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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Sandwich Week: Tuesday

A lot of people like to separate their food portions when they eat.

Some people, like Bruce, are adamant that the potatoes not touch his meat nor gravy touch his salad. Other people basically pile everything on top. A lot of these people are chefs. Others are just sick and twisted. And some of these people may be reading this now. If so, I know a sandwich place you might like.

It's called Giordano Brothers and it has been around on Columbus for the past year or so. Apparently it's a regional specialty in certain hoods in Pittsburgh to pile everything, I mean everything, onto your sandwich. The sandwiches and atmosphere of Giordano Brothers attempts to capture that Pittsburgh essence with the style of these "all-in-one" sandwiches and photos of Pittsburgh Steelers football players on the walls.

The interior aesthetics of the place is modern with leather cushions, cute little (but tall) rotund black tables and their accompanying stools. The walls are rich earth tones with...who gives a fuck?! I'm here to eat a sandwich, ok!

However. (Clears throat)

Regarding interior design, I will mention this: nothing irritates me more than to walk into an eating establishment that has three (3!) televisions on, plus music playing over the speakers.

What the hell? All-in-one media blitz and sandwiches?

Thank God for TV-B-Gone! Unfortunately I was sitting at a bad angle; eventually I gave up. As it was, I just sat near the front and people-watched.

I ordered the pastrami all-in-one from a list of meats to choose from. Each sandwich includes 2 slices of thick white bread, provolone cheese, fries, shredded lettuce ("cole slaw") with an oil, vinegar, and pepper dressing, plus your choice of meat.

Before I go any further, I'd like to say that I was happy to see them actually cut the fries from *real potatoes* and then deep-fry them. I know in an age of In-N-Out Burger, cutting your own fries to order may not be so novel, but it still rates high in my book.

Here's what I thought of the sandwich.

The bread was thick and soft and pretty good sandwich bread. The fries were light and unsalted. The "cole slaw" had a good strong olive oil and pepper flavor. And the pastrami was hot and quality pastrami. In fact, each ingredient was very good…on it's own.

But in the war between the food segregationists and the food integrationists, I would have to hand this battle over to the segregators. While the ingredients tasted fine on their own, thrown together they muffled each other. The combo of the thick white bread and the fries was carb overkill, while the pastrami lay prostrate underneath the dogpile of ingredients. Eventually, the "mouth feel" of it all felt like I was gorging and literally stuffing my face. Which is weird, because just yesterday I had the hotdog that was also piled on with ingredients, so much so you couldn't really tell you were eating a hotdog at first. Yet, this sandwich was different.

Maybe I'm just not into the whole French fries on sandwiches thing. Maybe it's just that on their own, the ingredients are good, but not assertive enough to make a great sandwich.

In fact, I'm just going to say what I feel: At best this is carny food trying to cross the tracks. Otherwise it's a damn good reason to go Atkins.

Giordano Bros.
Pastrami All-In-One Sandwich / $7.30
303 Columbus Ave.
San Francisco



Blogger miz_ginevra said...

a friend of mine plays live jazz gigs there on weekends, so imagine live music in the front corner, televisions on, and the crowds of north beach going past. a dogpile, indeed.

but I still like it there, it can be fun when you're in the mood for a dogpile.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the tv's are on to allow customers to watch a game or two while they enjoy the incredibly tasty sandwiches there. the tv's are not on when a band is playing. don't know why you had such a bad experience there --- it's one of my favorite places to eat/drink and hang out.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Bacon Press said...

I didn't have a bad experience there.

I liked the folks working. I liked the ambiance (minus the TVs). I like the open space towards the front.

I just didn't like the sandwich.

I just didn't like the clamor.

But like I said, some folks do like piling on their food, as well as ambiance, and if that applies to you, her, him, or whoever, then please empower yourself.

I still have my TV-B-Gone, poised and ready to strike like a cobra.


10:05 PM  

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