(Let me just preface this post by saying that I go through more PB&Js in a day than a daycare full of 4-year-olds goes through in a week and love all sandwiches almost equally. Disclaimer: I also obviously have a strong New Orleans bias.)
It really takes a lot for me to crawl out of my non-blogging hole, but this issue is pressing enough that I’ve taken it upon myself to publicly address it.
Last night, I was actively watching Letterman clips on YouTube while passively watching Genevieve renovate her house and be the bougie bitch that she is and I ended up at the recent one where Jason Segel and Dave talk about burritos, sandwiches, and the secrets to maximizing your Mexican restaurant experience. Maybe also other things, but I can’t remember any of them and they’re irrelevant to this post anyway.
His list was so bad that I have no idea how it didn’t spark yet another massive controversy. Jason Segel was like “Top 5 best sandwiches…” or whatever and I was like “Yesss, this is going to be the best list ever…” but I think I was too influenced by the fictional characters of Nick Andopolis and that guy he played in Knocked Up and the guy he played in I Love You, Man (they all seem like they would thoroughly have their sandwich priorities straight, right?) because the list actually sucked. I think this was the moment I realized that celebrities are real and flawed people just like the rest of us.
The top 5 best sandwiches, according to Jason Segel:
– Tuna Melt
– Grilled Cheese
(I didn’t number them because I don’t know if he was counting down or up)
The only thing that we agree on is the Reuben. While I truly enjoy all of those other ones wholeheartedly, are they the top 5 best sandwiches of all time ever? Fuck no. When have you ever eaten a tuna melt and been like “This is all I want to eat every day for the rest of my life”…? I guess it’s possible that I’ve just been eating all the wrong tuna melts for my entire life, but I doubt it.
The real top 5 best sandwiches:
2) Pulled Pork
4) Philly Cheesesteak
5) Avocado/Chickpea Salad Melt*
I wanted to add the caprese, but felt like the list wouldn’t be well-rounded with two Italian-based offerings.
Also, I didn’t add any po boys because we already had the muffuletta representing New Orleans. I also didn’t add the bahn mi because we eat so many of those here, too (and also you can’t have a well-rounded list with two pork sandwiches either). But, really, I can list no less than 5,000 sandwiches that New Orleans does damn well that are better than the ones Jason Segel picked.
Let me also just say that I did unfortunately pick cheesesteaks over Primanti’s (I’m so sorry to 50% of the people whom I love for that… it’s the only thing that Philly does better than Pittsburgh… but rest assured that I am well aware that the rest of the “comparable” things aren’t even close). And also that there’s a damn legit cheesesteak place in New Orleans, too. Did I move here for the sandwiches? I might have moved here for the sandwiches…
It also hurts to have left off the beef on weck (because roast beef and horseradish… duh) and the spiedie. I apologize to any of my WNY homies who feel that I’ve forsaken so much of my youth and upbringing.
I want to list like 800 other things that could have acceptably made Jason Segel’s list, but the point of this was just to list the real top 5 and express my disappointment. Now that I’ve said what I needed to say to explain my choices and keep people from raging against my list like I am against his, there’s nothing really left to discuss and to drag this out would be pointless.
To conclude, everyone who’s ever eaten a sandwich knows more about sandwiches than Jason Segel. But I don’t have anything against the guy. Anyone who cares enough about the Muppets to make a Muppet movie is automatically worthy of being admitted to my inner circle of well-respected people. I just think that his sandwich appreciation is lacking.
I am all about simplicity. Henry David Thoreau your life in all areas. Except when it comes to sandwiches. Don’t settle for a BLT. While delicious, you can do better.
*Recipe, sourced from various sources and compiled/improvised/perfected by me: 2 avocados, 1 can of chickpeas (or whatever the dried bulk equivalent is… and obviously rinse them first if you use the canned ones), 1/2 of a medium onion or so (finely chopped), some cilantro, a little pepper to taste, and a squirt of lime juice to taste (and a little salt if you didn’t use the canned variety of chickpeas). Mash that together ’til it’s smoothish and creamy (it’s okay if some of the chickpeas don’t get mashed… shit happens and 99% of the time you’re hungry and gotta eat ASAP). Spread that on one side each of two slices of bread (I use pumpernickel a lot bc it is obviously the best bread). On one slice, add some shredded cheese (preferably the Mexican blend kind w/ like cheddar and asadero and whatnot). Keep them separated and toast them in a toaster oven or a real oven until the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted. Squirt a spiral or zig-zag of Sriracha (NO OTHER PATTERNS WILL DO) on the cheesed side and add a couple tomato slices on the non-Sriracha-ed/non-cheesed side. Put the cheesed/Sriracha-ed side on top of the tomato-ed side and squish them together slightly. Cut in half diagonally. Bite. Chew. Feel like the sweet songs of angels on the inside (or the Tommy James and the Shondells Pandora station if you’re non-religious). Swallow. Repeat. If you’re not sold, look at this pic.