The Rushmore

In honor of the month long joyride me and Dale have been taking on the road to Rushmore, I just had to dish up some eats to go along with all the great music we’ve been poring over as we carve out some history, one note at a time. And so here’s a sandwich that I’ve attached its namesake to.

The Rushmore Sandwich:

The dream began with some fried chicken I’d made the night before. You know how some of the best sandwiches are made? Leftovers, and good ones. So the provocation became inspiration . . and then good fortune started riffing when my daughter made a delicious loaf of oat bread with sunflower seeds. Because once you have the bread, there’s no excuse not to go building something tasty.

My chicken has a first name . . .

And it’s breading, for real. Be eclectic, and really . . you can’t get more eclectic than Zapp’s Voodoo Potato Chips, ground into a fine mist and tucked across the surface. From there it was all disco.

Bread is more than just a classic rock band from LA . . .

It’s the quintessential piece of the sandwich puzzle. Without the bread, all you have is the leftovers. And that’s fine when you cook up a piece of chicken on the level of disco. But you want a side of dynamite to go with that magnificent ball? The bread . . has to bring personality. My daughter supplied with hers, as she’s been doing since she was a wee little lass. Girl has mad skills.

Come a knocking when you hear the rocking . . .

Because if you don’t have the bandmates, it’s not a sandwich for reals. So I had to create a succinct (or is that succulent? . .  let’s go with both) list of talented rhymers to go along with my main event rockers. And so muenster cheese supplied me with the creamy sidekick, without hogging the spotlight. Tomato, because I love the color and the cool, very much.

How do you top this? . . .

An egg. Everything, and I do mean everything- except peanut butter ripple- tastes that much better with an egg on top. It takes a sandwich from “Damn that’s good!” to “Damn! What’s my name again!?”. It’s seriously that importante . . .

Speaking of importante, how about that crescendo? . . .

Glad I asked. It happens after you’ve toasted the bread on a pan to achieve those delightfully seductive grill marks. And then you add your chicken and cheese and tomato and finally . . that glorious egg. Now, you can cook up the egg any way you wish but for yours truly, I like to glaze the yolk without taking away that sunshiny ooze that happens when you bite in. It serves as the condiment for this party, and it’s why I show you a capture open faced. And it’s also why the avocado didn’t make it in the doors. Besides, it looks so sexy walking in on Rushmore’s arm, doesn’t it?

What more can I say, other than . . .

Frites. Hand cut by yours truly and done to a crunchy turn. There’s no substitute for DIY when it comes to this side. So take the extra time, and you’ll be happy you did.

Welp, that’s it and that’s all till next time kids. Dish up and dine well.



Love . . Actually


Of all the things that are too short, I don’t happen to think life is one of ’em. Coffee breaks are too short. Shirts too. Kit Kat bars? Definitely too short. And Vera Farmiga nude scenes . . much too short.

But the idea that tacos dare trespass our gullets on a Shakespearean tragedy level of infrequency? That there is wronger than a Trump cabinet appointee. On a Deepak Chopra big motion picture level of depressing, in fact. Soooooo . . . me and Linds B did a thing tonight. We fixed up a night out that actually rhymed, with taco.

And we did this tasty thing, without trying.

We hit the 511 Cafe, which is a cute little ditty of a jukebox corner joint that’s tucked into the top shelf of Lancaster City’s kitchen cabinet. Just enough of an out of the way locale to be worth all the fun. The 511 was one of our more beloved memories back inside a time when food searches meant something. As in, Cuban sammy something.

So after sitting down and shaking off the cold weather with a round of funny anecdotes, our waitress made the scene to warm things up in Longfellow cursive. Her name was Pixel, and that should’ve told us everything we needed to know about the evening. I mean, besides being one cool ass name, she brought game.

So me and Linds ordered up our friendly drinks, because . . priorities.

Linds B got things running with a rum and coke. I ordered up a pint of Rogue Dead Guy Ale. And then we threw down a couple more twisted anecdotes and we quibbled over what app to belly dance to. And our quibble went something like this.

We went with zucchini sticks. And Tuesday night was fitting swiftly into its side pocket definition when Pixel let loose with her Lit Chick mad skill set when she re-purposed “Taco Night” in such a way that . . hell, I ain’t seen nor heard of such a bargain since five dollar matinees went extinct.

If you read our blog on any kind of regular, then you are probably down with the fact that our “Search for the Tastiest Taco” thing never got off the ground, seeing as how we are smack dab in the middle of a place that doesn’t rhyme with the left coast. We do savory and sweet just fine in these environs, but tacos? Not so much.

