This is not a sandwich.

Porky's Revenge
The Porky’s Revenge, Hank’s Eats, Polk St, San Francisco, CA

I have sat down to write this post several times and each time I have refrained from doing so. This blog is supposed to be a celebration of things, an honest expression of a love. That need not include, I thought, rantings from me about intent and honest representation and the proper axis of a sandwich. No one likes a curmudgeon and so up until now I have avoided all of this discussion. I will apologize in advance for what I am about to say but I cannot take it anymore.

Though I have been known to spend quite some time considering a menu there was no such lengthy deliberation at Hank’s Eats. The Porky’s Revenge advertised slow roasted pork shoulder topped with tomatoes, onions and Hank’s Special Sauce. I expected just the kind of simple but delicious sandwich I’ve been seeking out these days, and what I got might best be described as an overgrown taco!

The idea of what is and is not a sandwich comes down to the obvious and the intent. The obvious is the precious few simple qualifications that must be met, namely bread on the top and the bottom and some other ingredient in the middle. The intent is what makes it a sandwich and what ends up disqualifying the Porky’s Revenge. In order to be a sandwich the intent must be for the food to be eaten aligned horizontally. It is in this that we find sandwiches in harmony with our mouths and indeed our larger selves. It is in this that we find each bite encompassing the sum total of the ingredients in the sandwich, all of them represented in their proper proportions. It is in this that a sandwich becomes a sandwich.

There are sandwiches served on rolls, even sandwiches served on rolls that weren’t sliced all the way through. What separates them from what is pictured above is that, despite a lack of care or effort from whomever wields the knife, they intend to be sandwiches. They align themselves in the proper way, as we have known sandwiches for hundreds of years.

Items like the Porky’s Revenge are closer to the taco or even the hot dog than they are the sandwich. I have no grudge against an establishment that wishes to sell such an item, and indeed there are times in my life when that’s just the kind of meal I might enjoy. Those times are not when I have ordered a sandwich.

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2 thoughts on “This is not a sandwich.

  1. Pingback: The so-called “Italian Beef Beer Bread” – Four Peaks Brewery, E 8th St, Tempe, AZ « On Sandwiches

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