This was my first trip to ModMarket over at Denver West. At first thought, I was heading into a MUZAK store, since their logos are almost identical. However, when I walked in the front door, I saw immediately that this was a different place. It was hip, chic, and smelled pretty good. They had about 10000000 menus posted on the front door, big tv screens, and had handouts. There was a decent line, so I got to take my time thinking about what I wanted.
The Norman Rockwell, by Absurdly Good Stuffin Muffins: 192 grams of stuffing, turkey, cranberries, pecans, (and apparently Bacon I have found out afterwords) and I am sure a bunch of butter in muffin form.
This had all the right ingredients to be a great sandwich (minus the Bacon… I don’t think I heard them say that there was the swine in this one, so maybe the day I had it didn’t have it? Anyway, now I know…) It had the sustenance, the textures, the balance of flavors, and surely the structural integrity. This thing was a muffin, made out of stuffing, and filled with things most people eat at a turkey dinner. I know a thing or two about Turkey Sandwiches and would like to think that I am fully aware of how to craft such a delicacy. It was dense. 192 grams (weighed on a calibrated scale of course), and the size of my fist. Due to the stuffing outside, it maintained it consistency and texture, and did not collapse or fail when toasted, bit into, or torn apart. This muffin dinner was a meal in itself, as any given sandwich should be. It needed a little bit of salt, but that came easily. it is difficult to make something for the masses and have everyone’s flavor pallets fully satisfied. I would have preferred to have a little bit of gravy with it, or maybe even a slathering of fresh cranberry sauce on the top, but then we run into the issues with portability and ease of eatability. It was handy, it was convenient, and it was flavorful; all of the things that a sandwich should be.
But it was most definitely not a sandwich. That much is the honest truth.
This is a muffin, not a sandwich, so why am I blogging about it? Am I guest Blogging for The Best Muffin Blog? Or did I forget what a sandwich was since I haven’t blogged for so long? Has the summer heat gotten to me?
I think the answer is somewhere in the middle, on a more theoretical level. Maybe a little bit Foodlophical*? Why should I discriminate against a muffin, when it has mostly the same basic ingredients as a sandwich? There may be people that might actually classify a muffin of this caliber as a sandwich. I mean, if an empanada is a sandwich by my standards, why can’t I say a muffin is?
I keep thinking of the Bill Cosby Standup about Chocoloate Cake. And how perspectives can be so different for some people. In the standup routine, Bill is told by his wife to go make breakfast for the kids, which he does not want to do. He goes downstairs and starts to get breakfast ingredients ready, when his 4 year old comes down stairs and says she wants chocolate cake.
“My brain looks up the chocolate cake recipe. Eggs, Milk, Wheat. Nutrition”
So he cuts the chocolate cake, and pours a glass of Grapefruit Juice. His other kids come downstairs and all want chocolate cake for breakfast as well. His wife comes downstairs, and sees that the kids are having chocolate cake for breakfast and has a kiniption, and sends Bill back to bed.
I agree with the four year old, and am all for chocolate cake for breakfast, but I also know that Chocolate Cake is most definitely not a breakfast food. This is taking the last remaining strain of convention and beating it like the eggs were beaten while making that cake. This is how I feel about a muffin posing as a sandwich. Don’t get me wrong here, Nobody is every saying that it was a sandwich, and as far as i know, these guys have no intention of doing so. I am just pointing out that perspectives can vary from one person to the next. I stand upon princples when it comes to sandwiches, and I have a lot of rules that help uphold those standards.
I have seen often that people have very few core motivations to do what they do. They base their opinions on either faith or investigation, and it is not very often that they will base their ideology on both. I have been a strong believer in the rules of sandwiches, which must contain above all others, layers, bread-like outsides, sustenance, and sauces. There are some fuzzy lines, that people often question, but I will tell you that there are 2 main reasons why these muffins will never be sandwiches in my book. They don’t have true layers, and they don’t have sauces. The other reason is the intent. They have no intent of being sandwiches. Just like the chocolate cake has no intent of being a breakfast food, but it shares similarities, a muffin should never have any crazy idea of being a sandwich.
That being said, I highly recommend you give one of these a shot if you see them around at a farmers market. They use good ingredients, including love of the muffin, and are fun guys.