Linds refused the taco come on, seeing as how she ain’t easily taken to sweet talking now that she’s in love. Me? I was saying yes this way . . .

After which, Trump’s wall seemed but a Jack Skellington wet dream to the ‘What Have We Here?’ lunar step we done took. Because the filet was blackened to an extraordinarily sexy bit of spice, pepper and lime whose sole purpose? Was to get me pregnant.

We done got vindicated on a night that had nothing to do with food searches. And so it happened that we were duly inspired by the swift and earnest lever of coincidental fever that led us to a joint that ended up talking us into starting up a brand spanking new food search.

Our rules, this next time.

Because life ain’t too short, so long as you bring the flavor.





Doomed Journeys, Beer Logic and Stealing Home

Fuck Tacos

Remember that “Tastiest Taco” challenge me and Linds were supposed to embark on several months back? Yeah well, fuck tacos . . that’s what happened to that challenge.

Because, Cuban sandwiches seem to drop out of the sky in meat and potatoes Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Tacos? Not so much. Our doomed journey began with a mutual friend’s suggestion that we check out a dive bar he frequented. The lead seemed solid enough, and the beer specials were friendly. So we showed up on “Taco Tuesday”. As per the definition, it means that the establishment created a holiday just for tacos. Which means there should have been ample amounts of said tacos on the premises. SO many tacos that if you drew up satellite imagery, Pennsylvania would look like one big fucking taco from space.

Okay, maybe I’m being just a tad bit hyperbolic. But was it too much to ask that we might shake loose a taco or several on a day that was designated as ripe with the little buggers?

Beers First

We put in our drink orders first, because . . priorities. And besides, the first rule of taco eating is to always be hydrated. And I know, I know . . alcohol tends to have the opposite effect. Which is why you have to drink more of it.

It was a good thing we had our drinks when the horrible truth came down.

“We’re out of tacos . . ” The waitress informed us, as if it was no big deal that we weren’t going to be able to warm our taste buds in tortilla blankets. It would’ve been akin to saying Wednesday lost its hump or Saturday Night lost its fever. The Shakespearean tragedy of it all was lost on her.

Tacos Cardio

Top Five Thoughts on “We’re Out of Tacos” Night? . . sure why not.

5- Is it scientifically possible to ‘run out’ of tacos if you’re a restaurant? I mean, you can run out of tortilla shells . . but if you’re a restaurant and you ain’t got any of the other basic ingredients to a taco? You’re probably out of business.

4- We should have been gifted free beer for the regrettable inconvenience.

3-We went on a taco challenge and ended up on a taco diet.

2- If you run out of tortilla shells? Compensate with flat bread and corn chips . . close your eyes and bon apetit!

1- As a result of this ordeal, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch Nacho Libre even once. That. Is. Sad.


The dive bar was strike one, after which there were another couple strikes in there somewhere . . it’s been a while now. The doomed challenge was not limited to restaurants, either. When I offered to make tacos for my kids, they turned them down. After which I realized I might never eat a taco again.

Sooooo, the winner of our Tastiest Taco challenge was . . . .

Yeah . . I know. But here’s the thing. You know what you get when you ask for a taco at Taco Bell? A fucking taco, that’s what!

At this point, you’re probably asking, ‘Hey Sorryless peeps . . so what’s the next food challenge’? To which we reply, there ain’t one. We’re gonna stick to erotic food stories with no specific main character from now on. We shall simply rejoice in the glory of food as we bang the shit out of it. How much more poetic can you get?


Fast forward to our latest jaunt . . . it was a dive bar, because we’re consistent with our culinary delights. Imma be the provocateur and give up the money shots. I ordered the wings with Chesapeake Bay sweet spice sauce. It was hot and sticky sweet as per the Def Leppard method of doing business. A promising opening act . . .


The pit beef sammy on a kaiser roll was played up on the restaurant’s website as if it was last meal delicious. Sorry but, if that was my last meal I’d skip dinner and buckle up for hell. I picked at it before deciding as to whether I would dive in and it proved dryer than Jason Bateman’s humor, so I decided I would try and revive it with some culinary surgery when I got home and chowed down on my side of onion rings instead.


The girls ordered gravy fries, which is a tasty combination of super foods- essential to a long life . . for your cardiologist. In Quebec, they add cheese curds and call the stuff ‘poutine’, because they’re so much more sophisticated than us ‘Muricans.


The girls got the cheesesteak with bacon crumbles on the side since Linds ain’t the biggest fan of bacon. It got me thinking. Imma order a side of bacon crumbles everywhere I go. Yes, especially Starbucks.

