Monthly Archives: January 2009
Top 10 Inauguration Day Blunders
Written by Megan Shay
A very historic Inauguration Day is approaching. But a few presidential inaugurations became historic for less-than-flattering reasons. From extravagant parties and unruly mobs to streets littered with poisoned pigeons, let’s revisit history’s most memorable Inauguration Day mishaps.
The longest inaugural speech in U.S. history was given by President William Henry Harrison, clocking in at one hour and 45 minutes. Harrison delivered the long-winded speech during a snowstorm and without an overcoat, circumstances that are often blamed for his untimely death by pneumonia. However, it wasn’t exposure to the elements that really caused his illness. It was actually a common cold, caught weeks after the inauguration, which turned into pneumonia and was likely worsened by the hectic schedule of a newly elected president who had no time to rest.
President Andrew Jackson, regarded as a “man of the people,” had to flee through the back door of his own inaugural reception in 1829 when the crowd crashed his party. Thousands of supporters came to the capital for the inauguration, and though some came looking for jobs, most came to support Jackson and cheer their new president. After his speech, however, the crowds swarmed the reception, mingling with government officials and generally regarding the house as theirs. Mud was tracked in, china and glasses were broken, and the crowds only left when the refreshments were put on the lawn outside.
On the day of Richard Nixon’s 1973 inauguration, Pennsylvania Avenue was dotted with sick and dead pigeons. At the president’s request, the inauguration committee spent $13,000 to spread a chemical bird repellent on the tree branches along the parade route to deter the pigeons. According to the Washington Post, the chemicals in Roost-No-More were supposed to cause the birds’ feet to itch so they wouldn’t roost in the trees. Unfortunately, the birds ate the repellent, causing them to get sick and die along the parade route.
After criticism for his first inauguration in 1981, which cost $16.3 million for nine white-tie balls, President Ronald Reagan attempted to scale back the budget and have a more “for the people” celebration. However, the budget ballooned from $12 million to $20 million, and there were 10 balls instead of nine and two galas instead of one. Apparently, “scaling back” meant that the balls were black tie instead of white and the entertainment was less high-brow than at previous events, according to the Washington Post.
After the north wing of the Treasury Building proved too small for President Ulysses S. Grant’s first inaugural ball in 1869, a temporary structure was built in Judiciary Square for his second inaugural ball in 1873. Unfortunately, the structure had no heat or insulation, so guests danced in their coats and hats to stay warm in the minus-4-degree temperature, according to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Events. Making matters worse, the food was cold, the hot chocolate and coffee ran out and the poor caged canaries — used as decorations — froze to death.
The weather was so bad at Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration that pedestrians who could not swim were urged to stay away from the muddy, rain-soaked streets. According to the Washington Post, the great poet Walt Whitman actually referred to the rain as “slanting rain, full of rage.” It was definitely not a nice day for a parade.
For Richard Nixon’s second inauguration, Vietnam War protesters dragged around a 25-foot-long rat made out of paper and chicken wire. To the protesters, the rat was symbolic of President Nixon. It was part of the largest Inauguration Day protest in U.S. history, with more than 25,000 protesters. Interesting, then, that according to the Washington Post, the ceremony went well and was “unmarred by any serious incidents.”
Ulysses S. Grant’s first inauguration in 1869 ended with fights in the coat-check line and many guests abandoning their coats and hats due to an extremely long wait. The Washington Post reported that the coat check was staffed by illiterates who were unable to read the claim tickets, which surely slowed down the line even more. A similar event occurred at the end of the evening of a 1989 inaugural celebration when Republicans actually stormed the coat check of the Texas State Society’s Tie and Boots ball, later referred to as “The Bastille Day Coat Check Affair.”
At the first inaugural ball, held for James Madison in 1809, it reportedly got so hot inside the hotel that revelers broke out windows for ventilation. Madison’s wife Dolley must have been quite warm, herself — she was wearing a gown with a long velvet train and a Parisian headdress decked out with feathers and white satin.
10. All dressed up with no place to go
Woodrow Wilson refused to have a ball for his 1913 inauguration because he considered it inappropriate for such a dignified and solemn occasion. His wife Ellen, on the other hand, had no such feelings. And unfortunately for her, she had already purchased a gown for the affair.
