Pork Awesomeness™ – Rookies Sports Lodge, Meridian Ave, San Jose, CA

Rookies is the kind of establishment that serves a sandwiched named the Pork Awesomeness™ (the ™ is theirs, naturally, not mine.) The Pork Awesomeness™, in turn, is the kind of sandwich you find at a place like Rookies. You’ve all been to such an establishment. The walls boast all manner of decoration and sports paraphernalia, the wall behind the bar is covered in currency that’s been decorated by patrons, the beer comes in mugs the size of a small boot. Though this is not my preferred type of establishment, I do not offer this description as an insult. No bar ends up like this by accident; it is a cultivated image, a cultivated atmosphere, above all else it is deliberate. And, of course, the way that this deliberate effort manifests in sandwiches is via excess. A fair number of sandwiches come with the top half of the bread to the side, but very few of them will leave you at a loss as to how the come together. But that’s what I found at Rookies, as a pile of meat tilted away from two thick slices of toast. Two breaded and fried pork cutlets, a few slices of ham, a few slices of bacon, and a fried egg. Pork upon pork upon pork, with an egg. 

I was able to put together something resembling a sandwich, and for all of that the eating wasn’t tremendously difficult. That said, it wasn’t tremendously rewarding either. This connects to the point I made in the previous post, about harmony. Rather than unwelcome levels of contrast, what this sandwich presents is too many items working far too close together. All the flavors are playing on the roughly the same level, and that’s not a recipe for success. The sandwich wasn’t terrible, but it was flat. Dense and chewy, rich in fat and gaining even further richness from the fried egg, for all of its excess and LOOK AT ME attitude it was dull. It’s as if a six-piece band formed, only everyone plays the bass guitar and nothing but the bass guitar. That might make an interesting concert, but it almost certainly won’t make a good one.

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