Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It’s the Best Thing About Saturday

More on this later.

The drive across west Texas on I-10 is marked by open spaces--wide open spaces. Between questions about "What do people do who live out here?" and "How far does one need to travel for groceries?" are the more immediate checks on the distance to the next gas station.

When I read that Orange, Texas, on the Texas–Louisiana border, is only 789 miles from the eastern terminus of Interstate 10 in Jacksonville, Florida, but is just under 879 miles across Texas to the town of Anthony at the border with New Mexico, I understood why the drive across the state seemed endless.
Along the miles, the rather ordinary scenes become subjects for study and extended conversation. This grouping of trees was of particular interest.
This mural on the side of an overpass presented a welcome break from the less colorful expanse of little vegetation.
This complex sparked hypotheses as to its function that ranged from a power plant to some more exotic, mysterious purposes.
Reaching El Paso presented us with the security of civilization, e.g., fuel and food, and the realization that this city is closer to the western terminus of I-10 in Santa Monica, California (785 miles) than it is to Orange, Texas (857 miles).
We spent the night in Las Cruces, NM, and then headed to Tucson, AZ.


We are in Tucson where we had planned to just spend one night before heading over to Yuma. But after truck repairs, tire replacement, and four days of driving across Texas and New Mexico, we decided to make this a two-night stop-over and to skip Yuma. And that gave us time to eat at two of our favorite Tucson restaurants.

So we find ourselves early on a Saturday afternoon at Beyond Bread, a combination restaurant, bread store, and pastry shop. We placed our order at the counter and with our identifying placard set forth to find an empty table. Leaving Chuck to obtain beverages, napkins, and needed utensils, I ran to grab the only remaining table for two.
All of Beyond Bread’s two-tops are arranged around the periphery of the room at banquette-style seating. And to say that they are close to one another is an understatement. One is so close to one’s neighbor that you could eat the food off his/her plate. So when the young man sitting next to me received his food, I could immediately identify what he was ordering. “Looks good” I say to him. “It’s the Best Thing About Saturday” was his response. You see, he was eating Ernie’s Everything Reuben and Saturday is the only day on which it appears on Beyond Bread’s menu. And soon I was to be eating the same.
In our blog on February 10th, I described this magnificent sandwich Feb 10 as “one dynamite sandwich with warm thin sliced corned beef piled high on Beyond Bread’s Pretzel Everything roll with Swiss cheese, vinegar slaw, and Russian dressing. Oh my, oh my. The best way to describe this delectable roll is to describe it as the marriage of an ‘everything’ bagel and a soft pretzel—a union that begat the ‘pretzel everything’ roll with a topping of salt, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, and garlic. And, being somewhat of a Reuben purist, I was dubious about the substitution of the slaw for sauerkraut, but the vinegar dressing on the slaw gave the sandwich that ‘sour’ expected in a Reuben. If only they served this everyday. If only they sold the rolls in the bakery. (They don’t. They do have a pretzel bread, but it lacks the ‘everything’ seasonings.)”

Chuck also duplicated his order from our last visit and again chose Max’s Muffalotta.
Again from our February 10th blog: “This very thick sandwich contained capicola (‘Capicola, or coppa, is a traditional Neapolitan Italian cold cut [salume] made from pork shoulder or neck and dry-cured whole. The name coppa is Italian for nape, while capicola comes from capo—head and collo—neck of a pig’ []), ham, pepperoni, provolone, artichoke hearts (which he asked to be held), roasted red peppers, olive paste, tomato, red onion, and vinaigrette on ciabatta. Except he forgot to ask that they hold the artichoke hearts which he totally removed before eating.

We both ordered small cups of soup to accompany our meals.
Mine was the chicken tortilla (top of photo) and Chuck’s was the Baked Potato and Bacon which was the special soup of the day. Both were very good, but at Beyond Bread the sandwiches rule.

And no stop in Tucson is complete without a Sonoran hot dog from El Guero Canelo. Described by Elizabeth "Bjay" Woolley at a Sonoran hot dog is “like a chili dog on steroids.
“The basic make-up of a Sonoran hot dog is a bacon-wrapped hot dog shoved into a soft Mexican roll topped with pinto beans, chopped tomatoes, onions, jalapeno sauce, cheese, mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard. They usually come with a roasted chili on the side….
“Some stands here in town use regular hot dog buns. However, many feel the roll is important for the true taste experience. Usually it’s a Mexican bolillo roll (pronounced: bo-lee-yo roll), that is sometimes steamed to make it extra soft and fluffy or it’s toasted. The roll is so soft and fluffy, sometimes they seem to go down like cotton candy” (Elizabeth "Bjay" Woolley at

We both ordered two dogs and enjoy them we did. But by the end of our meal we remembered why we had vowed in the future to order the Sammy Dog—two dogs in one bun. This was a lot of bread!

Time didn’t permit stopping at our other two favorite 5.0 Addie restaurants – Rocco’s Little Chicago for Midwest cracker crust pizza and Cafe a la C'Art for anything on their menu. But we’ll be back next January.

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