Top 10 Steve Jobs Quotes Of All Time
Written by Mario Sundar
Now, why didn’t I do this before! A perfect way to combine my love of management philosophy and all things Apple, by churning out a playlist of Jobs’ Top 10 quotes.
What started it all, was this recent article in Fortune Magazine that comes on the heels of Apple being selected as America’s Most Admired Company.
Steve Jobs Rocks! And, so does Apple!
But what I unearthed there was a slew of golden quotes from Jobs himself, who has quickly replaced Jack Welch as the one business celebrity I’d like to meet (although I came pretty close to that in the past).
To make it easier to consume, I’ve broken down the quotes into two sets of five each (one set on Management and the other on Leadership). Read and Learn, my friends!
Steve Jobs’ Top 10 Quotes (after the jump)
5 Management Mantras
#10. On Management
My job is to not be easy on people. My job is to make them better. My job is to pull things together from different parts of the company and clear the ways and get the resources for the key projects.
And to take these great people we have and to push them and make them even better, coming up with more aggressive visions of how it could be.
#9. On Hiring
Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview.
So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: ‘Why are you here?’ The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.
#8. On Firing
We’ve had one of these before, when the dot-com bubble burst. What I told our company was that we were just going to invest our way through the downturn, that we weren’t going to lay off people, that we’d taken a tremendous amount of effort to get them into Apple in the first place – the last thing we were going to do is lay them off.
#7. On a CEO succession Plan
I mean, some people say, ‘Oh, God, if [Jobs] got run over by a bus, Apple would be in trouble.’ And, you know, I think it wouldn’t be a party, but there are really capable people at Apple.
My job is to make the whole executive team good enough to be successors, so that’s what I try to do.
#6. On Product Strategy
It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.
We just want to make great products. (I think he means “insanely great products!“)
5 Leadership Mantras
#5. On Leadership
So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.
#4. On Evangelism
When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself.
They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else. (this actually reiterates my oft-repeated mantra of “ubiquitous evangelism” in companies)
#3. On Focus
People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully.
#2. On the User Experience
Our DNA is as a consumer company – for that inpidual customer who’s voting thumbs up or thumbs down. That’s who we think about. And we think that our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.
#1. On Creativity
That happens more than you think, because this is not just engineering and science. There is art, too. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of one of these crises, you’re not sure you’re going to make it to the other end. But we’ve always made it, and so we have a certain degree of confidence, although sometimes you wonder.
I think the key thing is that we’re not all terrified at the same time. I mean, we do put our heart and soul into these things.
And, my favorite, which nails the ethos of living the dream at your job (that I’ve written about here)
We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life.
Life is brief, and then you die, you know?
And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.
8 Years Of Bush in 8 Minutes! ~Olbermann
Warning — Viewing this video may cause projectile vomiting.
Jan 20, 2009: End of an error
10 Greatest Canines in Cinema History
Written by Movie Retriever
As you may have guessed, we here at MovieRetriever.com have a certain affinity for dogs (in case you’re just joining us – our mascot is an anthropomorphic movie-reviewing Labrador retriever). So, you can imagine how thrilled we are with the recent slew of films concerning man’s best friend that have come our way via the multiplex. There’s Marley & Me, which strikes just the right balance of humor and emotion and Bolt which proves that not all non-Pixar made animated films have to necessarily suck. There’s even another live-action canine caper in Hotel for Dogs. It’s truly a good time to be a filmgoer and a dog person. To proclaim our appreciation of our furry companions, we thought we might take a look at the ten best film dogs of all time….
10. VERDEL from
It was a damn shame that Verdel the dog wasn’t nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar as was costar Greg Kinnear. As anyone can clearly see, Verdel is the glue that holds the entire movie together. The plot completely revolves around him. Let’s face it, without this little guy Nicholson would have never gotten up the courage to change a single thing in his obsessively compulsive life (hence no movie after the opening credits).
While not technically a dog, Babe is a Sheep-Pig! Or, at least he thinks he is, and that’s good enough for us. Babe is proof that you shouldn’t be confined by the conventional definition of your station in life and that a pig is just as good of a best friend to man as the traditional alternative ever was. Babe also routinely teaches us that if you have a kind heart you’ll be rewarded three-fold.
8. ASTA from the THIN MAN series
Without Asta, would Nick or Nora Charles have solved a single mystery? We here at MovieRetriever.com are inclined to think probably not. Scooby-Doo owes a deep debt of thanks and a big box of Scooby Snacks to this particular pooch who is the forefather of the modern sleuth hound. Asta was an ever present and dependable companion who appeared in every Thin Man film.
