how fitting, that the party chicago chowhounds had last night to celebrate the simple joys of the sandwich followed by just a few days the PBS special, 'sandwiches you will like'. we had a glorious feast-- wave after wave of imaginative and tasty homemade sandwiches (with the worthy exception of great steak tortas from la oaxacena and sweet sauerkraut and horseradishy beet salad from a polish deli, rene and sues' contributions).
the gathering was at my house, and i'd planned that half of the group would eat around my big dining room table and the rest would eat on their laps in the living room. that plan was quickly discarded as VI and spouse arrived bearing 3 enormous, beautiful and artfully arranged platters of smorgesbord sandwiches. as others arrived, the table quickly filled up with platters of food, and we were all forced to eat on our laps.
i feel confident all would agree that rob gets 'best of show' for his lovingly assembled works of art. he based them all on hearty scandinavian dark bread, but with many different toppings, including pate, herring, salami and cheese,all decorated with carefully placed dollops of mustard or garnishes.
so, smorgebord and the 2 polish salads were the first course. quickly followed by an array of cold sandwiches, including pimiento cheese; will's fabled tender lamb on ciabatta; waydell's sy ginsberg detroit pastrami, fatty and flavorful; the warm tortas; doug's deliciously different turkey, green chile, cranberry grilled on the largest slices of pumpernickel i've ever seen. we also had doug's homemade salsa and chips,and a terrific assortment of cathy's homemade pickles--sweet, dill, mustard/dill, pickled tomatoes. as we sat around groaning about how full we were, we suddenly, remembered we hadnt yet eaten cathy's enormously inventive submarine, a round of italian bread with the top removed filled with layer upon layer of 'stuff'. bacon, sausage, peppers, it went on and on, all good.
we washed it all down with will's generous contribution of wine and a cooler full of assorted beer and ale.
after a long pause to digest, we moved on to homemade desserts and a gargantuan fruit filled cake from pierre's bakery.
the food was highly satisfying, as was the conversation and the good vibes that always fill the room when chowhounds gather. doug's parting words were how happy he was to have discovered his 'tribe', thanks to chowhound.com. no one wanted to disagree.