Once upon a time, I started a sandwich blog.
I wanted to get back into writing and I needed a project, something to push me to put my work out there. So I started taking photos of my food and writing about my favorite sandwiches and just like that, my little blog was born.
I called it Sandwiches Are Beautiful, after one of my favorite childhood songs by Fred Penner.
I moved to France and had all sorts of sandwich adventures.
The best was that time I was flat on my stomach, awkwardly angling my phone to take a picture of my baguette stuffed into some bushes with the Notre Dame bell towers in the background. Nevermind all the tourists surrounding me, taking selfies of one of the most famous cathedrals in the world; I was gunning for the perfect shot of my sandwich in the City of Light.
I had a baby. A girl. Two and a bit years later, I had another one. A boy.
I've kept on writing, but not so much about sandwiches. I’ve entered contests and even won some. I’ve joined writing groups. I take workshops whenever I can. I’m gathering rejections and getting the odd acceptance. I’m still writing and creating.
Now, nearly five years, two kids, an international move and a pandemic later, Sandwiches Are Beautiful is back.
It’s back for the same reasons it started, because I love writing and I want an excuse to eat delicious sandwiches and to tell their stories.
Like this masterpiece of Montreal Smoked Meat from Calgary’s own Empire Provisions.
Empire Provisions is a deli, café and market of local meats, cheeses, mustards, craft beer, and coffee. It has weathered this pandemic like a champion, keeping us fed and caffeinated and supporting local businesses. We ordered its charcuterie to bid a not-so fond farewell to 2020 and we ordered another one for a random weekend in April just because.
Today, its Instagram @empireprovisions shared a photo of the return of their Montreal Smoked Meat Sandwich.
I rushed over. Doesn’t hurt that it’s only a ten minute walk from my house.
I was grateful for my mask as it hid how much my mouth was watering at the sight of its beautiful toasted exterior, barely concealing the mound of smoked meat tinged with grainy mustard and melted gruyere cheese.
“Yes! That’s what I came for!” I said in my outside voice before I could stop myself.
Again, so grateful for the mask that hid my hungry expression. The staff member smiled, I think, behind her own mask as she scooped up my treasure and prepped it for its ultimate journey to my stomach. I added a vintage bottle of Coca-Cola because it somehow always tastes better in a glass bottle. And after less than ten minutes walking home in the warm, but not too hot finally July sun, I was home with my prize.
As I said in France, and still say here because I’m forever that person, Bon Appetit!
Warm and crunchy.
Juicy and crispy.
All the right flavors in all the right places. This is the sandwich I’ve been waiting for.
So worth the wait. Beautiful things always are.
Sandwich lovers in YYC can visit Empire Provisions at 8409 Elbow Drive SW, or order online from https://www.empireprovisions.com/orderonline