“2015 is the year of the BLT,” is something I recently declared for myself, somewhat pathetically.
The most pathetic part of that already pathetic fact is that prior o 2015, I don’t think I’ve ever had a BLT.
But now, having finally seen the light, I order them reckless abandon. My life is as full as my cholesterol is high.
The subject of today’s tale of Restaurant Appreciation is the Roxie Food Center in Balboa Park. Google Maps couldn’t have described it more accurately:
Roxie is to “simple and laid-back sandwich shop” as Farm:Table was to, well, the opposite of that.
Roxie’s was chosen by progressive firebrand John Avalos. Avalos is often noted for using his position to advocate loudly (sometimes too loudly) for unions, youth, affordable housing, immigrants and more generally anyone who isn’t in a position of economic privilege.
In that same vein, I imagine that he’s the kind of guy who listens to John Cougar Mellencamp without any sense of irony.
So if we’re going to continue the theme of “Supervisors who use RAM as proxy for their political identity,” (and we are), then it’s no surprise that he chose a no-frills, longstanding community facing business to fete on restaurant appreciation month.
If you were just passing buy, it looks like Roxie’s is just a corner beer market. To use the parlance of HGTV, it doesn’t exactly have tons of curb appeal. However lacking in cutesy charm Roxie’s might be, it seems to have wormed its way into the heart of the community. It’s sits kitty corner from some municipal athletic fields, and it seems Roxie has a pretty close relationship with the youth leagues that play there.
“Supporting the community that supports it,” might be a good way to describe Roxie’s relationship with the neighborhood, and that makes it a good choice for a politician who aspires for higher office.
But I am neither a future candidate for mayor nor am I on the roster of a tee-ball team, I’m just a man who heard about some good sandwiches. But before I get to the meal itself, I’m need to tell you about the lengths we went to to get there.
Not since the Oregon Trail has anyone been as close to catching dysentery as Dining Companion M was on that day.
We had to walk through an actual canyon.
Your oxen won’t actually die trying to cross Glen Canyon, but it definitely feels like they could’ve. That’s how authentic the Glen Canyon experience is.
It just went on and on and on (honestly, it was like “Okay, I get it. Enough with the ‘impressive urban canyon’ experience, I want my sandwich.”)
I must admit the berry game in Glen Canyon is strong.
Lest you think that I’m lying, and that these pictures are actually from some Yosemite-esque retreat. Here’s what it looks like as you emerge from the womb of Glen Canyon like a newly born Daniel Boone:
I submit that its impossible not to leave Glen Canyon and NOT immediately go on some sort of Joni Mitchell/Sierra Club/Earth Day-style juice cleanse.
“Ugh, but what about the BLT,” I can hear you thinking.
Finally, we arrived at the Roxie Food Center, and we were a little overwhelmed about what to order. Or even where to look to find out what food is available. Look closely and you’ll see that Barcardi +Gavin Newsom+Kevin Costner gets as much visual real estate as the sandwich menu.
I’m pleased to report that once you surmount the environmental and psychological barriers that block your way to Roxie’s, you’re rewarded with sandwiches that are as large as your head.
I ordered the regular (as apposed to the Junior, or Supreme) BLT Avacado ($12),
….a Deviled Egg ($.99), and a side of Pesto Pasta Salad ($3.49).
I felt more than a little like Goldilocks trying to choose a sandwich size. There was nothing “regular” about the size of my sandwich. It was so dense with bacon that it could, if launched accurately from a catapult, definitely take out a medieval rampart. For the sake of my cardiovascular health, I felt compelled to eat half for lunch and half for dinner. Dining Companion M did the same. The sandwiches were very tasty, in that completely unsurprising way that deli counter sandwiches are supposed to be.
And as many a youth soccer league had done before us, we carried our sandwiches across the street to the park and stuffed our faces until we couldn’t swat the pigeons away any longer
This my, “A regular is how big?” face.