Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The best sandwich ever? Maybe...

I know, I know, there's so many sandwich places out there, so many different styles and types and tastes...

...but for my money, M&N Sandwich Shop makes the best sandwiches I've ever had. Bar none.

The place is a hole-in the wall. A dive. That's actually something it's got going for it, as far as I'm concerned. Norm, the owner, is almost always the one behind the counter, and in the world he lives in, anything that doesn't directly contribute to the making of a great sandwich is adiaphora.

Restaurant decor? Does that make the sandwich taste better? No? Then who needs it?

Tables? Chairs? Yes and yes. They help you enjoy a sandwich. Nice looking tables or chairs? Superfluous. Unnecessary.

Clothes? Well, the restaurant commission says you need to wear them in order to remain open. As far as Norm's concerned, old tennis shoes, sweatpants that are too short and a ratty t-shirt ought to do the trick. They're only gonna get dirty by the end of the day anyway, right?

Credit cards? You don't buy sandwiches on credit. That's for fancy-schmancy places that serve things like pate and creme brulee. Sandwiches are a cash food. Plus, the 3% or so merchant fees the credit card companies would sock the restaurant with is money that could be spent buying better sandwich ingredients. And as far as the prices go, they aren't rock-bottom--quality does have a price, after all--but they're still very reasonable. Norm isn't in this to be a millionaire. Or even to live particularly comfortably. He just wants to be able to stay in business so that he can make more sandwiches.

Customer service? Well, time spent idly chit-chatting is time spent not making or eating a sandwich. Norm won't make eye contact with you as he rattles off question after question concerning how you want your sandwich made. He's not abrasive in a "Soup Nazi" kind of way--again, time spent yelling is time spent not making or eating sandwiches. But he has very little to offer in the way of traditional "customer service."

That is, unless you count the ultimate customer service as that moment when he hands you the best freakin' sandwich you've ever eaten. Which for me today was pastrami with cheese and all the fixin's, heated and melted and blended into a masterpiece of sandwich delight.
A slice of heaven, with a slice of pickle on the side.



Kelli said...

Joel has been there and he enjoys their sandwiches, too.

David said...

Those holes in the wall are always the best places.

LutheranChik said...

I miss having a good deli within a 30-mile distance.

Leah Sophia said...

sandwiches, adiaphora...of course! Cool blog, thank you!