This particular establishment shall remain nameless for a couple reasons. For one thing, we ain’t got much of anything good to say about the place. The food was just ayt and the service was horrible. As I was packing up my sammy to go, I joked with the girls that I should take the plate as a parting shot.

“Take the plate Marc, please . . take the plate,”

As per Ali’s orders, I stuck the plate in my Styrofoam container and made way for the door. Let the record state that Ali was the mastermind of this heist, and I . . the unwitting accomplice. I come from a broken home and I never had a male role model growing up. Unless you count Pat Riley.

I don’t know if this will become a thing, but in the event it does, we might try our luck with tacos again. I really don’t give a blessed fuck about the tacos, but I do loves me some Fiestaware.





Food (For Mindless) Thought

Last Supper

We all justify our shit.

Some of us do it for sporting reasons, as we don’t want to let our opponent (us) sense our weakness. Because that is, after all, anathema to any competitive endeavor worth suiting up for. And self analysis isn’t simply a sport, it’s a collision sport . . sprinkled in therapy bills.

Take for instance, my diet. Which isn’t a diet in the ’30 day bikini body’ sense. Shit, I haven’t been on that kind of diet since I had a full head of hair and still listened to heavy metal.

If you haven’t tried Kit Kat Dark, you ain’t in love with dark chocolate the way I am. Because I am currently doing the nasty with this sexy thing, once a day. Times several more. And it’s the fates conspiring against my girlish figure, I’m telling you. . . . it’s the fates!

Kit Kat

I’m talking diet as per my daily nutritional intake. And I use ‘nutritional’ more loosely than Jenna Jamison uses a movie scene, with every bit of that wicked dollar bill buttah and jam. And as with JJ, when I’m good I am very good. But when I’m bad, you best call Homeland Security . . because shit just got a little too real.

This here interlude is totally the fault of Q, who texted me with some serious 411. Seems I was wasting my time watching the Steelers game whilst The Last Waltz was kicking up on TCM. And so I went there and learned me all over again how Eric Clapton has always had that innate ability to be the coolest cat in the room. And mind you, he ain’t make the scene of any room that wasn’t already full of ’em. Even so. And especially when this happens.


Take last night, for instance . . when I had sex. Filthy, dirty sex. With a platter of twice baked nachos. And the only reason the neighbors didn’t call the police is because I was plugged into the chill weather of my favorite rock band of this, that and every other time. Because when Kansas dropped vinyl, well, they were making the babies that raised my peace of mind. I’m pretty sure the boys didn’t know they were doing me that kind of solid, but hey, that’s why the cosmos wears the most righteous smoking jacket known to man and space. Because the cosmos knows its business like that. It milks sunshine out of the moon, after all.

Anyways, back to my shit for diet. I mean, really . . the fucking dreck that I put in my body should be illegal. Okay, I’m just kidding. I don’t really want to have to wait a couple days until my pain in the ass dealer gets back to me with a quote on a Jimmy Johns Italian sub that’s five times more expensive than what I’m paying currently. By illegal, I mean that it’s too fucking expensive for the body that I wish to wear. Coo?

So it’s Sunday night, 9 pm-ish. I get home, and in spite of the fact I had a late lunch, I’ve been playing defense attorney to my weak ass mentally deficient defendant whose name is Will Power . . . for most of the late afternoon/evening. So by nine o’clock, I’m hungrier than Wolf Blitzer in a blood bank.

I get home and it’s already well beyond too late for me to get civilized. So . . in lieu of a cold glass of water, a crisp apple and a prayer to Jesus . . . I fire up the oven to 350. After which I key in my pass code to the nuclear football- otherwise known as a Tupperware container, filled with loaded nachos I had created inside happier times. (i.e. Saturday night whilst watching college football). And then I commence with spilling a healthy (not) portion of that fucker into an oven safe dish, after which I stuck it inside my own personal highway to hell for fifteen minutes worth of endless regret.

Bon met Appetit. They had kids, after which Maury Povich might’ve gotten involved if my belly wasn’t incapable of having babies. And then, Jerry Springer showed up and forced me to take a box of Nestle Buncha Crunch and pour it on top of a quarter gallon (or so) of vanilla ice cream.

Which is why I run. Like, inside a shit ton of my free time in fact. Three miles at least, six miles when Jesus takes the wheel and throws a cherry on top of my endorphin Sundae. And so what if my bad romance of a diet is gonna catch up with me eventually? For right now, I’m getting away with nutritional murder.

Catch me if you can.






Three Days In Woodstock

Woodstock Night

Woodstock isn’t a destination, it’s a state of mind.

