I like a good sandwich at lunch. These days, however, it is getting increasingly difficult to find a true sandwich — that is, something tasty placed between two pieces of some kind of bread that you can pick up in your hand and eat without too much muss or fuss.
There’s no problem with the tasty part, that’s for sure. Take this delightful double cheeseburger I got today from deNovo Bistro and Bar, one of the many good restaurants on High Street in the downtown area. It was very savory, indeed, with its medium rare beef, sliced onion, and melted cheese and sauce. The dusted fries were excellent, too.
No, it’s the pick up in your hand without muss or fuss part that has become the problem. The amount of food being put between the bread slices — and especially the heapings of melty, saucy concoctions that make your mouth burst with flavor — just make it impossible for you to take a bite out of a handheld sandwich. If you try, you’re going to end up with food falling to the plate and onto your lap, hands that are covered with goo, and a paper napkin that is soaked and probably ripped to shreds, besides. Unless you want to look like a slob and run the embarrassing risk of stray dogs racing over to lick your fingers clean you need to recognize reality and use the civilized utensils to slice up and wolf down these gooey, overflowing masterpieces.
So call it the emerging era of the knife-and-fork sandwich. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just . . . different. If the Earl of Sandwich could eat some of these creative approaches to his namesake, I honestly don’t think he would mind.