Saturday, February 6, 2016

Off the Map: The Godmother Sandwich -- An Offer We Can Refuse

Godmother Sandwich -- Bay Cities Italian Bakery and Deli, Los Angeles, CA
Bay Cities Italian Bakery and Deli

Now that we are in the Los Angeles version of "down the shore" in Santa Monica, we decide that we will look less conspicuous hauling ourselves across town with nothing but our own legs to carry us.  After all, everyone walks when they're at the beach, right?  Even Californians who don't seem to want to walk anywhere?

California: Thousands of Fruit Trees, But Not a Single Pedestrian
Halfway through our journey across town, we encounter our first four-lane crossing without the benefit of a stop light.  Unlike in New York, where we step off the curb with wild abandon the second we have the right of way (this practice is sure to get us killed some day), in LA, we tend to place one toe onto the street at a time, certain that we're about to get plowed down by a driver who isn't used to the likes of us.  We approach this first intersection just as tentatively, until we realize that Santa Monica drivers will stop -- instantly and swiftly -- at the mere sight of a pedestrian.

Such power, we have never known before.
This Is the Benefit of Being the LA Anomaly
Therefore, by the time we finally make it to Bay Cities Italian Bakery and Deli, we expect to be greeted in an equally royal fashion: for them to roll out the red carpet, hand us our desired godmother sandwich from the BETWEEN BREAD episode of Best Thing I Ever Ate, and send us on our way.

Needless to say, this is not what we experience.  
Where Did All of These People Suddenly Come From?!
Despite the relatively barren sidewalks of most of Santa Monica, Bay Cities is packed to the gills.  In fact, when we manage to force our way toward the deli counter to try to order a sandwich, the number we choose is 74... and they are currently only on 58.  
Yeah, We'd Like to Get Bread, But We're Still SIXTEEN NUMBERS AWAY!
It is at this point that Vodka has a sudden sneezing fit (clearly she's been hanging around Ginger and her hives too long), which results in other waiting customers insisting on saying "bless you" to her EVERY TIME.  Instead of being grateful for this, Vodka is more astonished than anything.  

And truth be told, slightly annoyed, being that she then has to keep saying "thank you."
Someone, Please Give Us the Sandwich So Vodka Can Stop Being Polite
By some blessed miracle, one of the Bay Cities workers suddenly places a basket of pre-made godmother sandwiches on the counter of the deli, which Ginger spots and scurries over to grab one.  It takes us another ten minutes to make our way through the cash register lines, and not since Katz's have we been to a more overwhelming deli establishment.
Maybe All of Those "Bless Yous" Paid Off
Assuming this sandwich must be pretty amazing to convince people to ford through all of this nonsense, we unwrap it at one of Bay Cities's outside tables and examine its contents.  
Scenic View. Or Not
And we immediately discover that much like the deli itself, there's a lot going on in this sandwich.  
One Positive: It's Split in Half
Namely at least four kinds of Italian lunch meat, cheese, roasted red peppers, lettuce, sauce, and a bevy of other ingredients we can't quite determine, all jammed between two slices of thick Italian bread.  
This Ain't Your Wawa Hoagie. And We Don't Mean That As a Compliment
One bite reveals that instead of the BETWEEN BREAD episode, Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken should have chosen this for the MESSY one, as the contents of the sandwich are suddenly all over our table.
Well, This Is Appetizing
The bread itself seems awfully hard for holding the preponderance of ingredients, since its crustiness works against the insides, rather than cupping them together.  
For the First Time in Our Entire Lives, We'd Like Less Carbs
There also seems to be way too many roasted red peppers relative to the rest of the filling, only topped by the proliferation of mysterious sauce.  
Dear Fairy Godmother: Please Turn This Sandwich Into a Martini
Within a few bites, we have abandoned the sandwich entirely, grateful at the very least that we didn't have to spend over an hour waiting for it to be created.
You're Welcome, Bay Cities, For Us Creating Our Own Placemat
Immediately upon leaving the premises, Vodka drops her phone on the sidewalks of Santa Monica, resulting in a fully shattered screen -- the curse, perhaps, of disparaging the godmother sandwich.  Talk about keeping your friends close, and your enemy sandwiches closer.     

Bay Cities Italian Bakery and Deli's Godmother Sandwich: 2 stars

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