowly did the wave towards the two sizes of rolls they offered. I told him I would like the big one.
Taking the roll and cutting it with laser like precision and in less than five minutes, he passed the now gaping roll onto the next person whom I can only assume was a serious craftsperson or even an artist…and his canvas, was a butterflied wheat roll. This mighty man of sandwich toppings would have his work cut out for him today however, as I was going local…and I was sticking to my guns. “Whatta you want on it?” This was the first volley, fired at me with pinpoint accuracy. With equally deadly precision and no hesitation I shot right back at him…Hmmmmmm.
I said the lettuce looks great, to this he picked some up and added it to the sandwich…I said, is it local? “Huh?” I could tell this was a question of serious weight for the young lad and he carefully weighed his responses…”Whatta ya mean?” I said, is it from a farm near here? “Uh, no?” This guy was sharp and on his toes…I could see he had a keen intellect and enjoyed the mental sparring that was taking place. I said well, no then… I don’t want it. To this he proceeded to dump the lettuce back into the lettuce insert from atop the lettuce laden roll.
The tomatoes you have look decent. “Do you want tomatoes?” Are they local? “I don’t think so.” Then no. How about the black olives, are they local? “I don’t think so, they’re from a can.” I said, well I don’t recall seeing a canning plant or olive trees on the way here so you’re probably right. The onions… are they local? “No, I’m pretty sure they aren’t.” Well what kind are they? “I think the white kind.” I see…the always yummy white kind…well what do you have that’s local for produce? “What’s produce?!” Produce is the stuff you’re putting on the sandwiches minus the meats, cheese and dressings. “Oh..uh…nothing?” Well tell me this…is any of it organic? “Uh…” You know what, never mind.
“Do you want cheese on it?” I said sure, is that Swiss made locally? “Uh, I think it’s from Canada.” Well, who would know Swiss cheese better than Canadians right…hahaha. “Whatta ya mean?” Oh boy…you know what, the Cheddar… is it Vermont cheddar? “I’m not sure, do you want me to call somebody and ask?” I said no, that’s fine I’d hate to put you out just for me… the customer. “Ok, good” was his response… I was really starting to like this kid, or feel sorry for him not sure which.
“Do you want any mayo, mustard, oil or salt and pepper?” Wow, he was really going for this so I obliged him and said well as I’m trying to drop a few pounds, I think I’ll skip the condiments and just a little salt and pepper please. He shook it on the naked roll and asked if there would be anything else. “I can toast it if you like?’ I thought this might enhance the tastiness, but at the risk of drying out what had in my previous experiences been an already too dry roll I declined his offer. I ordered a diet soda and watched him wrap my sandwich which I took immediately to the table and unwrapped so it would be at its peak of freshness.
I got my soda and asked for an additional napkin as I assumed this would be messy. (It turned out not to be) The roll was nicely seasoned but a lot on the dry side. I can only assume the little moistness it did have was from the lettuce that was accidentally laid on it. The filling to bread ratio was a bit lopsided tipping in the roll’s favor. But all in all it was borderline amazing compared to every other sandwich I had ever had at this restaurant. In my humble opinion this particular sandwich should be their marquee sandwich. No messy melty cheese, no hamster meat and no pre sliced produce with artificial colors or flavors (yeah I just said that…look it up) from every far flung corner of the planet to mask what is undoubtedly their best sandwich…all this goodness for only five dollars plus the cost of a drink, I feel like I’m robbing the place!
I would pay double for this sandwich just for the ease of eating it. I mean really, from a meat standpoint it’s on par with the amount you would actually get in any of their other meat centric sandwiches. This sandwich is better however as it has the ancillary benefit of the consumer not actually having to remove the meat by hand due to its “suck factor”. (And by suck factor I mean…how badly it actually sucks) Slimy tomatoes and cucumbers never have to be removed, and the flavorless sliced black olives never have to be flown in from…well wherever flavorless black olives grow.
Near as I can tell the only thing this “Pavwich” would slow down is the production speed…well what with the give and take of banter between the customer and the “Artist.” It would make for a more personally rewarding experience on a human level, but there are some patrons who may not enjoy this same symbiotic relationship I am fulfilled by. Let’s just call that one a wash.
Price point like I said was a great value although I think seven dollars might be fairer just for the entertainment value added to “the experience.” Come to think of it, maybe they could take a page out of “Dick’s Last Resort Bar in Boston” and as soon as you walk through the door have one or more staff members tell you to go F#@k yourself… maybe cut off an article of your clothing for good measure…they could then charge more for nearly everything.
All in all I was floored by how good everything was, and the smell of cleaning fluid sprayed on the table next to me while I ate, only seemed to enhance the flavor. I was only able to eat half of my sandwich, but you can bet I’ll be taking the rest home. I’ll finish it while writing my review of this restaurant that apparently has turned things around to the point I feel I can give a stunning recommendation to you good, kind and fair people.
Fear not my friends for you don’t have to travel to New Hampshire for this amazing “Pavwich”. (I think I’ll write them and see if we can’t get this sandwich named after me so until then let’s just say this is copyrighted) I have personally seen these located in other states but had no idea how good they could be until now.
Get off your butt and run, don’t walk to the nearest Subway restaurant. Hell you can even drive to some and get gas along with a carton of Marlboro’s and a pound of beef jerky at the same time! Ask for the Pavwich (give that a week or two) and then drop me a line. I’ll go ahead and give you a great big YOU ARE WELCOME… right here and now. Oh, and when you are at the counter at your local Go-Go Mart/Subway retailer, go ahead and get us a lotto ticket…If we win, I promise I’ll give you your dollar…If we don’t win…I’ll get you The Cat’s cell number…but be careful as he’s been to Dick’s Last Resort Bar lots of times…He’s picked up a few things in the potty mouth department!