The Best Sandwich
One late night show, has a questionnaire that is amusing, but also a satiric tool. The lead-off question?
“What is the best sandwich?”
“You from Austin?”
“Wow, how did you know?”
At the time, my old business number was still a 512 number, the original Austin area code. To some of us, a symbolic number to covet.
But the Best Sandwich?
Guess I should fact-check and see if the old Thundercloud Subs is still there, west of the freeway on old Riverside Dr., but east of Congress Ave., looks like it’s still there. Shows on Google Maps, so it must be true.
On a hot September summer afternoon, hair possibly damp from Barton Creek, wander into the shop in the middle of the afternoon, order a vegetarian sub, the long version, I think it was hummus, avocado, and sprouts, not sure, but that sounds right. Get them to add bacon. Vegetarian with bacon. On a healthy whole-wheat bun.
Usually got a smirk, but for its cacophony of flavors, each distinct and yet independent? It worked. Little bit of bacon for the cat. Clutching a Thundercloud sandwich and a big gulp from the no-name convenience store fountain. All part of a little slice of what made Austin what it is, or what it was before.
So the quest for the best sandwich? I always think about that little Thundercloud on Riverside, and the person making superlative sandwich.
The Best Sandwich
There’s a companion to the memory of the best sandwich, a certain, I want to think Scorpio, but might’ve been another water sign, and this is the plausible deniability aspect of the nature of my memory, but yeah, think it was Scorpio.
“Not Scorpio, I’m a Cancer, the crab.”
She had a tattoo, upper arm, barely visible, but poking out from underneath a short-sleeve T.
It was a rendition of a packet of “Sweet-n-Low,” the then-ubiquitous artificial sweetener. “Pink sugar,” in the parlance of those times.
I seem to recall, “Yeah, I’m saccharine, fake sweet, bitter aftertaste, you know?”
Possibly not a healthy choice, as well?
The data points were included in horoscopes, early blog posts, and similar mental-drooling behaviors. Not like this new material.
But on a plain all its own? The Best Sandwich really used to be a vegetarian sandwich, with bacon, at Thundercloud.
Another reminiscent Mercury Retrograde thought pattern.
the Portable Mercury Retrograde