Tag Archives: sandwiches

Beyond my wildest dreams

I want to paint my house bright green. Neon green. But just talking about it, I’ve already ruined it. This can’t be something planned. I just want to get up out of this chair, go to the Home Depot, have them mix me up a bunch of cans of the most fluorescent green anybody’s ever seen, and then I want to come home and start painting. I don’t want to have to ask my wife’s permission, or look up on the Internet how you’re supposed to go about painting a house, OK, I want this project done by the end of the day. I just want to take a wild impulse and run with it all the way to the end, straight off a neon green cliff.


OK, I want to take out a thousand dollars in cash, buy a bunch of sandwiches, hop on my bike and just start riding west. No, I won’t know where I’m going, OK, and I’m not bringing my cell phone either, so don’t think I’m going to wimp out once it starts getting dark out, looking for directions home, asking somebody to drive out and give me a ride back to town. No, no plans, nothing thought out. That’s what the thousand dollars is going to be for, I’ll have my money do all of the thinking for me. Like, where am I going to sleep? I don’t know, I’ll buy a really small tent, something I can put in my backpack, next to my sandwiches. I’ll camp out wherever. Just straight out west.

I want one of those long jobs at sea on a freighter, all right, and I don’t want to join any union or train for any certain position. No, I want to be right at the docks, I’ll already have the perfect seaman’s beard, I’ll have everything that I need, ready to go, the ship’s going to be ready to drift out of the port, I’m just going to hop on with the rest of the crew, right, I’ll blend right in. I’ll do like they do, swabbing the deck, I’ll jump in the kitchen at dinnertime and start chopping vegetables, making a nice stew for the crew. Maybe they’ll catch on eventually that I’m a stowaway, but by then I’ll have earned my spot. Sure, they’re not paying me anything, but by this point I’ll have a totally self-sufficient life, just sailing, eating, more swabbing the deck, a real marine life for me.

What I really want though is just to play a ton of video games. Like every time I go to a video game web site, all I hear about are all of these amazing games out, stuff I’ve never heard of, with fully immersive single-player stories, all backed up by massive online multiplayer fun. I don’t have enough time for video games. But that’s what I really want, nothing but time for XBOX and PlayStation. You’ll never find me in anything but pajamas. But it won’t be weird. Like when I order delivery from the diner, I won’t have to be ashamed to open the door looking like I haven’t been out of the house in weeks. I’ll just be like, “This is the best man, I am living the dream, all the time in the world to play all of the video games I want.” And the delivery guy is going to be like, “Yeah man, looks like you’ve really got it all.”

But that can’t be all there is to life. No, I’m still young enough to make something of myself physically. Wasn’t there a Disney movie about a guy in his fifties that became a rookie professional baseball player? I don’t know, all of those inspirational based-on-a-true-story movies kind of blend into each other after a while. But that’s what I’d really want to do with my life, if I could drop it all right now, I’d choose professional hockey player. Like, send me to hockey boot camp, get me hands-on training with the best hockey coaches in the world. I’ll give it my all, twenty-four seven, I’ll work like you’ve never seen anybody work before. I’m not looking to be a star, OK, but I’ve got to be of some value somewhere, a minor league franchise even, or somewhere in Russia. And then years from now they’ll make an inspirational Disney movie about me, and then an ice-capades meta-version of that movie.

I’m not asking for much out of life. Just the ability to dream. And then also the ability to wake up and make those dreams a reality. And I want them all, conflicting dreams, impulse dreams, I just want to do it, I just want somebody to give me all of these things. I want to be the first person to eat a thousand hot dogs in one sitting. You’ll see the Nathan’s Hot Dog championship scoreboard, it’ll be like 2012, some guy with 70. 2013, some other guy with 73. 2014, Rob G. with 1,000. 2015, some other guy with 75. And nobody’ll ever come close. I’ve just got to get out there and do it. I’m spending too much time sitting here writing about the life beyond my wildest dreams and not enough time actually making it happen. I’ve got to make it happen. All of it.

