Monday, September 04, 2006

Come for the Sandwiches, Stay for the Debauchery

Once upon a time, in a dark crowded bar, the following conversation happened:

A: You know what I really really love?

H: What?

A: Sandwiches.

H: Oh my God, me too! I love sandwiches! You know what would be really great? If we had a club where we would go to each other's houses, and eat sandwiches!

In that moment, a a new era of history began. The era of Club Sandwich.

Since February of 2004, once a month, we go to the home of a member, who has made us the sandwich of his or her choice. We eat said sandwiches. Then we engage in some activities. The first meeting of this epic union of bread and innards hit it off. We met at Heather's apartment in Koreatown for some fine sandwich cameraderie. Followed by flaming sambuca shots (that's where the debauchery comes in. Er, that's where it starts). Then we walked it off as we headed to the Escape Room, the finest dive bar in Koreatown that no longer exists (I mean, dance floor (that we dominated, literally and figuratively), solid jukebox, friendly barstaff, and erotic photo hunt. What else is there?). It was a magical night. Somehow the spirit of sandwich goodness lasted through the wee hours as we danced the night away. Something delicious was abrew.

The Very First Club Sandwich

Since then, we've had countless sandwich adventures. When Alon hosted, he offered a table full of peanut butter and everything associated with peanut butter sandwiches -- the requisite jelly, of course, but also, fluff, pickles, mayonnaise, Nutella, MnM's, and so much more. We had a contest for most creative sandwich, and then we went to his local dive for karaoke (It was here that Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline became the unofficial anthem of our motley sandwich crew). Sometimes the vibe is mellower, as we dish about relationships and seek advice from our fellow sandwichers. And we always manage to crack each other up.

Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich

We've had barbecue sandwiches, Cuban sandwiches, muffaletta sandwiches, veggie sandwiches, panini, sandwich cookies, ice cream sandwiches, Bay Cities' godmothers on the beach, and baloney sandwiches on the playground (complete with some very potent juice boxes, if you catch my drift). For Christmas each person brought a sandwich, wrapped in festive paper and bows, and we had a Secret Sant-wich gift exchange. Our resident schoolteacher offered sandwiches that have been crushed for three hours under the weight of a juice box. Last month, Maya made her triumphant return after recovering from surgery (after which her head was held together with staples. serious Frankenstein stuff going on.) with curry chicken salad sandwiches -- crunchy and spicy-sweet with apples, cashews, and celery. See? Always delicious.

Celebrating Two Years of Sandwiches

We've established a bit of a cult following. One of our members was stranded in Cairo, where they don't even have sandwiches, for the first year of the Club's existence. Depressed for missing out on the festivities, she regaled us with songs like "Unbreak My Heart (Sandwich)", and "Nothing Compares to You (Sandwich)". When she finally came home, she brought back Club Sandwich t-shirts made especially for us in Egyptland. Our New York correspondent has never been to Club Sandwich, but does some pretty good work on her own. We've even had imitators -- rumors of Club Noodle and Club Taco abound. Cute (ahem).

Giving the Gift of Sandwich

This month's Club Sandwich was at the home of our resident grillmaster Brad. It ranked up there as one of the best. Tell me this is not the perfect summer day: nachos, swimming in the ocean, barbecue, margaritas. Amazing! Brad lives in Manhattan Beach, about half a block from the beach. The house has 3 balconies, all with an ocean view. Brad whipped us up a batch of nachos to whet our appetites, then all 10 of us headed to the beach.

Sandwich Spread

There's this sound that I make in moments of extreme joy. It's a sort of low-pitched guttural roar. It's kind of embarrassing, and usually only comes out in private moments -- most often when I'm driving fast on the freeway, the sun is shining bright in a clear blue sky, and yet another favorite song pours out of the radio. As we swam through cool salty waves that were big enough to be interesting, small enough to be inviting, I couldn't help myself. It was that good.

Sandwich-to-be

As if that wasn't enough, we went back to the house to tri-tip sandwiches with grilled vegetables. This Brad, he knows his stuff with the barbecue. He makes it seem effortless every time. Which is to say, he's basically the Brian Boitano of grilling. On second thought, not just of grilling.

Ah sandwiches, you bring so much joy to our world!

2 comments:

  1. Ohhhh Club Sandwich! Will I never be inducted into your sandwichy goodness? In the interests of Interstate sandwich exchanges, we will go to Ino and 'wichcraft upon your arrival in NYC. Then perhaps you can help me inaugurate the first meeting of Club Sandwich, East Coast Chapter.

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  2. This kind of reminds me of another club. This one doesn't limit itself to sandwiches. Apparently debauchery goes just as well with pizza, take out chicken, chelo kabob, and even toasted rolls and strawberry margaritas at French restaurants. And, yes, I'm totally jealous.

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