THE SANDWICH SAVANT

When I close my eyes, I see two obnoxiously thick layers of cheese amid eleven generously portioned cuts of deli meat.

Roast beef. Ham. Prosciutto. Hell, throw some crab on there. Or a whole human arm.

I don’t care right now.

Being this hungry, though, reminds me of a small little hole in the wall sandwich shop an eccentric chef started with his elderly mother. His business model was focused on one thing: making great sandwiches.

That was it.

And he excelled at it.

Admittedly, everything else fell by the wayside. They never answered the phone, so you always had to walk in, place your order, then wait at least forty minutes for him to make your order. The kitchen was visible from the small dining area, and on occasion he’d be in a talkative mode and spend the entire time espousing the paramount importance of fresh ingredients and quality. Restaurants all try to tout such things as part of their business model, but few take it to the extremes this chap did.

As he explained it, they didn’t use a freezer to store food. They had a fridge, and emptied it daily. They bought everything from the market. What wasn’t used, was thrown away each night.

It certainly wasn’t cost effective for a small business owner, and it was probably a lot more work to go to the market that much more often. Most businesses wouldn’t dream of it.

But this guy did.

And he enlisted his mother to run the register, despite the fact that she was so blind she couldn’t read the receipts she printed out after each order. On the occasions she made a mistake, pointing it out on the receipt would result in her shuffling off to her son to have him read it to her while he cooked. They’d bicker, she’d shake her head, and I quickly learned it wasn’t worth the hassle.

By my reckoning, it tasted as if, for forty minutes, there was a god of this universe, and he spent that brief span of time devoted to making a single sandwich.

It taste so good it hurt.

There are all types of craftsman. He’s the only one I’ve ever met, though, who elevated the pursuit to a motherfucking art form.

In my memory, he lives on as “The Sandwich Savant‘.

Today’s artwork is a compilation of a lot of odds and ends, ranging from sketches, to concept art, to models. Some of it you may have seen, and some of it you haven’t.

There’s tons of it, though. Tons and tons and tons.

Sometimes finding things, even when properly organized, can be a slog.

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