#SethBuyMeLunch returned last month, after a 90-day hiatus due to my going on lunch strike to protest the formation of low-Earth orbit clam beds. (I’m happy to report that my strike was 100% successful!) But restarting the lunch-buying machinery turned out to be just like riding a bike, in that I rarely rode a bike as a child because I was too lazy and preferred watching TV. It was also similar to riding a bike in that I’ve never ridden a bike with Matt Gourley while eating sandwiches at The Village Bakery.
We’re living through historic times for #SethBuyMeLunch. Thanks to Christy Mac, AKA @CandiedVinegar, we have out first winner who’s volunteered to cross state lines for lunch. Christy will be driving 375 miles from Phoenix to Los Angeles, just to have lunch with me. Just for me! She thinks that she’ll also be visiting friends, but I’ll meet her at the border and escort her to and from the restaurant to prevent that. Next time read Addendum F.4, Christy!
A sandwich with french fries on it has, outside of Pittsburgh, become known as a “Pittsburgh sandwich.” 1I say “outside of Pittsburgh,” because in Pittsburgh we know it as a Primanti Bros. sandwich, Primanti’s restaurant being the originator and only legitimate purveyor. Any place in Pittsburgh that dares to serve a similar sandwich and call it a “Pittsburgh sandwich” is roundly derided and often torched with surplus posters of Jack Lambert. Within Pittsburgh, a “Pittsburgh salad” is a salad covered in french fries and most of a cow. Pittsburghers will gladly pay the $38 admission to Kennywood amusement park just to get inside so they can line up at the legendary Potato Patch and pay several additional dollars for three or four pounds of hand-cut fries afloat in liquified cheesefood.
I mention this because last week comedian Brandie Posey led me to what could become Pittsburgh’s next Thing With French Fries on It.
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|1.||↵||I say “outside of Pittsburgh,” because in Pittsburgh we know it as a Primanti Bros. sandwich, Primanti’s restaurant being the originator and only legitimate purveyor. Any place in Pittsburgh that dares to serve a similar sandwich and call it a “Pittsburgh sandwich” is roundly derided and often torched with surplus posters of Jack Lambert.|
I’m winding up this unique triple-#SethBuyMeLunch-post day with a belated announcement of last week’s winner. It’s Brandie Posey, AKA @Brandazzle. Brandie and I shortly will be enjoying Peruvian food in Glendale.
Looking at Brodie Hubbard there, obviously the first thought that comes to mind is, “I’d like to know the history of that beard.” Luckily, at my urging, Brodie has told it. Now let’s move on to other things.
Brodie’s a vegan, so he suggested we meet at animal-byproductless hotspot Flore in Silver Lake. Flore specializes in meatless versions of popular non-vegetarian dishes: reubens, tacos, veggie burgers, etc. served by Fred Armisen rehearsing a character for Portlandia. My experience has been that that style of vegan cooking — with stuff like tempeh bacon and seitan pork — rarely works out well and results in a disappointing ersatz mess when the chef could’ve better spent his time making something distinctly vegetarian and enjoyable. But Flore pulls it off and has even created a tofu chicken for their club sandwich that so closely mimics the texture of a browned chicken breast that I picked it apart to examine it like something I’d dug out of my ear, while Brodie smiled politely.
My favorite fast-food burger joint, mid-Atlantic staple Five Guys Burgers and Fries, recently started a massive push into southern California, to the great joy of certain parts of my body and the great dismay of other parts. I try not to get in the middle of those internal disputes. I figure they’ll sort it out between themselves. But I’ve noticed two things since Five Guys came to LA: 1) they’re perfectly thrilled to have doubled their prices, and 2) In-N-Out Burger devotees, who are legion, find Five Guys perplexing and seem vaguely offended by the whole thing.
My fellow lunchee, comedian Barbara Gray, is just such a devotee, but she admirably suggested we give Five Guys’ new Miracle Mile location a shot. When we’d finished she diplomatically pronounced it “okay,” in the same sort of way one would describe a tax accountant who didn’t let you deduct your Xbox Live subscription fees.
This week’s lunch goes to Brodie Foster Hubbard, AKA @brodiehubbard. Of the many contributing factors to Brodie’s win, possibly the most statistically significant is the fact that he entered the contest even though I forgot all about it and had fallen asleep watching House Hunters.