Every morning feels like Sunday, every afternoon like Saturday and every evening feels like church. There is a unique charm to the jagged little town built into the side of the Catskill Mountains. Its quirky architecture and funky colored Victorians tell stories without saying a word. You can lose the beaten path in a couple minutes time simply by taking a hard left or right; the side streets behave very much like channels of a forgotten sea. Woodstock is a snow globe variation of town and country as if penned by Thoreau.

After my run, Q and me made plans to see Oceans 8 in the late afternoon. We tucked in a quick jaunt to the grocery store to pick up some particulars for our evening menu. A craving for Bloody Mary grilled cheese sandwiches was prevailing, as was the need for some late night snacks to sate ourselves after cruising the four twenty. We ain’t tokers by any means, but when in Rome . . yanno?


The ride to the theater is much the same as a ride to anywhere else when it comes to this neck of the woods. It becomes a road trip, replete with rolling passages out of a Currier and Ives fever dream. The miles read like chapters in a book out of a time before progress birthed chain restaurants and every single person, place and thing became a brand.

As for the movie, welp . . here’s a quick shot review on it, because why not?

The best spin-off since I don’t remember when. Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett are a hot buttah get down of a dynamic duo, and their cast of characters . . I thought, were infinitely more interesting than the Oceans 11 gang. Sandra plays Debbie Ocean, little sister to Danny, and she’s keeping on with the family business by planning a rather artful heist. Cate Blanchett rides shotgun as Lou, her sister from another mister. They wrangle up a sexy as all get out posse and then, they pull off the ultimate cinematic heist. They make the Oceans franchise, theirs now.

Later on, back at the ranch, we played carnival with more Woodstock festival tunes whilst I broke the seal on some Woodford Reserve. We buddied them up with some frosty bottles of brew and immersed ourselves once more in the counter culture movement that culminated in those three days of peace and music.


The provocative blueprint of those sammys did not disappoint. And then I broke out a Cuban cigar, which had been gifted me by my Canadian counterpart for this three day summit. And as we sipped our tumblers into a divine rhythm on the porch, a family of deer decided to crash our party by strolling across the backyard and reminding us who really owns this place. And then a little later on, we achieved the manifest destiny of all those who visit Woodstock proper. Needless to say, we arrived at the corner of peaceful and easy, and it was a magnificent trip.

We talked about the morning, and about our planned trip to Bethel- the site of a three day festival of music and peace that would change everything. And I think we wondered, silently, whether it would be everything we’d built it up to be over our two days together.

We had no idea.



Three Days In Woodstock

Catskill Mountains

I’ve always loved running in the rain.

When I find myself inside a particularly robust storm, my arms and legs feel connected to the dense anvils of cold dust and flaming vapor that transform the skies into a heavenly spout. The basic algebra of my exertions acquaint themselves with a canvas straight out of Caravaggio’s brilliant mind and things go sublime.

The town of Woodstock is a roaming notch that slinks along the unshod terrain of the Catskill Mountains, like a draft that tickles a giant’s toes. The town was born to water and sun. It is a graceful plunge of pluck and spirit, music and rhyme. And by Tuesday morning, the feeling it engendered was quickly making us forget the other possible locales we’d tossed around previously.

Deer on Trail

For breakfast, Q and me had feasted on a sensational frittata she cooked up. Take it from me, when a girl who loves all things garden and Tuscany offers up this dish? You let her take the wheel. We talked about blogging and music and we engaged in a long standing debate as to our respective dialects. She finds my syntax to be mostly charming, but for a certain postwar (Revolutionary War . . that is) grammatical affectation. Whereas yours truly has ditched the “u” in honor of our founding fathers who kicked British ass, Q and her peeps north of the border still play by the King’s rules.

We bandied topics as we ate, revisiting our difference of opinion as to the letter “u” time and again. Throughout breakfast, to our car ride into town, to our sharp left onto Comeau Drive to a hiking trail that sits mere minutes off the main drag. No topic of conversation could chase this matter away for very long.

Stream 1

Our hike consisted of two main trails. The first trail was mostly flat with little mystery to it, and to make matters even less thrilling . . it was clearly marked. Clearly marked trails are just the slightest bit redundant when it comes to community parks. I mean, why mark them at all when you have chatterbox cell phone users and packs of moms and babies traipsing around? We were more likely to get lost in a local mall than on a trail whose ‘wilderness’ possessed a strong signal and Birkenstock prints. The real excitement came whilst exiting the trail, when Q snapped a family of deer streaking across the meadow.

