Naturally, one might believe that two good ideas mixed into one is the best idea. Sometimes, this is true. But other times, you run into things like shampoo-conditioner mix or the Democratic/Republican bipartisan split – things that are good ideas on their own being mixed against all wisdom. The BBQ rib sandwich is one such invention.
Today I went to an excellent little diner in Sumner, WA called Berryland. This small American breakfast and lunch diner in America is one of the last bastions of wholesome, American-prepared diner fare: sausage gravy smothered biscuits and hashbrowns, country-fried steak, eggs to order, sourdough to rye bread for toast. One of those places where you see senior-citizens more often than not, a lot of Trump votes in the room, a place where the waiter openly admits that you’re the first “Choi” they’ve ever served. Again, wholesome and American.
My menu item of choice is generally the biscuits and gravy or country-fried steak, but today I felt adventurous. I wanted to eat something heavier, something more between lunch and dinner. My eyes fell upon what appeared to be the best choice on the menu that was not an actual breakfast menu item: The BBQ Rib Sandwich.
Let me get this straight: I love ribs, pork or beef. Shoot, chicken breasts are all right too, though they encompass more than the ribs. In any case, ribs are easily the best things to come from any animal. Barbecue ribs are even better. I love ribs. I can eat ribs for days, weeks, months, years at a time. If I could have two baskets of infinite food they’d be BBQ ribs and fried chicken. There’s no other food that needs to be infinite on this planet.
While sandwiches are not my favorite thing on the planet, they are an effective system for delivering meat and other ingredients (more meat) into my stomach to be converted into human waste. If I have a sandwich, it had better be a good one. The time spent putting a sandwich together can generally be better spent just eating each ingredient separately. But sometimes, the specific marriage of ingredients produces a flavor not found in many other places, such as the BLT or Cubano sandwiches.
For the sandwich’s potential to be a stupendous food item, I decided to order the BBQ rib sandwich. I’m not sure why I ignored the last four times I’ve ever ordered a BBQ rib sandwich from anywhere, but I would be punished for my negligence. You see, sometimes things humanity has created was not meant for creation at all. It should not exist because it is not a sustainable model of production, such as over-pumping an aquifer or the war on
ISIS black people education drugs. It should not exist because the marriage of these two items doesn’t make sense on a rational level.
Consider: in order to effectively cover the area of “between-the-sandwich breads,” rib meat must be pulled apart into an unconsolidated mass of meat and sauce. This mess of food is then plopped onto a single piece of a toasted bun. Another bun is placed on this. This is a BBQ rib sandwich.
Anyone who has ever bitten into a BBQ rib sandwich has probably regretted ordering it. Why, why on God’s holy earth would you put these two things together? Rib meat does not stay cohesive, it falls apart at the slightest provocation. Biting into a BBQ rib sandwich is like voluntarily stepping onto a landmine and hoping your body stays together. Your hopes and prayers are nice and all, but the explosive force of the mine will generally lob a limb or two off as well as peppering you with a variety of shrapnel. In fact, the modern landmine was designed with the BBQ rib sandwich in mind.
Did it taste good? By all that is good, yes it fucking tasted good. It tasted heavenly. But was it worth the small forest’s worth of napkins to clean up after myself? Was it worth the indignity that follows the inability to eat a food without half of your chosen ingredients falling onto a plate? Why was the bread there in the first place if the meat is just going to end up falling off? What point does this serve? Who actually looked at a cooked rib and thought “man I should pull the meat off of this handy dandy bone handle and put it on a piece of bread so people can struggle to eat them for generations to come?”
BBQ rib sandwiches suck, just let me order ribs and put the bread on the side.