Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Michigan Alert

This just popped up on our Feedjit:

If you know anyone in/from Brighton who is opening a restaurant, and they plan on serving meat there, be very, very wary.

With your best interests in mind,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

We called it.

April 12, 2010: Double Down Day. I predicted that within three months KFC would kill the Double Down, but keep the wrapper.

Well folks, the announcement apparently came today: KFC appears to be replacing the DD with a regular chicken sandwich. It is a bit ambiguous - they don't specifically say that they're taking the DD off of the menu, but it appears that that will be the natural step. Money says, though, that they're keeping that brilliant little wrapper - the greatest advance in Sandwich Science™ this year.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Quit

by Beau Cadiyo

Since the Quit I have received 1,528 e-mails, all approximately the same:

Dear Mr. Beau Cadiyo,

What would Lebron James’ exit from the Cavaliers mean to the Cleveland Sandwich Board?


Starry-Eyed Admirer

PS Your review of (restaurant) was totally right-on! I (loved/loathed) it as well, but have not the skills to put this (love/loathing) into words like you do!

The crush of requests has become too much to deal with, particularly since the last couple of posts about New York's sandwich scene and its attempts to lure LBJ to the island. It would be too time-consuming to email each individual back personally (much less oblige the one-out-of-seven emails requesting a worn, unwashed pair of briefs). I also don’t know why they think that the Cleveland Sandwich Board would be affected by LeBron James’ status with the Cavaliers – contrary to common belief, we do not actually hold controlling positions in the back office at the Q, and while Dan Gilbert is in my address book he hasn't made it to speed dial. I think, however, that these readers really mean to ask what his exit would mean to Boards, Sandwiches and the city of Cleveland in general. I will therefore post my responses here and hope each of these would-be correspondents has the opportunity to review it.

First, the easy one: Boards. A search on Google revealed this video of LeBron which purports to show him smashing a backboard. Personally, I can’t see anything indicating that this is LeBron or that he actually broke the backboard. This was also apparently back in his high-school days, and I did not find any videos of him shattering any boards in the NBA. If anyone knows of any instance of him smashing a board in the last seven years, please, do tell. Otherwise, it is fair to say that LeBron’s potential departure would not affect boards in any discernible way.

Second, what effect will Lebron leaving have on sandwiches? Here, I must rely on anecdotal evidence: LeBron was also spotted at the Winking Lizard on Coventry a few weeks ago – not horrible, but not exactly fine dining with personalized food. I think we can extrapolate from this tidbit that chefs are not going to be particularly eager to accommodate him with special sandwiches. Further, as far as I know, no Cleveland chef has made a sandwich for LeBron James in the same way that R.J. Boland’s made a Shaq Burger (hyperlink) just after his arrival. Verdict: LeBron’s possible departure will not have any discernible effect on sandwiches in our fair city.

Finally, much has already been said about the effect that his departure might have on the city of Cleveland. Most commentators believe that LeBron’s presents here is a positive and that, were he to leave, Cleveland would suffer a serious blow in morale, economically, socially – heck, the city would instantly die.

I think that LeBron leaving could actually be a positive.

Cleveland, and most of the rust-belt cities, were dependent in their heydays on manufacturing. All of our eggs were in one basket, and our economy depended on people making stuff. Then manufacturers left and 20/20 hindsight made us see that dependency upon a single industry was folly – we should have diversified when we could have. Even now, many people hope that manufacturing will return and employ Clevelanders. While there is a romantic allure to American manufacturing self-sufficiency, the reality is that returning to regional dependency on manufacturing will only further delay our emergence as a multifacteted, international economy. If we could go back in time, nobody rational would ever advise Cleveland or Detroit or Youngstown or Pittsburgh to be dependent on a single industry, regardless of what that industry was; instead, they would tell the town elders to diversify and focus on widespread wealth creation.

