Saturday, July 10, 2010

From King Corn to Grinder Sutra

Martie of Taos Sunflower made the mistake of asking, I mean, very kindly inquired if we had encountered any sandwiches that could be included in Grinder Sutra on our trip. Grinder Sutra is a project in development, a film about those long sandwiches that are sometimes called subs or hoagies (Martie can be forgiven if she accidently called them that in her kind note). We encountered them in southern Rhode Island and Connecticut but have since discovered that the term "grinder" also is in use in part of western Massachusetts, somewhere in Michigan, and oddly enough, in Riverside, a community that is part of, or just outside of LA.

Well, Martie, the answer is yes!

We stopped in Omaha to visit an old friend, Jeff Peter. Jeff was, in fact, the only person present as a guest at our marriage ceremony at Queens Borough Hall in 1991. He doubled as witness and photographer and did an excellent job as both. He subsequently moved back to Omaha and we have only seen him once in the interim, so it was very exciting to finally see where he grew up and currently lives.

That is my long-winded lead up to the fact that a local pub in Jeff's neighborhood serves a grinder. Of course we had to go and check it out! The research just never stops.

But first, obligatory shot of Nebraska corn:

Seeing that much corn growing did seem wrong somehow. It just can't be healthy to grow that much like that, nor consume that much. If you have read Michael Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma, then you know what I am talking about.

Ok, back to grinders...

The menu at the the Dundee Dell. Ok, this is obviously a hybrid grinder place. I mean, anyone who notes that you can have your grinder also served as a wrap? Not happening. And their use of the term "hoagie roll" to describe the bread is sketchy at best. They are a little misguided in the details but the question is, how did it taste?

Finnian and Jeff did the honours. Finnian declared it very good, although the lettuce was not shredded so points off for that. And Jeff, well, with all due respect to him, as someone who spend most of his life in Omaha, I am not looking to him as a judge of the many and varied nuances of the grinder. Love the man! But for grinder expertise, I look elsewhere. But he did say it was good too.

So the Dundee Dell in Omaha is added to the list. If I hadn't been so dazed from the 100F heat, I would have done some actual filming but maybe we need another cross country film tour for Grinder Sutra. Not sure the Canada Council will fund that one, however.

And here is our very last travelogue photo!

A Louis Sullivan bank building in Grinnell, Iowa. We took this detour and photograph for Dan, who is a huge Louis Sullivan fan. Too bad he wasn't there to see it in person.


Taos Sunflower said...

Riverside????? How bizarre. I know a couple of people from Riverside...I'll see if I can get any inside scoop on that for you. Who knew. PS Thanks for the update!

Robyn said...

Yes, apparently there is a place called D'Elia's which is an off-shoot of a place from southeastern Connecticut - relatives who moved out to CA in the 1950s. They have been offering up authentic grinders ever since...