The second trail provided a more worthwhile conversation for our feet and allowed us the trespass of some hilly terrain. Just like that, we’d removed ourselves from the madding crowd of cellphones and brand packs; replaced by the tranquil hum of nature’s gospel spell. The trail snaked around to a stream whose flow was a mesmerizing gallop. A brisk current strummed its timeless melody, and we skipped across rocks like schoolkids, just to be closer to that wonderful sound.

Stream 2

Of course, Q was the rule breaker who defied the “No Trespassing” sign and moved across rocks until she had gained the middle of the stream. I toed the line and searched for signs of fish bubbles along the banks. She claimed eminent domain as per her photography, and I wasn’t about to argue. Not when the letter “u” was still open for debate.

No Trespassing

By the time we arrived back at the cottage, the early afternoon had grown dusk-like. As I changed into my running gear, the skies opened up. Perfect.

I took to the road in search of a running path, and I found one about a quarter mile down the road. I turned right onto a service road that wound up and around into a labyrinth of warehouses and manufacturing plants whose sparse signage left my mind spinning with all manner of science fiction scenarios. And just when I was ready to investigate further, the first thunderclap jolted me back to my senses.


And that’s when I realized I was more than a mile from the cottage and a stone cold bulls-eye for anything Mother Nature wanted to throw my way. I calmly headed back, concentrating on the morning I had shared with Q; thinking back on our conversations and the lively mood that carried us.

The rain provided crystalline slashes across the landscape and by the time I arrived back at the entrance to the service road, I was soaked through. Having navigated my way through the relentless thicket, I felt duly inspired to loose one final mystery before my return, so I headed further down until I reached the next road. It wasn’t long before I was second guessing myself, as another thunder clap seemed to stop just short of my back pocket.

Mountain Range

I headed back, jumping small puddles and giving myself to the wading ponds that could not be avoided. I felt the density of those hovering clouds in my pores and it almost made me forget the lightning snaps, which had become more persistent now. I traversed the last quarter mile at a steady pace, and just as I was approaching the entrance to our cottage, I saw them.

A family of deer stood about twenty five yards off to my right. I stopped in my tracks and the five of us just stared at each other. We spoke not a word, and yet, we said a million different things. And in that moment, in the middle of that caterwaul of fire and rain, the universe was having its way.


Coming Soon: The Next Chapter in our tasty “Search” series . . .

Seeing as how the search for the perfect Cuban sandwich was such a tasty success, me and Linds B will be diving back into another “Search” series in the near future.

Our next adventure? Tacos.

Fitness Taco

Figuring out the next food choice wasn’t easy . . . there were countless hours of painstaking research that went into our decision. We conducted a Facebook poll, we asked our friends for suggestions and we even worked closely with a team of taco scientists just to make certain we had hit on the right dish. And lemme tell you, those taco scientists don’t come cheap.

In spite of the complicated process, our requisites for the next food adventure were simpler than Simon’s wardrobe. It had be a summer staple. It couldn’t be another sandwich. And most importantly, it had to pair nicely with beer. Actually, that last count is the requisite we use for just about any food. Even breakfast . . and don’t judge.

Liam Neeson Tacos

Tacos speak the language of summer love. They’re easy without being McDonald’s . . they’re simple without being bologna sandwiches . . they’re fun and they come in a variety of shapes, sizes and delicious denominations. And tacos actually pair better with beer than say . .  hypothetically speaking . . . french toast, or oatmeal.


The ground rules in our search for the “Tastiest Taco”? Fine . . .

1- It can’t be convenience store
2- It can be Taco Bell
3- One of the candidates must be seafood tacos
4- No Nutella
5- And definitely no Corona . . .
6- Spicy hot equals good. Spicy hot with zero flavor equals we skip the bill.
7- Number 6 . . was . . . umm . . hypothetical.
8- There will be five taco candidates
9- The Russians will not be involved
10- Unless they’re gonna help pay for those taco scientists

We shall dub the next round of food for thought as our search for “The Tastiest Taco” so as not to confuse anyone who is of the opinion that a score of less than ten means our opinion of the culinary selection left something to be desired. I’m not naming any names, but carajo! This whole first world problems deal really is a thing, isn’t it?

Pumpkin Spice Tacos

And Imma go on record as saying that by selecting tacos, me and Linds B are standing arm and arm with our peeps from across the border in a brilliantly woven message of peace through good food. Oh hells yeah Imma go on record with that one . . even if we never actually thought about it that way when selecting tacos. Still . . the latest search sounds so much more relevant when you throw something like that into the mix, doesn’t it? We’re just a couple of beer swilling ambassadors if you ask me. And . . you’re welcome.