What does this have to do with the Cavaliers? They, too, put all of their hopes in one player and didn’t diversify. The Bleacher Report said it exceptionally well: "It is not often that a franchise and a city rely so heavily on one man...Sources have said that if James leaves the Cavs this summer as a free agent, the value of the Cavs franchise would depreciate by up to $150 million."

Having LeBron thus hurts the Cavs as a team; the others rely on him too much on both offense and defense, and the habit that they have of letting him dominate means that they are used to being submissive. When he doesn’t dominate, though, they are still submissive. What Cleveland has to do, with or without LeBron, is create a team in which each player is comfortable being individually dominant yet can play together, rather than playing to support the Alpha member. As long as he’s here, they’re going to depend on him; the cycle of dependency is well-nigh impossible to break. Boston, in contrast, has a team with individually above-average players and no single superstar.

Of course, the players LeBron is often compared to – Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant – were basically one-team players; it’s hard to imagine Kobe deciding to move, say, to Sacramento, even in the lean years. If LeBron wants to be as great as they are, he should stick it out with the Cavs and work with them as a team. If he does move, he’ll immediately realize that his new team won’t have the structure he’s used to and he’ll immediately pine to be back at the Q. Regardless, the dependence on LeBron by both the Cavaliers and Cleveland is, like our former dependence on industry, an anachronism. It’s taken a bit of work, but we now have much more than just factories to depend on. Similarly, the Cavs have some good individual players; what we need is an amazing team. Will it bring us a championship? That is unclear, but it seems to be working for Boston right now - they're up 3-2 against the Lakers (who are dependent on Kobe). As long as Cleveland relied upon manufacturing, we didn’t try to diversify or bring other ideas or industries into our city. As long as Cleveland has been dependent on LeBron, we haven’t tried to create a winning team independent of our single great player. If he stays, it would be the equivalent of having an industrial base still operating but diversifying at the same time. We would simply have to make sure that we did not squander the opportunity and build a solid team with - not around - his prodigious talents. If he leaves, then we have to make sure that our team is strong enough that when he returns, we destroy whatever team he’s on so thoroughly that he leaves the Q without shaking hands or giving interviews.

WSJ, LeBron, Sandwiches.

Is R.M. Schneiderman a malicious spreader of lies? An incompetent reporter? A formentor of social unrest through uninformed muckraking? I'm not sure - I've never met him, nor have I read much besides this article in the Wall Street Journal. I do know one thing: he's not very good at getting his facts straight here. Schneiderman writes,

"As for James himself, Iron Chef Michael Symon has said he’d cook for LeBron and his friends once a month if the Cavs star comes to New York. And Slyman’s Deli has said it would give LeBron free corned beef for life if he moves to the city."

Really? Has Rupert Murdoch turned the WSJ into a rag with the credibility of the National Enquirer, with little R.M. tagging along at his heels?

Obviously, both of these statements are wildly inaccurate, at best. First, Symon offered to make dinner if LeBron STAYS. One would be hard-pressed to understand why Symon would fly to New York to cook for LeBron out there.

Second, Slyman's - that storied Cleveland institution - said he'd get free corned beef for life if he STAYED. Such a glorious landmark would be burned to the ground if it chose to give him free corned beef for life if he left. In addition, it defies logic to think that LeBron would take Freddie up on such an offer. It IS good corned beef, but why would LBJ move to New York and then fly back to Cleveland for a Reuben every day?

Should anyone be surprised that newspapers are dying when these sorts of made-up "facts" appear in their pages? Should I be surprised that the Wall Street Journal let these things through their fact checker system? What else are they lying about???

Luckily for the truth, the Cleveland Sandwich Board is here to call these varmints out and defend the honor and dignity of our restaurateurs. This is exactly the sort of thing that could cost Schneiderman his career; lets hope, for his sake, that the WSJ corrects it immediately.


Monday, June 14, 2010

Dear LeBron: New York is waiting to kill you

Dear LeBron,

We just wanted you to know that New York City is attempting to kill you. They want you to get fat and die, and they're going to overcharge you for it. Here's the evidence.