A sandwich actually worth eating. Continue reading
In an effort to make my friend’s head explode, i am trying to see if I can get two blogs done in 2 days. It has been a while, but since my wife and lovely child are gone for a few days, I am really trying to buckle down.
I recently read a book called: Life is Good at Grandma’s, written by Stacey Donovan and illustrated by Cary Phillips.. In this book, they talk about Life is good at Grandma’s, because you can check the rules at the door. The book later goes on to talk about how the kitchen is full of your favorite foods, and how only grandma knows how to make your supersecret favorite sandwich.
I apologize. I really do. I have eaten a ton of sandwiches in the last couple of weeks, and I have had the nerve to not blog about them. I could list them, because I keep track, but the reality is I would prefer to wait until I can list them, and put up some serious blogs.
So the continuation of the battle takes place at a place called Fromin’s Deli in Santa Monica, CA. We were out there for a wedding in Santa Barbara, and then went down to visit some cousins. We decided to go head out and grab some grub, so I was following their lead. We all piled into the car and went down the street to one of my cousins’ favorite places. No wait, good food, and pretty quick service they said.
We get there, and sure enough there was no wait. The place was busy, but it was mostly busy with large tables. When I say large tables, I mean 15-20 per table. There was a lot of hustle and bustle going on with the waiters and waitresses, which is a good sign to me.
So we sit down and we start talking…. and the waiter comes over to ask for our order, and we haven’t even looked at the menu. Even though we were all starving, it took 3 reminders from the waiter or waitress for us to actually look at the menu. I was trying to decide between breakfast foods and a sandwich when the Latke Sandwich caught my attention. It was located under the Sky High Sandwiches section, and this is the description:
Corned Beef & Potato Pancake Sandwich Served with Applesauce 12.95
Idea time: Latke Sandwich Competition.
So I order it, and the waitress looks at me and says “I wouldn’t order that. It is really small.”
“well, then why is it in the sky high sandwich section” I ask? “How big are the latkes?”
“they don’t make a very big sandwich. You are better off getting the latke on the side”
Emily had ordered the latkes for breakfast, and was a little nervous. “is this big enough for a meal? the plate of latkes?”
“oh yes, those are enough for a meal, but they make for a small sandwich”
“oh” i say “well then I will have a pastrami sandwich and a side of latke”
I was a little disappointed in the fact that I was turned away from the sandwich that I had such high hopes for. My last latke sandwich was pretty good, and I was hoping that it would be a close battle. I guess it takes two to rumble. I was really looking forward to doing a side by side break down and really get into it… I was even more disappointed when the sandwich showed up and the latke was just as big as the rye bread. It easily could have made a decent sized sandwich. I mean, the waitress was right, it was smaller, but I still would have liked to try. I almost thing that this one could have beaten Zaidy’s, at least in a couple of categories. The latkes at Zaidy’s were a little soft and lacked structure, but the ones at Fromin’s were solid. Nice and crispy on the outside, but still soft on the inside. The pastrami was piled high, and was well seasoned. Anyway, here is a picture of the sandwich that I got. Definitely not a competition to Zaidy’s.
Since Zaidy’s won the battle due to the lack of competition, I feel like I should break down this sandwich anyway. it was still pretty good, but the sauerkraut was not as good as it could have been. The bread was untoasted, which is normally fine for a rye, but this one seemed a little weak. I felt like it wasn’t quite strong enough to hold the sandwich together, and it didn’t seem to want to hold in the kraut. The mustard was nothing to write home about. I felt like pulling out the toothpick to slather mustard was like playing a game of Jenga. The meat was good, and once I got the whole sandwich put back together with the mustard and sauerkraut, it was pretty tasty. The latke on the side was sort of a thorn in my side, constantly reminding me of how good a latke sandwich could have been.
Overall sandwich rating: B
Presentation: B (the sandwich looked good, but the sides were each in their own little prep bowl, which slid around the plate)
Structure: B- (the bread was not strong enough, and it didn’t want to hold the sauerkraut and mustard)
Flavors: B (nothing special about the mustard, and the bread was meh. meat was good)
Non – sandwich related:
Atmosphere: A- (this place is a traditional Jewish Deli, but a little dated. Lots of big groups)
Service: A- (they were honest, but they caused me to not get a latke sandwch…)
Price: B+ (I am not used to LA prices, but it seemed pretty good.)
Verdict: Zaidy’s Wins. No competition.