I've always admired the Earl of Sandwich. He, the story goes, was the one who looked up from the Cribbage board and told his servant to bring him a slab of meat tucked between two slices of bread. Pretty soon his game-playing pals were ordering “the same as Sandwich.” And so a word was born.
Of course, many others had done the same thing far earlier. A quick check on Wikipedia tells us that early desert tribes from the Middle East did much the same with their kinds of unleavened bread. Too bad they weren't aware of modern marketing or they might have been tagged as the inventors of The Wrap.
Anyway, I like sandwiches. So on Saturday, after having gone to see “World War Z,” I stopped at the Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches spot in Lincoln Heights. I ordered a No. 8 (a “Billy Club,” with roast beef, ham, provolone, Dijon mustard, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise), while my brother ordered a No. 9 (an “Italian Night Club,” with genoa salami, Italian capicola, smoked ham and provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise and Italian vinaigrette).
And, OK, we had our gripes. My brother complained about the size of his sandwich and how hard it was to wield into his mouth. And mine had too much mayo. We shared our opinions with each other as we stuffed the concoctions into our mouths.
To the last bite. All hail, the Earl of Sandwich.