I was asked recently how the whole Cuban sammy search came about with us. I think it had something to do with the fact that I construct a Cubano with the same sacred obligation a lot of peeps put into churchgoing. I’m pretty sure it was inside the conversations borne of my passion for the thing that we decided to go in search of a worthwhile comparison.

There is no such theological application with the taco. If the Cubano was our torrid culinary affair, then tacos will be our platonic sidekick. Which makes it the perfect followup food for us. It isn’t complicated. And in a complicated world, I’m plenty chill with a food that makes Tuesday feel like Friday and the weekend feel like a vacation.

We ain’t asking for perfection when tasty is so much more fun.



Running the “Philly Special” in our Search for the perfect Cuban sandwich



With apologies to W.C. Fields, it had to be Philadelphia.

Over the last several months, our search for the perfect Cubano saw me and Linds B make our way through a solidly righteous collection of foodie towns from Harrisburg and Reading to Lancaster and Elizabethtown. But when we decided it was high time to get back to it and finish this search, it had to be the biggest town in the commonwealth . . where football and food reign supreme.


If you’re not from the state, you just don’t understand how unfair it is that Philly has been subject to typecasting more often than Will Smith (Shout out to West Philadelphia on that one . .). The real deal truth is that cheesesteaks are nothing more than a starting point. Because this town can hold its own with any city under the flag it made famous when it comes to offering up a wide array of culinary choices.


Our first stop was Reading Terminal Market, where we ran into Joe Nicolosi, the head chef at DiNic’s Roast Pork. This city institution got some much deserved national cred when it was featured on an episode of Man vs. Food with Adam Richman, and shortly after that appearance it won the honor of “Best Sandwich in America”. (If you ain’t seen the MVF clip, you can find it here.) And so we had to go a few rounds with this heavyweight champion sammy: the roast pork with sharp provolone and broccoli rabe. After which I cursed the handsome devil who runs the kitchen for creating such a diabolically delicious piece of love that hurt so good and left us feeling as if maybe . . just maybe, our food run had peaked before the main event.


After a quick Google search, we set our coordinates for Cuba Libre Restaurant and Rum Bar. It was a twenty minute walk to Old Town, during which time Linds and me talked about everything but sports. We strolled past Independence Hall, drank in the city sounds and made small talk with a cute little pixie by the name of Iris who dealt up some serious 411 on the ASPCA.

Cuba Libre

Finally . . we found ourselves in the clutches of sweet Libertad, and when we walked inside the place, it felt as if we’d navigated ninety miles worth of ocean trespass and had landed in the heart of old Habana. We were seated next to a staircase whose ascent might have leaned into stars of a long lost time when an island nation was the resort of choice for many Americans. The interior was an argumentative cascade of modern and classical architecture dressed in vibrant island colors.

And then it struck me as to what this little mission of ours had stood for from the get. Our search had been a humbly romantic nod to a time when patience and roots held sway and songs bred revolutions and islands swam on earnest tides. And so we kept to the charter by ordering up a couple of classic mojitos and El Cubano.

The open air setting worked backup to the pulsing beat of Latin classics that bounded off the walls while wicker fans provided a wonderfully percussive remedy for a couple of B-side travelers with the finish line in their sights. And then our server broke it all down with a plateful of artful prowess. Peels of crunchy plantain done up as if by Dali, with our perfect Cuban sammy selection doing the straight up salsa right in our faces.

The Cuba Libre blueprint is an homage to where the Cubano first laid down roots in Ybor City, Florida: Sour orange marinated pork loin, Genoa salami, ham, provolone and Swiss with a yellow mustard-pickle relish. This rich and glorious past was brought to the present and pressed between a couple pieces of locally baked bread in such a way that the late, great Celia Cruz would’ve most certainly approved.

The Verdict

For the record? I’m pretty sad that our search has come to its conclusion because man . . . it was a time. Soooo, Imma take a moment before I give you the mostly predictable results.

Promised “Moment” . . .

Thank you for reading these installments. Really and truly . . thank you! We’ve made some great memories, had some great food and most of all we have enjoyed the feedback we have received on this via Facebook and WordPress, as well as our families and friends. And not to put one of those peeps on the spot, but Dale over at A Dalectable Life is gonna keep this tasty train going. You can check out her first installment here

I guess the only intrigue that remains is whether or not we gave Cuba Libre’s sammy a perfect score so here it is boys and girls . . .