7. SAM from I AM LEGEND
Sam (short for Samantha) is the only companion that world-wide plague survivor Robert Neville (Will Smith) has as he wanders the desolate streets of Manhattan. By day, Sam assists Neville with the chores of hunting and gathering food and by night she protects him from the victims of the aforementioned plague who are now zombie-like flesh-eating creatures. Since Neville also happens to be a scientist trying to develop a cure to the disease, Sam tries to help out in any way she can there too. What else are friends for? These two are so close you can almost tell what each of them is thinking based on the other’s reaction to their counterpart. Sam is unquestionably the embodiment of the term “man’s best friend.”
6. SKIP from MY DOG SKIP
This film may be one of the finest portrayals of a dog’s relationship with his human. Skip has his work cut out for him when he has to guide nine-year-old Willie (Frankie Muniz) through adolescence and then his teen years. But Willie proves to be a fairly smart kid and quickly catches on to everything that Skip is trying to teach him. Plus, he drives a car a helluva lot better than any other dog has before or since (just check out the photo above if you don’t believe us).
5. MARLEY from MARLEY & ME
Marley is a rambunctious, uncontrollable Yellow Labrador retriever owned by John Grogan and his family. Simultaneously adorable and maddeningly untrainable, Marley rarely does as he’s told and more often that not wreaks havoc wherever he goes. But, since Marley is bestowed with a heart of gold and his actions seem to be performed without malice, his transgressions are overlooked and he is forgiven all of his sins. He’s the best example of the cute dog that doesn’t go too far.
4. HOOCH from TURNER & HOOCH
While other police dogs may be clean-cut and subscribe to a by-the-book approach to their crime-fighting duties as if they just graduated top-of-the-class from the Academy, Hooch puts on no such airs. He is the stereotypical grizzled veteran movie cop. While he may not have chosen the job (the job did, in fact, choose him when his master was murdered). He eventually works well with his partner (Tom Hanks doing what he does better than anyone else – making people laugh) after a few harrowing episodes and even grows to love him. If you’re planning on busting some low-life criminal you couldn’t do any better than having a partner like Hooch at your side (just have plenty of towels on hand to wipe up the drool).
3. OLD YELLER
Old Yeller’s story is easily the biggest tear-jerker that you’ll find on this list. Reluctantly taken in by the Coates family as a stray, Yeller eventually wins them over by performing one heroic deed after another. However, while saving 15-year-old Travis’s life, Yeller is bitten by a rabid wolf and must be put down, ultimately giving his life to protect his adopted family. Of Yeller, we can say only this, of all of the souls written about here, his was the most human.
Widely considered one of the greatest dogs in entertainment history, Lassie made her first film, Lassie, Come Home in 1943 and there’s been no stopping her since. Through countless incarnations the ferociously loyal collie is frequently found helping her owners get out of trouble or traveling cross country to reunite with them after they’ve somehow gotten lost. With yet another version made as recently as 2005, there is no reason to believe that she won’t continue her adventures well into the future.
1. RIN TIN TIN
Rin Tin Tin is undeniably the bravest and most courageous of all cinematic canines. Well, at least he was afforded the chance to show off his bravery far more often than any other dog was ever given. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve the accolades though. Blessed with an intelligence well above that of the average dog (and most of the above average animals on this list for that matter), Rin Tin Tin routinely rescued scared or lost humans who happened to find themselves in trouble all without demanding any recognition. If that’s not the definition of a hero then there’s something wrong with the dictionary. Along with Lassie, Rin Tin Tin is the only other member of this list to be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Other canine stars we love (or at least those we felt we should acknowledge):
- Benji from Benji – Missed the main list for the petty reason that the Hound thinks Benji is a little too adorable for his own good. He’s the Meg Ryan of the canine set for cryin’ out loud and there’s only so much “Oh look at cute little Benji doing something adorable and being all cute and saving the day and stuff.” Yes, the Hound is bitter but it’s his web site and he can write whatever he wants.
- Toto from The Wizard of Oz – Would have been made it to the top ten but we feel he just never lived up to his potential after that first film. He could have gone so far but squandered it all. After all, are there any other dogs on this list who can say that they helped kill a witch?