Food Truck Review: The Steel Cart

You’ve got to check out The Steel Cart, an insanely good food truck roaming about the streets of New York. Seriously, go there for lunch tomorrow, you know, if you live in New York City. Or, if you’re planning on traveling to New York in the future. That’s not too farfetched, right? I’m assuming I have a global audience. Would it be crazy to imagine people reading this review from some faraway land and planning a vacation based around what I’m about to write? I don’t think so. Maybe getting there by tomorrow might be out of the question for you out-of-towners. But seriously, no later than next week, because this place is getting big, and who knows how far that line’s going to be snaking around the block by this time two weeks from now?


Listen, you might be a little skeptical. “When did Rob turn into a food critic?” you might ask yourself. Which is a stupid question. I’ve reviewed tons of food already. I wrote about how much I loved Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos taco. One time I wrote about a day last summer when I ate thirty hot dogs in under an hour. Plus there’s this whole piece about how I like my steak medium-rare.

And I love food trucks. New York City has tons of food trucks. There’s this place by my house that makes some of the best falafel in the world. Oh yeah, I wrote about that also. See? I have tons of food critic experience. Well, maybe not tons, but handfuls. Let’s make those fistfuls. It sounds a little tougher, a little big more legitimate.

Back to The Steel Cart. Like I said, there are almost too many food trucks to choose from. And that’s what I was dealing with, that paradox of choice as I found myself running late for work one afternoon. I was desperately hungry for some lunch, but I only had like ten minutes to grab a bite without risking showing up late, my manager pointing his finger at me, “I told you that if you were late one more time that would be it!”

I couldn’t make a decision. It’s a food truck renaissance out there. You can get lobster rolls, artisanal donuts, Korean barbeque, and that’s not to mention the glut of regular boring chicken-and-rice food trucks taking up prime real estate on every other city block. The choices are endless. But I noticed The Steel Cart standing out from the rest of the pack. I’d never tried it before, but the menu looked pretty cool.


The Steel Cart did not disappoint. It was like a history-altering epiphany of flavor weaved into each bite. I’m talking about your standard fare, your sandwiches, your soups, but everything was done a little bit nicer, each plate assembled with just the right amount of artisanal craft. I tried their Bird of a Feather sandwich. If someone came up to me with a gun and told me to describe it in exactly three words, I’d quickly say, “It’s a chicken salad sandwich! Don’t shoot! Please!” And then the crazed gunman might say, “I said three words exactly!” and I’d be like, “That was three words. Chicken, salad, and sandwich,” but he’d say, “No, you also said ‘don’t shoot’ and all of that other stuff.” Click.


Luckily I’m not constrained by any specific word count, because it’s so much more than just regular chicken salad. As I took my first bite, I couldn’t even begin to pinpoint the onslaught of flavors jockeying for attention from my taste buds. The friendly trio manning the cart explained to me a little bit of what went into their creation: celery seed, agave, green apple slaw. It was so tasty that I couldn’t slow down my jaw to really appreciate each subtle flavor. So I ordered another one.

I actually wound up being really late for work, much later than I had ever been before. But I couldn’t help it. The sandwiches were so good. And these guys make Turkish coffee. They have their own custom kiln or whatever it is you call that copper pot used to brew an individual serving (I looked it up. It’s called an ibrik.) Luckily, I work for a restaurant, and just as my boss was about to give me the boot, I told him that I was out scouting for ideas from some of the local food trucks. He got this insane glint in his eye, like maybe he was going to go out there and steal all the good ideas from The Steel Cart. So when he asked me where, I pointed in the direction of some lame-o chicken-and-rice operation down the block. I can’t believe he bought it.

Go check out The Steel Cart. Sometimes they’re in Brooklyn, sometimes in Midtown Manhattan. Like most of these mobile operations, you kind of have to rely on good luck like I did, or you can follow them on Twitter and find out where they’ll be. It was great. I can’t wait to try out their other sandwiches. And hopefully they see this link, they read it, and they send me a box of sandwiches, just like Pepperidge Farm did when I wrote about how much I love Milanos.

I love mayonnaise: An ode to mayonnaise

I just had a sandwich for lunch. Two sandwiches. I’ve been using a lot of mayonnaise lately, on everything. Most people, when you start talking about mayo, they’ll be like, “Ew! I hate mayo! Gross!” which is crazy, because it’s so tasty, it’s oil and eggs, it’s the basis for like fifty percent of everything delicious that comes out of the supermarket.

