3030 Superior Ave E
Cleveland, OH 44114
by Beau Cadiyo
Bite: Good Polish Boy.
A proposal by Yum! Brands – owner of such brands as Taco Bell, KFC and Pizza Hut – would allow people on welfare to use food stamps to purchase fast food. While we at the Cleveland Sandwich Board are, generally speaking, encouraging of all efforts to increase the percentage and number of people who have easy and affordable access to sandwiches, we have found ourselves generally against this use of taxpayer funds intended to help those who cannot afford food to buy it.
You are incredulous. Here: if the point is to allow people to eat, then allowing them as much choice as possible in their food selection seems to be an intelligent thing to do; let them get the food that they want, when and where they want it, and don’t try to dictate to them what they choose to consume. The problem, though, is in “choice.” America is the land of the free and liberty is a great ideal, and that with freedom and liberty comes great responsibility. However, we cannot support the idea that liberty and freedom should exist absent responsibility, and, no matter how much fast food companies would love to claim otherwise, choosing fast food is not a responsible food option, because Yum! Brands food sucks, being marginally better than prison food, and their food is the cause of, or at least a major contributor to, obesity and obesity-related diseases. We understand that sometimes life kicks you in your balls/ovaries, and that nothing can be done to prevent that, and that society has an interest in making sure that nobody is allowed to hit bottom without some support. However, we can’t fathom allowing people to make poor food choices when better food choices – and virtually everything is a better food choice compared to what Yum! Brands puts out – are available. The fact that Yum! will itself be one of the major beneficiaries of the program makes us even more suspicious. (The idea that this is part of Yum!'s oft-rumored "Soylent Green" project remain unsubstantiated.)
Nobody paid us to write those things. As importantly in this day and age, nobody paid us not to write them. The Cleveland Sandwich Board is an incorruptible, unimpeachable force of honesty and goodness in the world – as at least three ESPN commentators have opined, perhaps the last. If nobody pays us not to say something, we will say it, and damn the consequences.
This ties in to a more recent debate that we’ve been witnessing in Florida regarding testing welfare recipients for drug use. As far as I can tell, the reasons for doing so are pretty straightforward:
1) Drug use is illegal.
2) Because it is illegal, people should not be using drugs.
3) Unlike many illegal activities, drug use leaves some of its evidence in a person’s body, meaning that we can test for past crimes by testing the person’s body.
4) Drugs cost money.
5) Welfare is money that is given to poor people so that they can afford food.
6) If poor people did not have welfare, they would not be able to afford food.
7) If poor people had money, they would not need welfare.
8) If poor people have money, they should spend it on food (a necessity) and not on drugs (an illegal luxury).
9) If poor people have money, then welfare frees up money for them to spend on drugs.
10) If poor people have money, spending it on drugs means that they are not spending it on food, so that’s money they should be spending on food and the government is supplementing their drug use/illegal activity.
11) The government should not supplement illegal activity – here or abroad.
12) Thus, to the extent possible, the government should be doing everything in its power to avoid supplementing activity that violates its own laws.
Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Please tell me I’m wrong, because if not, I agree with Republicans and Tea Partiers, and my mother would be so, so ashamed.
To be fair, we wouldn’t want them spending money on many things otherwise available in restaurants but not that good for you. Polish Boys, for example. Recently, we were asked to compile a list of the top Polish Boys in Cleveland for Fox 8, and to have amateur yacht racer/professional rake Andrew Samtoy present them on New Day Cleveland. This city has many amazing Polish Boys, and we were asked to limit our choices to five.
Five Polish Boys. Try it sometime. It’s not as easy as you think.
There were many good ones we had; after all, it’s difficult to go wrong with sausage, barbecue sauce, coleslaw and French fries. You could put that in a bowl and mash it up and sell it as a Polish Salad and people would suck it through straws, it would be so amazing. One of these good ones that didn’t get on the final list was the one at Just Like Mom’s.
A group of us got together to eat one Friday night at Superior Pho. We went to the Indians game, where a bottom-of-the-ninth walk off home run was the perfect reason to celebrate with cartoon-themed fireworks; a sobering walk through the crowds (after three flasks of whiskey and brandy) and a miraculously easy exit from the parking structure got us back to Superior, where we ordered a Polish Boy, split it up, then started eating.
The sausage was huge, and juicy, seemingly having been deep-fried; the fries were standard and had some sort of seasoning on them; the bun was well on its way to soaking up much of the barbecue sauce (reasonably good) and the coleslaw (fresh and creamy). I finished mine far before Scarlet did, and sat back, holding Frank’s hand as Scarlet slurped up the last few pieces. Then, as I always seem to do after eating Polish Boys, I burped; later, a small fart would escape as well, more pungent than most, something I attribute to the sausage.
Good? Yes. One of the greats? No. Those were listed on the air the following Tuesday, and, as I was out of town, I wasn’t able to watch it. Since eating it, and putting significant thought into nutrition, I’ve started to have a change in heart: if I know that it’s not good for me, and that there are better, healthier options available, it is stupid to go with the worse, less healthy option over the better, healthier one. What one should do should take precedence over what one can or wants to do. Something tells me that’s the height of civilization, or discipline, or religious devotion, or some ineffable quality that is generally seen as beneficial. Choosing salads over sausages is like choosing Jesus over Satan; it is the narrow path of overcoming temptation which leads us to the promised land, not giving in to transient desires.
Someday, somewhere, a grad student is going to write her thesis on reading Milton as an instructive text on how to combat Type II Diabetes.
UPDATE: 6/21/11 - Yum! Brands just scored low on customer satisfaction in a report issued this morning. It looks like they probably realized that they needed to tap new markets, since the customers they have been relying on are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with what Yum! is putting out.