Friday, November 9, 2007

the janet special

Last night I was watching TV with Wendy when a commercial came on in which a guy asked a cafe to name a sandwich after him. "I totally do that," I casually commented. Half expecting her to say, "Yeah, me too."

Instead she yelled, "WHAT???" like I was some kind of mental patient.

"I try to get sandwiches named after me," I repeated calmly.

"Like, where? What sandwich? What do they say?"

That's when I had to confess that no one will ever agree to my proposal. And that furthermore, no one in their right minds would want to eat the sandwiches I concoct. In fact, the cafes don't even want to make them. They usually involve some combination of avocado and red onions (resulting in a temporary reduction in popularity), involve a complicated preparation procedure, and are scandalously lacking in protein.

For example, Jenny's Cafe on Grand makes for me: a veggie sandwich on toasted portafolino bread, no mayo, substitute Italian dressing, Dijon mustard not regular mustard, hold the cream cheese, add avocado, with red onions. Jenny noticed that after she serves my sandwich, I perform a whole salt-and-pepper ritual. So she tried adding that. The results were devastating; I had to explain that that's *my* part of the sandwich creation process, not hers.

At the Marina deli next to where I work, Esther and I developed: a twice-toasted onion bagel with butter, avocado, tomato, and (you guessed it) onion, made open-face with melted provolone on top. The utter decadence involved in this sandwich makes me ashamed (butter and avocado?). And the preparation time is ridiculous. Esther only makes it because she's grown fond of me.

Clearly I'm going about this the wrong way. People don't get their own sandwiches by dictating ingredients. They do so by becoming famous, and then letting the cafe owner construct something inspired by their celebrity personality, a sense of what will sell, and which leftover ingredients are on hand.

My most embarrassing moment occurred last week, when I was begging Esther for the umpteenth time to put the Janet bagel on the white board. A guy walked up next to me. Esther gestured toward him and said, "He keeps trying to get his own sandwich, too."

We smiled wanly at each other before we both slinked away from the counter.

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