Our advice: stick with the chicken salad sandwich at Good To Go Cafe.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mia Bella

12200 Mayfield Road
Cleveland, OH 44106
(216) 795-2355

By Beau Cadiyo

It's long been difficult to actually get a good sandwich in Little Italy. Presti's, of course, has superb chicken salad, but for a regular sit-down place the pickings are few and far between. Thus, when I learned that the head chef had left La Dolce Vita to start his own restaurant directly across the street, I was glad – while the Dolce food was generally good, I didn't like the restaurant itself. When I heard that the chef would be making sandwiches at his new restaurant, Mia Bella, the heavens opened, angels sang and I had a vision of a promised land of delicious leavened bread and filling.

I arrived at 8:30 p.m. on the night of their soft opening, which coincided with the Little Italy Art Walk, just as a group of four were turned away at the door. Tables all along the sidewalk were packed. I strode purposefully past a perky blonde hostess and went inside; every single table was taken, and the air was full of excited conversation. Both the interior lighting and the huge, open windows made it feel light, airy and pleasant. I walked to the very end of the bar and leaned against the only open seat in the entire restaurant, which also happened to be just above an air conditioning vent. Immediately, two women started talking to me and the bartender came over to shake my hand.

Things were looking good.

Frank arrived and suggested we go outside. I was skeptical; after all, I had a perfectly good perch in a very, very crowded restaurant - how were we supposed to get a prime table on a beautiful night when so many others were being turned away? She marched outside, spotted an empty table at the very end, said a few words to the hostess and we were seated.

We waited. Water, silverware, fresh bread and herb butter were brought out at different times, as were our menus, and eventually someone arrived to take our order. Meanwhile, people walked past – friends walked by and said hello, our water glasses were filled and refilled again, and we passed the time by ignoring our cell phones and talking.

Months ago, I received a few angry messages about my B-Spot review; the gist was that I reviewed it when B-Spot was new, and that I should have cut them some slack. The thing was, the food at B-Spot was terrible and we were charged full-price. Mia Bella, on their very first night, couldn’t have been more different. While it took a little time, when my Sopa di Pesche and Frank’s Calamari arrived, both were artfully presented in elegant four-sided, high-walled bowls. From the first bite, I was impressed. Mia Bella’s soup is fresh: everything from the fish to the vegetables to the parsley tasted as if it had been caught or picked immediately before being cooked. The thick stock swirled with oil and herbs; the warm bread they served had the harder shell and soft interior indicating that it had just come out of the oven. Frank, who normally doesn’t like any seafood, had one spoonful of my soup, then two more, then used her fork to get half of a piece of fish from the bowl; her calamari was similarly delicious, although for some reason she didn’t think it should have been served with the small triangle of bread in her bowl.

Then the sandwich arrived. It wasn’t on the dinner menu, but when I’d asked the waitress she smiled, winked and said she’d see if the chef could make me one. On such an important, busy, chaotic night, I was impressed; when I actually got the sandwich, I was floored. If this was indicative of what Mia Bella can do with a last-minute sandwich request, the rest of the previously-planned entrees must be phenomenal.

The bread was a seemingly fresh-baked flat loaf of slightly leavened bread, folded over on itself. Lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and charbroiled chicken were stuffed inside with a generous slathering of pesto. The chicken was exceptionally tender and tasted of recently applied flame; there were blackened bits, but he avoided burning it beyond what was necessary for flavor. The lettuce was crisp, but not texturally overbearing. The tomatoes tasted like actual tomatoes, not like cardboard. The red onions were arranged so that I tasted their new-cut, pungent flavor in every bite, but just a little.

The standout, though, was the pesto. At first, the newly crushed basil was the most powerful flavor, but after a few bites I realized that I’d also been tasting garlic; the olive oil played a few pleasant, lingering notes and held all of the other flavors together, as good olive oil should. I’ve never had pesto which tasted this fresh, and I’ve only rarely had a sandwich where all of the parts worked so harmoniously. Within a few bites, I had a new favorite summer sandwich.