- Bud from Air Bud – His first film was charming but the series quickly became tedious (like the Ernest movies) and unbearably cutesy (especially after Bud became a three-sport athlete – even Bo Jackson knew to stop at two sports).
- The Beast from The Sandlot – Hercules, as he’s called to his friends, is the stereotypical misunderstood dog on the other side of the fence who everyone thinks is a blood-thirsty monster but is really a big softy who wants to play catch.
- The Sheepdog from The Shaggy Dog – One of the screen’s first flat-out brilliantly comedic dogs and one of VideoHound’s guilty pleasures.
- Baxter from Baxter – “Beware of the dog who thinks” reads the tagline for this wonderfully macabre and often humorous tale of an introspective bull terrier as he bounces from master to master pondering the meaning of existence. While Baxter is not the perfect pooch, he may be the most spot on portrayal of humanity found on this list.
8 Movies That Got Songs Stuck In Your Head
Written by Jason
I’m going to pull back the curtain a bit before we dive into this list. At first I started writing this list as “X shitty songs made huge by movies”. Then I started to watch the Roller Coaster finger bang scene from Fear and thought to myself “this song isn’t as shitty as I remember”. By the way, if you ever get asked if you have a song preference whilst finger banging, it should be this song. From here we decided to compile a list of songs that got stuck in our heads after watching a movie. In other words, my maturity level is so low that I re-wrote an entire list, just so I could add a finger bang scene. You’re welcome.
8) Eurotrip (Lustra – Scotty Doesn’t Know) – Poor Scotty learns that his girlfriend has been banging Matt Damon all along. The only people who didn’t end up putting this on repeat are the ones whos girlfriends are “working late” again (at the coffee shop).
7) Orange County (Crazy Town – Butterfly) – What happened to this band? When you go from making head banging songs like Toxic to teeny bopper beats like Butterfly you’re going to lose some fans (by some I mean all). It also doesn’t help when you’re in rehab with Dr. Drew, yet still scoring smack infront of the cameras.
6) Titanic (Celine Dion – My Heart Will Go On) – This song is horrible. However, the point of the list is ‘songs that got stuck in your head’. I don’t care if you eat the bark off of trees and kill animals for dinner, if you were around in the late 90’s then you were exposed to the masses who flocked around this movie.
5) Terminator 2 (Guns n’ Roses – You Could Be Mine) – This song was played during the credits. But after watching T2 for the first time, you’re so floored by what you just saw, that its almost certain you sat through the credits at least once. Thus, getting this badass GnR tune stuck in your head.
4) Armageddon (Aerosmith – I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing) – I’m willing to bet that if you traveled back in time when this movie was still in Theaters you’d hear it within 30 minutes of turning on the radio. Mediocre song + smash hit movie = smash hit song.
3) Gone In 60 Seconds (BT – Never Gonna Come Back Down) – Sadly they only used the instrumental version of this song when they played it during the movie. Thankfully it was just enough to spawn thousands of “omg whats that techo song in GI 60 seconds!?” forum threads. This was naturally countered with replies like “sigh I liked BT waaay before he was main stream”. I always get a kick out of people who have to prove their hardcoreness by claiming they liked bands or DJ’s before they had a smash hit.
2) Top Gun (Kenny Loggins – Highway To The Dangerzone) – Every man in the world can quote a dozen lines from Top Gun. When you watch Top Gun, this song is permanently printed into your brain along with all of the quotes from the movie. That means; whenever you hear this song, your brain will automatically start quoting Top Gun. Don’t believe me? Click play.
1) Fear (The Sundays – Wild Horses) – Reese Witherspoon gets finger banged on a roller coaster by Marky Mark. That is all.
“If We Have Sex, Pete Will Never Know.” Wrong…& Snagged!
Written by B-Rant
For those who want a character index:
- “me” is Kim, girlfriend of Pete. [only it turns out me isn’t really Kim.]
- “drakkertr” is the screen name for some guy, Pete’s friend, who’s hitting on Pete’s girlfriend [or thinks he’s hitting on Pete’s girlfriend]
As best we can tell, here’s what happened…
- drakkertr (D), Pete’s friend, was planning a serious hook-up with Pete’s girlfriend, Kim
- Unfortunately for D, Pete’s girlfriend here was really Pete. Pete is 1 jealous conspiratorial mo-fo. D is toasted!
- D: Huh, Wah? Shock ensues.