I’m planning on having another sandwich, maybe tonight after I get home from work, maybe tomorrow for lunch. Maybe both. Probably both. I’ve got it all figured out. Sometimes I’ll make a spicy mayonnaise, like I’ll blend mayo and spices and peppers and mix it all up. It’s more like a dressing at that point. I think most salad dressings are basically just mayo with some stuff in it, which is why I never understand people at restaurants, they’ll be like, “I’ll have a burger. No mayo. I’d like it medium. Can you make sure they don’t put any mayo on that? And some fries. Again, I can’t stress enough how much I really don’t want any mayonnaise anywhere near my plate. Got it? Oh by the way, do you have ranch dressing? Yeah, I’ll take a gallon.”

Obviously I’m only talking about the creamy dressings. Not like vinaigrette. Creamy vinaigrette? I’ve never heard of it. I’m sure they sell it somewhere. I remember when I was a little kid we’d go over my grandparents’ house for dinner pretty regularly, and whereas at our house we had our own way of eating dinner, at my grandparents’ house, my grandma always made a big salad in a bowl and she gave out separate smaller wooden bowls just for that salad. And there would always be like twelve bottles of dressing to choose from.

My favorite was creamy Italian. It’s what I was describing earlier, I guess, some sort of a creamy vinaigrette. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe I’m not describing it right. But I’d add probably a handful of greens and tomatoes to the bowl before filling it to the brim with creamy Italian dressing. At this point, the few vegetables that actually made it to my plate were nothing more than a medium for me to eat as much dressing as possible. Creamy Italian was so good. On a side note, when you go to restaurants now, and you ask what kind of dressings they have, it’s never Italian anymore, it’s always vinaigrette, or just balsamic, which isn’t even complete, it’s just vinegar, and the vinaigrette, it doesn’t even have any mayo at all, like I already said.

I’ve tried making my own mayo from scratch. Yeah, it’s OK. It never comes out thick like store bought does. Man, I’m hungry just thinking about all of this mayo. But wait a second, I’m actually freaking out, I think I’ve accidentally stumbled across a repressed memory here. Oh my God, it’s a strong one, it’s coming through, yes, I can see it now, I’m at a deli somewhere on a road trip. I ask for a sandwich, extra mayo. I unwrap it and take a big bite, but something’s not right.

What’s that taste? And the texture, it feels kind of weird also, like what I imagine paint would feel like if I put it in my mouth by the spoonful. Did a whole colony of algae somehow make it onto my cold cuts? I raise my head up from my sandwich to ask the deli guy what’s wrong, but my mouth is glued shut. It’s horrible. I can’t chew anymore and there’s no way I’m going to be able to choke down an entire bite.

“What’s wrong?” the deli guy asks me, noticing that I’m visibly distressed, “Did I make your sandwich the wrong way? Did you want any more Miracle Whip? I put a lot on there just like you asked me.”

I spent the rest of the day puking my brains out. Miracle Whip. Gross. If there’s something that we can all rally behind, it’s that Miracle Whip should be regulated like a class one narcotic. That stuff’s not even real. It’s not mayonnaise. It’s a sandwich spread. It’s white. It looks like mayonnaise, from a distance anyway. Actually, no it doesn’t. It’s not even close. It’s disgusting. Please take my word for it, I’m not exaggerating.

Not like mayonnaise. I just love mayonnaise. My favorite cartoon character is Patty Mayonnaise from Doug. When I get sick, I insist on getting treated at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. If I could start my own TV show, it would be called Man Vs. Mayo, starring me, with the premise being exactly that of Man Vs. Food, but instead of food, I’d just challenge myself to eat as much mayonnaise as possible, every episode.

Before I end it here, I’d like to point out that you don’t see enough dessert mayonnaise. I think that’s got to change eventually. Just add some sugar, some vanilla extract. I’d eat a bowl of that. Actually, that sounds pretty good, I think I have all of those ingredients right here in my kitchen. Yeah, so, I’ll let you know how it turns out. Now if you’ll excuse me.