The pork was succulent with tangy notes of decadence thrown in for good measure. The salami was a welcomed bit of spicy throwback to the original standard. The ham was sweet and savory, and the Swiss was a pelt of luscious melt with provolone rocking it in the new old fashioned way.  Even the yellow mustard-relish worked surprisingly well, helping to bring everything together. And when you press all these savory selections into a small boat of bread baked fresh in Philadelphia proper? It would seem a slam dunk certainty that we went all Bo Derek on this puppy.

Alas, we are notoriously tough graders and so we had to deduct for the provolone and the relish since they are newcomers, and thus . . . not original ingredients. But 9.5 out of 10 is nothing to sneeze at. In fact, it makes the Cuba Libre version our Search winner.

And it really did have to be Philadelphia. Because there’s a dignity that runs in stride with the brawny scrum of this town that gives it its unique flavor. From the moment you crash its gates, you understand the complicated history that goes into making anything that’s worth it.

So here’s to life, liberty and delicious pursuits.

Our search for the perfect Cuban sammy does the ‘Rumba’


Sup homies! Linds B here. A very close human of mine, Ali Clark, took a lovely little trip to Florida for her graduation! Naturally with her being in a part of the U.S. that Marco and I likely will not travel to (for the Cuban sammy challenge at least), we had to ask her to snag a Cubano while she was down there. And of course, she delivered! Here is her review on her Floridian Cuban experience!

Hello all – I am very new to doing the Lord’s work, so I’ll be trying my best to live up to the Cubano-aficionado’s review standards.

While here in Naples I was told to seek out the best Cuban sandwich around, so I did what any person today would do and googled “best Cuban sandwich in Naples”, bringing me glowing reviews of Rumba Cuban Cafe. This cafe is a family owned business with two locations both with a 4.5 star rating and a slew of reviews, many boasting about THE BEST CUBAN SANDWICH IN NAPLES!!!!! So naturally this was the place to check out.

Rumba’s was only about 2 miles from my Airbnb so I hopped in the car and got the only parking space left in the lot. This place was PACKED. So much so that you couldn’t even go inside, and I got the last table outside (lucky me, right?). Within 5 minutes we had 4 different waitresses ask us what we wanted to drink – I was almost afraid I was going to end up with 4 beers. I was a little afraid at first because their FAMOUS CUBAN SANDWICH wasn’t even on the menu… but luckily it was still something I could order. I didn’t come a whole 2 miles to leave empty handed ya know.


When this experience started to go sour was when the wait for food started to take pretty long, almost 45 minutes. Granted, there were a lot of people there but I was hoping that meant that my Cuban was going to be made with a lil extra love… but I’m not so sure about that.

Now – I’ve probably only ever had one other Cuban in my life so I could be COMPLETELY wrong here – but this was not a good one, despite being told seven times by staff how amazing it was going to be. I’m not sure if they’re trained for this or how every waitress found out I had ordered a Cuban, but every single one of them felt the need to comment on this fantastic journey I was about to embark on. Out comes my sandwich, placed in front of me as if it is a bar of solid gold (I’m really not kidding about that, it felt like I was sinning to even touch it) and it looked pretty mediocre. I’m willing to look past a not so great exterior, because it’s what’s on the inside that counts right?? Well, this was very lackluster in that department as well.


For the first bite I was expecting an even amount of everything since it’s technically the middle of the sandwich, but all I was left with was a mouthful of dry pork. The bread was reminiscent of cardboard left out on a humid day – not much of a crunch, not completely soggy- it was a weird in between. The pork never got juicy even though the whole sandwich was dripping in grease, so no matter how long I chewed, it was still what I imagine the consistency of mulch is. And lastly, the cheese was nowhere near melty enough. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing I love more than super melty cheese (well I guess there are a few things but that’s pretty high on the list).

The Verdict

Overall it WAS a Cuban sandwich, it DID have all of the necessary ingredients but it lost points for all of the above issues. Out of 10 this Cuban unfortunately deserved a 4. It lost 1 point each for the bread and excess grease, and 2 points for dry pork and lack of melt.

Hopefully the next round of Cubans blows this one out of the water. Til next time!

Big thank you to Linds B for the intro and to the lovely Ali Clark for being our first ever correspondent here at sorryless! Linds and me gave her this assignment (begged her) at the last minute and she nailed it. After which she went skinny dipping and then had a champagne party to celebrate her college graduation.

Kurt Vonnegut would be proud.

The Twinkies Post (Fat Free, Sticky Sweet!)