- Seconds pass. D gamely attempts a recovery. Yo, dude, I was joking, dude, ha ha. Sounds like BS. Almost pulls it off for a second (at least on us). But ultimate smell test: BS.
- Pete spits on D’s BS. Not a happy friend. Indicates he plans to communicate his unhappiness to D.
- D understands, starts peeing in his pants.
The Top 10 Video Games of 1999
Written by Sub-Zero
Yesterday I was feeling nostalgic, so I decided to count down the top 15 movies of 1999. Today I’m feeling much the same way, so I thought I’d give it a try with video games. And just like there were a ton of classic movies that came out a decade ago, the same is true for games. Many classic series got their starts this year, and you might have a laugh at what we thought used to be “cutting edge” and “graphically stunning.”
But even with technological advancements, there are some games on this list that have retained their playability to this very day.
10) Mario Party
Today, as this year Mario Party 8 has been released for the Wii, it can be safe to say that we’re exhausted of the Mario Party series. However, when the original came out for Nintendo 64 in 1999, we loved it because four player gaming was still a relatively new concept, and there were only a handful of games for the system that really took advantage of the opportunity. The original Mario Party was a good time, especially if you didn’t yet have any idea that seven nearly identical sequels were on the horizon.
9) Soul Calibur
Not much in the graphics department, but the original Soul Calibur set the stage for one of the best fighting franchises ever. It improved upon it’s predecessor Soul Blade with new characters and moves. Unfortunately, this was before a complete boob-bouncing engine was developed for game systems, so we had to use our imaginations when we played with Taki.
8 ) Quake III Arena
Quake III was innovative in the sense that it mostly abandoned single player to focus solely on multiplayer action. It was minimalist, but an insane amount of fun, and ahead of it’s time, as the first game to invent “strafe-jumping.” Didn’t know that did you?
7) Final Fantasy VIII
Of course nothing short of the second coming of Christ would have topped Final Fantasy VII, but VIII was a great game as well, even if it is constantly overshadowed by its older brother. For it’s time, it had absolutely stunning graphics, as is tradition for each new installment in the series, and coined one of the coolest terms in video games, the “gunblade.”
6) Unreal Tournament
The original Unreal Tournament was met with bouqets of roses from almost every gaming magazine in existence upon its release. It’s graphics, gameplay and maps set it even above Quake, according to some. The game currently has an aggregated 94% rating, which makes it the eighth highest reviewed PC game of all time. Not too shabby for a decade ago.
5) Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
I will credit this game for making me buy a skateboard, realizing that it was way, way harder in real life, and promptly putting it in my attic for the next ten years. But THPS was simply a blast when it was released, and although the tricks and maps seem limited now, at the time you would grow to know every detail of the game like the back of your hand. I could draw you an exact scale map of the Warehouse to this day.
A decade before World of Warcraft owned 10 million people’s lives, Everquest started MMO on a smaller scale. A widesweeping fantasy epic, the game was addicting to the point where players started calling it “Evercrack.”
Counterstrike will always remain a legend among tactical team shooters. It was one of the first online shooters to require a great deal of strategy and coordination to win a game, rather than just relying on who had the quickest trigger finger. Although that certainly helped.
2) Silent Hill
Alright, so as you can see the graphics weren’t astonishing, even for the time, but that didn’t mean the original Silent Hill wasn’t terrifying. One of the first games to rely heavily on both story and suspense, the result was a horror game that was so much more than running around shooting zombie. It was cerebral, smart and you would never, ever play it with the lights off.
1) Super Smash Bros.
What does it say about a game that I still play it with my friends on a Saturday evening before we go head out to the bars. The original Super Smash Bros. has perhaps the most replay value of any game ever made. Before the series added a deluge of characters and items, the original existed as an almost perfect entity, with each of its characters able to be perfected by someone with the necessary skill. Though it’s sequels have been among the best games for their respective systems, nothing will ever be able to touch the original, and that’s probably the way it should be.
South Park’s Top 24 Cartman Moments
Written by David Schwartz
In fact, we love South Park so much, we treasure it above KFC, Xbox and our own mothers. Really! More than KFC. It’s that good.
And, of course, one of the main reasons for this love is Eric Cartman. We think he is one of the greatest ever TV characters of all time. But don’t take our word for it, just check out his finest moments.
