Friday, November 6, 2009


Gandolfo's is a sandwich joint in Provo. There are many franchises around the United States, but there are more locations in Utah than in any other state. I am lucky enough to live across the street from one of these delectable delicatessens. I must say, I am a frequent visitor.

I started going to Gandolfo's when I moved back up to Utah this past summer. After Danniey, Tyler, and I finished our combined garage sale, I convinced Tyler to come with me to Gandolfo's. Honestly, the menu is a bit daunting. There are about 70 different sandwiches organized into different categories. Despite the general organization, I had no idea what to do. Tyler, who shares the same feelings about the menu, helped out by ordering the only sandwich he has ever ordered there: The Urban Cowboy.

The sandwich is very good, and the next five times I've been there, I got the Urban Cowboy. Eventually I grew tired of the ordering the same thing over and over, and I made a decision that I would begin to branch out, and conquer my fear of the massive menu. I've tried, to name a few, the Throg's Neck Bridge, the Bridge Hampton, and my recent favorite, a hot Knickerbocker (if you know what I mean, and what I mean is a sandwich). I've been pleased every time. Now moving on the point of this entry.

I was at hard at work, working up a mean appetite. My lunch hour came and I decided to go in search of something to eat. Not too far up the street is a Gandolfo's so I decided I would rustle me up a sandwich for lunch, completely unaware of the impending challenge awaiting me. I pushed open the door, and stepped into this Gandolfo's and there it was staring me in the face, begging me to take it:

The Dagwood.

If memory serves me right, the beast looked a little like this. It was as long as my boot and it was just as thick with "Roast beef, turkey, ham, pastrami, swiss, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, spicy mustard, [and] s&p." I knew this sandwich was made to live in my belly. Without hesitation, I stepped up to the register and in the manner of the Man with No Name, I said, "Give me a Dagwood...Full."

The timid sandwich clerk slowly swallowed and as I watched his adam's apple lethargically return to it's normal position, the sandwich man timidly squeaked, "Are- are you hungry?" I struck a match off my fingernail to light my cigar, and replied from the corner of my mouth, carefully blowing the smoke in his face, "What do you think?"

Another worker came out from the kitchen and quickly stammered, "Ju-ju know, that t-ting gives you the cancer!" Before I could talk back, the third sandwich man appeared. Obviously more confident than the other two, he challenged me, saying, "You eat that whole Dagwood, and I'll give you a cookie." I squinted my eyes and gave him a slight nod, letting him know I was ready.

Within a few minutes, he carried the heavy sandwich out to the counter. Without a word, he dropped it into my hands. It was heavier than I thought, causing me to give a little as the sandwich made contact. I sat down, unwrapped my foe, and began to eat.

The first bite went down easy, filling up my empty and aching stomach. I could taste each of the meats as the slid across my tongue before dropping down into my belly. The mustard added some unexpected spice, but also provided much needed moisture. I ended the first half of the sandwich in about eight bites.

As I was swallowing the last of the first half, I twisted back and forth to pack down the contents of my stomach, and under the watchful eyes of the restaurant, I let out a soft belch. I started in on the second half. The first bite was alright, not much different than any that came before it, but as I went in for the second bite, I could feel the game was starting to change. I was slowing down.

After six or seven bites, I only had one quarter left of that sandwich. My only problem was, I was running out of space. I looked into the faces of those sandwich makers, narrowed my gaze, and exhaled a long, breathy burp, freeing up some much needed space. I looked at the remaining sandwich, cursed it in my mind, and went in on it again. I was taking smaller bites, chewing longer, and twisting a whole lot. The sandwich started to lose it's flavor and it no longer tasted good. For all I knew, I could have been eating mud scraped off of my boot. I stood up from my stool and began to pace slowly, concentrating on putting that sandwich in my stomach. Bite after bite after bite eventually led to the final moment. I had one last piece of that sandwich in my hand. I closed my eyes and tossed it back. On bated breath, I took my time chewing. After an entire minute of masticating every last piece, I lifted my head back, and swallowed.

As it traveled down my esophagus, I looked at the third employee dead in the eye, jerked my head to the side to create an audible 'crack'. Shaking, he grabbed a cookie from below the counter and tossed it onto the floor in front of me, as if he was too afraid to come near because I might decide to eat him too.

As the bystanders shook their head in disbelief, a small boy picked up my cookie and handed it to me. I ruffled his hair, unwrapped the cookie from the plastic, and with a bite, opened the door and walked off into the sunset.


Lara said...

"This sandwich was made to live in my belly."

This is the kind of observation that makes me crack up at your writing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the story! I made my morning. I'm glad to hear you enjoy our sandwiches so much!

Leigh Pinkston
Franchise Marketing Coordinator
Gandolfo's New York Delicatessen

Carson said...

Thank you so much for reading it! I had no idea I had such distinguished readers! Thank you!

Kristin said...

This is Lisa's sister--

She wanted me to be able to experience the hilarioty of your blog--or make me hungry--maybe both. Anyhow, pretty funny stuff.

I love Gandolfo's. They should pay you for free advertising. Course then it wouldn't be free . . .

Anyhow, I do love that place though. Haven't been there in too long. And now it seems even longer after reading this post.

Okay, comment is long enough. Keep up the writing.

Liz Young said...

Remember how blogs intimidate me... lots of writing. Well I took a deep breath, read this story, and laughed my head off. I might have to become a 'follower.' Is that what blogs call it? Follower?