In an uncertain world, where Starbucks coffee comes with cancer warning labels and bottled water is hazardous to your health, it’s nice to know that some things never change. Eat enough Twinkies, you’re gonna die. Same as it’s ever been. Why do you think Tallahassee crushed so hard on them in the movie Zombieland? Because he knew he had nothing to lose. It’s quite simple, really. When you come to the end of the sidewalk, choose the thing that will kill you and at least you’ll die happy.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank a few WordPress peeps before sharing my Easter night festivities. Tails Around the Ranch supported the idea of a peanut butter and honey drizzle Twinkie, to which I tried my hand at. A Frank Angle inspired me with tales of Twinkie-ology at the Iowa State Fair. And A Dalectable Life was so repulsed by the thought of a Twinkie, that I had to share my exploits with her. She could (and should) have her own cooking show, and as such, can be . . . how do I say this politely? A bit of a food snob . .

So on Easter night, me and my daughter decided to provide a reboot to the Twinkies franchise. Because if Spider Man and The Hulk can come up with another forgettable flick every twelve minutes . . why not bring our smack take to the golden snack cake?


We were well aware of the risks. After all, the re-writing of history is a tempestuous undertaking, rife with pitfalls and purists, critics and crooks. And Twinkies, well . . they have a history with us Americans. First produced in an Illinois bakery in 1930 as a means of using shortbread pans that had become obsolete, the snack cake was an instant hit. Interestingly, the original filling for Twinkies was banana creme but during World War II, banana imports dried up, so the company moved to vanilla filling and never looked back- save for the occasional tinker and trial every now and again.

Now, I’m not a huge Twinkies fan, excepting for a momentary lapse of reason several years back when Hostess pulled them from the shelves and I found myself wanting back into a relationship I never was totally committed to in the first place.

When Twinkies came back less than a year later, I was in love. For about thirty seven seconds- which is the average amount of time it takes to eat one of these spongy snack treats. I dropped them for good after that, but every now and again . . I get the craving.

We transformed a handful of the creamy yellow drumsticks into a comedic fusion of sweet entanglements. Good thing for us that pimping Twinkies happens to be a legal enterprise in all fifty states (It’s actually mandatory in Oregon and Colorado . . for some . . reason).

Completely Different

We re-purposed three Twinkies, and the results? Not horrible.

Peanut Butter and Jelly: Admittedly, not the most inspired of choices. But here’s the thing, PB&J in a sponge cake sounds pretty good. And it was tasty . . enough. But it did fall short of my expectations, which were much too lofty to begin with. I mean . . it’s a fucking Twinkie!

Peanut Butter with Honey Drizzle: The peanut butter was just, good. The honey drizzle was tasty because honey drizzled on just about anything is gonna be tasty. It was another okay combination.

Dark Chocolate: We stuffed Twinkies with some dark chocolate we purchased at a local candy maker. This was the tastiest of the cake test dummies. The dark chocolate really made the sponge cake worth it; sort of the way Cher once made Sonny look halfway cool back in the day.


So of the three transformations, the dark chocolate stuffed Twinkies won the night. If this would have been an Olympic sport, the American judge would’ve given the dark chocolate Twinkies a 9, the Swedish judge a 7.5 and the Russian judge would’ve withheld his vote until we paid him.

But Wait, There's More!

Wait . . you thought I was gonna leave you with that? Nah. There’s no way I was putting “The Twinkies Post” in lights unless I had a closing shot that proved worthy. Because I never would have been able to forgive myself; not as a second rate baker and most certainly not as a proud ‘Murican.

For our last entry, we went and did it. We deep fried a couple of these fuckers and that’s when things went Amadeus. Because a deep fried Twinkie is not a Twinkie . . whatsoever. Something magical happens when the hot oil bathes these battered beauties and changes the molecular structure. It’s a funky baptismal effect that transforms the snack cake from a just okay midnight snack to five star cuisine. And maybe I’m adding a couple tablespoons of hyperbole here, but I ain’t lying either.


So dark chocolate Twinkies won the battle of the alternate fillings while the deep fried won Best in Show. And I didn’t wake up on Monday morning feeling like an anchor nestled at the bottom of the Mariana Trench. Which is called a win in my book. I buried the rest of the Twinkies in the backyard and I made the kids swear an oath that if they felt the craving for deep fried Twinkies again anytime soon, that they would consider drugs instead.

Of course . . this doesn’t mean there won’t be a Twinkies sequel at some future point in time. Because I’m thinking about marrying a few of my favorite candy bars to the spongy cream filled snacks and seeing how that works out.

I like to think Tallahassee would have been proud of us for exercising our God given right to shameless indulgences. Because why wait for the end of the world to partake when Urgent Care is available at three in the morning?

Enjoy the little things . . .