We finished just as it started raining, so we moved inside. On the back wall, two paintings in progress – detailed murals of a castle and a bridge – were lit up with spotlights, inviting patrons to see art in progress. "Life Is Beautiful" was on the widescreen. "Take a look at this belly button! What a knot! But you can't untie it, not even with your teeth! Those racist scientists tried it. Not a chance! This is an Italian belly button!" We laughed, and Frank sipped her wine. It was 11 p.m., and people still milled about, talking, laughing and finishing their food.

Little Italy has a new, outstanding restaurant in its heart. I’d suggest letting them run for a few weeks to let the chef and the waitstaff adjust to their new digs and perfect their techniques. Then you should make reservations; Mia Bella is going to be too popular to leave getting a table up to chance. Go, enjoy the experience, and taste the real sweet life.

Mia Bella on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Metairie, Louisiana

Feedjit just showed up with this:

Metairie, Louisiana - we hope you find what you're looking for.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ask the CSB

What are your thoughts on the effects the BP oil spill might have on sandwiches?

Edward Sandwichhands:
Good luck getting a shrimp po' boy

Earl S. Wich:
Seafood from the Gulf represents 5% of US Consumption and 1/5 of the Gulf is now closed to fishing with every expectation that it will get worse. That is certainly enough to affect prices on seafood. So price increases will happen. Frank Cousteau took some underwater video of the effects of the spill and it was pretty revolting.

Believe it or not, the testing procedure for checking for contamination includes human "sniffers" who smell the fish. One expert called it "...the best oil detection tool we have available."

Plus, this has seriously cut into Sponge Bob's Crabby Patty production.

D. John Horseradish:
I'm looking forward to not having to grease my pans, as the oil should provide enough protection against burning.

On the other hand, there's nothing worse than an oily oyster.

Also, consider hurricane season. If a giant storm fed by the gulf dumps oil all over the Midwest, goodbye grains, bread, and sandwiches as we know them.

Oily bread. That would trump an oily oyster. "Oily oyster" is kind of fun to say, though. Might be a good band name!
D. John:
Oh Ed:

We've genetically engineered our plants to the point where if oil-rain comes down on our midwest wheat, it'll probably just grow like all-natural H2O.

Beau Cadiyo:
So, this could be devastating for not only oyster-based sandwiches but sandwiches in general, should the grain harvests be affected?

I was thinking about tuna fish; luckily, they're often caught in the open sea. I don't know of many other fish-based sandwiches.

I wonder what will happen with Subway's fish salad sandwich - is there even a fish ingredient in it? Should potential franchisees be looking to, say, Papa John's instead?

Cod sandwiches are really popular around here, don't think cod comes
from the Gulf though. Not sure.

What kind of fish go into the fast food fish sandwiches? I have no idea where those come from. Could be affected. The Fillet-O-Fish becomes unobtainable. Lent is ruined!

Papa John's. Fish-free pizza and proud of it!
McDonalds exploits a whitefish similar to cod that I believe is in the new zealand/australia area. As for the other fast food chains,
probably a crap shoot.

Yeah - McD's is all south Pacific sourced, although because of overfishing that could change.

D. John:
I'm surprised McD's isn't Chinese farm-grown cod.


The hurricane scenario taken about as far as it can go.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


"After twelve years of doing Wait, Wait, on which I have interviewed future Presidents and Elmo himself, nothing has excited my daughters more than Sandwich Monday. "What sandwich did you eat today, Papa?" they cry as I return home on Monday evenings."

I hope that someday I am lucky enough to have daughters like them.

Also, this man threatened and robbed a sandwich shop with gasoline. Then when he was cornered by cops he set the bathroom of his hotel on fire, which forced him out. Nobody ever said a sandwich shop thief was smart.

Keep 'em coming, America.