As always, if you think we have missed something, please let us know. There are so many funny Cartman clips, keeping it down to just 24 was almost impossible. Plus, we wanted to spread the clips around rather than just feature entire episodes.
24. Cartman eats his own underwear
23. Casa Bonita
22. No hall pass
21. Pretending he has Tourette’s so he can say whatever he wants
20. Kyle’s mom is a bitch
19. Cartman starts Christian rock band
18. Cartman’s tea-party
17. Cartman restarts Civil War
16. Cartman pretends to be a robot
15. Cartman joins the Special Olympics
14. Ben Affleck dates Cartman’s hand
13. Cartman and NAMBLA
12. Cartman dresses up like Hitler
11. Cartman wants a Wii
10. Cartman and KFC
9. Busting my balls
8. Heat of the Moment
7. Cartman’s Ginger snap
6. Cartman’s gay polarity
5. Kyle has sand in his vagina
4. Respect my authoritah
3. Cartman’s anal probe
2. Bad pie
1. Making Scott Tenorman eat his own parents
Top 10 Sandwiches
Written by MySweetRhodora
I have downed many a sandwich in my day. When it comes to food conveyances, the sandwich is perhaps the most ingenious design in its simplicity. Examples of the sandwich go all the way back to ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder, who supposedly consumed meats sandwiched between pieces of matzos. People of the middle ages ate their food off of thick slabs of bread called “trenchers” which after the meal was finished would be given to the dog or a beggar: the precursor of the modern open-face sandwich. Though probably the most famous sandwich origin story is attributed to John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich. It was said that he was an avid gambler and card player and couldn’t be bothered to leave the betting table in order to have a proper meal. So, he had servants bring him slices of meat between slices of bread in order to keep his hands clean while he played cards, though this is just a legend.
One could say that we owe the very cornerstone of modern society to the sandwich. It’s the people’s food and everyone and their mother enjoys sandwiches from the hard working factory-laborer to the leaders of the world. But there have been some sandwiches that stick out as the greatest. For some reason, their unique pairings of flavors come together to make not just a food, but cultural icons. Not counting hamburgers or hotdogs (can you even really call those sandwiches?), these are MySweetRhodora’s Top 10 Sandwiches.
Bacon, lettuce and tomato were one of the greatest things to happen to sliced bread since, well, sliced bread! Usually served on toasted bread along with a helping of mayonnaise, people know what you’re talking about when all you say is “BLT.” Personally, I find that adding avocado enhances the flavor and if you have the time, try frying the bacon in balsamic vinegar. It’s delicious.
9) Chip Butty
Most of us Stateside don’t know what in the world a chip butty is. In fact, I’ve been hard-pressed to find a place that serves this sandwich anywhere in the States. I’ve only been able to get my hands on one while visiting my cousins in the UK, and I always remember to get one while I’m there. If you don’t know about it, a chip butty consists of two slices of buttered white bread around a healthy (well not exactly “healthy”) portion of chips (the big french fry kind, not Lay’s). When I first heard of it I thought it sounded gross, but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the tastiest things I’ve ever eaten! Top off with some ketchup for junk food heaven. Hey, at least it’s vegetarian right?
This one came out of left field didn’t it? The pan-bagnat (pronounced pahn-bahn-yah, the “t” is almost silent) is a specialty of the people around the region of Nice, France. The flavors come together perfectly in this sandwich: take a hollowed out baguette and fill with tuna (if you’re using canned please use the kind packed in oil), green bell pepper slices, red onion, sliced hard boiled eggs, olives (kalamata variety please), tomato and top with a vinaigrette made from red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper (there’s tons of good recipes for this out there). It sounds strange at first but it’s really one of the best picnic sandwiches out there. It’s so popular that those crazy French have an association to promote and protect the pan-bagnat. Take a special lady out for a picnic and impress her with your culinary skills. I swear she’ll think you actually know what you’re doing.
7) Cuban Sandwich
I really can’t get enough of these things. Thought to have originated as a favorite of Cuban workers in either Cuba or immigrant communities in Florida, the Cuban sandwich is becoming more and more popular every day. A variation of the classic ham and cheese, the sandwich is made with ham, roasted pork (mmmmm), Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard between two pieces of Cuban bread. If you’re making these at home and can’t get your hands on Cuban bread, hoagie rolls are a fine substitute. The key to a good Cuban is the pressing. The sandwich is always pressed, making the bread thin and crisp. If you don’t have a sandwich press at home, I’ve heard of some people buttering the outside of the bread and cooking it in a pan and pressing it down with another, heavier pot or pan. Personally, I think it works best by taking two bricks wrapped in tin foil (preheated in the oven) and putting those down on top of the sandwiches to press them. Works like a charm!
6) The Reuben
Mmmmm. That picture alone makes my mouth water. The Reuben has been typical deli fare and many different “Reubens” lay claim to having invented it. I tend to side with the sandwich’s origins being the no longer existing Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York City where the sandwich was supposedly invented in 1914. One of the biggest sandwiches around, a typical Reuben consists of a big helping of quality corned beef (none of that canned junk), sauerkraut, our friend Swiss cheese, either Russian or Thousand-Island dressing between slices of rye or pumpernickel. Some delicious variations on the Reuben substitute hot pastrami for corned beef to make a sandwich some call “The Rachel.” Hot pastrami on rye was one of my favorites I couldn’t fit on the list, mostly because it’s too similar to the Reuben. This beast is definitely not meant to be eaten on the go, and there’s nothing like sitting down at your local deli and partaking in a delicious Reuben.
5) Sloppy Joe
This is definitely a manly sandwich, unless of course you’re making Sloppy Janes. Typically, one takes two hamburger buns and fills them with a sauce made of ground beef, onions and tomato sauce. I dunno, I just usually open up a can of Manwich instead of making this from scratch. Mmmmmm. Manwich. *Insert Homer Simpson’s mouth watering noise here*
4) Grilled Cheese Sandwich
What can be simpler and more comforting than a grilled cheese sandwich your mom made? Warm and delicious, the grilled cheese sandwich is unpretentious, honest food at its finest. I remember my roommates and I making grilled cheese with our irons. That’s how comforting it is. Pair up with a bowl of hot tomato soup and get yourself out of the cold.
3) Pulled Pork Sandwich
Definitely one of the more labor intensive sandwiches on this list, you’re efforts will be rewarded if you make yourself a nice pulled pork sandwich. A pork shoulder is slow barbecued for hours on end until it’s so tender that it’s pretty much falling apart. The sandwich gets its name from the process of using a fork to pull the pork apart into thinner strips. Piled high on a hamburger bun and topped with your favorite barbecue sauce (or no sauce if you’re a dry meat kinda person) with coleslaw on the side, this is the perfect sandwich for big cookouts, as that pork shoulder will make a lot of sandwiches.
2) Philly Cheesesteak
People from Philadelphia take their sandwiches seriously, and this is definitely their weapon of choice. It is more than just a sandwich to these people, it’s a way of life. Being from Jersey, I didn’t really understand how important this sandwich was until I was in Philadelphia visiting a high school friend of mine going to college there. It’s almost a religion there, and people proudly declare their favorite cheesesteak place like it’s their favorite NFL team. Two of the most famous locations in Philadelphia, Geno’s and Pat’s, have had a long and well publicized rivalry. Eating a cheesesteak there even has its own etiquette as former presidential candidate John Kerry found out when he was made fun of in the Philadelphia Daily News for, dear God, ordering his cheesesteak with Swiss cheese on it *gasp*. Everyone knows nothing melts over steak better than Cheese-Whiz!
1) Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
This sandwich needs no introduction. Not only one of the greatest sandwiches, but one of the greatest food pairings in history, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a person who hasn’t eaten and enjoyed a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich. This sandwich is definitely the most versatile as one can use any sort of bread, jelly or substitute for peanut butter. I’ve had it with nutella (a hazlenut spread), mashmallow fluff, dried fruit, bananas (my favorite), pickles (it’s not gross), and even once with vegemite. It’s damn near impossible to mess this sandwich up because that’s just how good it is.
The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is so popular that, like the Philly cheesesteak, it’s not just a sandwich but a cultural icon. Everybody knows what you’re talking about when you say you’re in the mood for a PBJ. Hell, I even remember Barney singing me a song about putting together peanut butter and jelly. It was the first food I was able to make on my own as I’m sure is the same with many other G1’s. And let’s not forget the infamous Peanut Butter Jelly Time song.
So those were MySweetRhodora’s Top 10 Sandwiches. If there’s a sandwich you feel should have been here or you have your own list, please share. And while you’re not doing anything else productive, make yourself a sandwich!