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VegasEats: A Tale of Two Cities and Their Sandwiches

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 21st December 2009 5:45pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6


It was a dark and stormy morning, filled to the gills with liquid debauchery courtesy of the supremely dangerous BlackHillsBoozeHound and KungFuApril. To ARIA they came, each other we saw and the booze... it conquered us all.

Hammered. Like offering-a-toast-then-falling-onto-a-cocktail-table hammered.

So hammered that Hunter turned three shades of green then went to detox in the steam room at The Spa at ARIA. Me, BHBH & Kung Fu April and crew laid quick plans to head over to PHo for something to eat. We got four steps away from ARIA's View Bar before April called it. What their crew needed was a private throne room, not the Earl of Sandwich. Off to M they went.

I was now flying solo on this quest for drunk food. Walking from City Center to the planet named after a "city" (neighborhood actually) takes about 10 minutes, 20 if your staggering drunk. It took me about a half hour.

The Earl of Sandwich

I've never been to the (Robert) Earl of Sandwich before, but I've heard lots of talk about it in the listener calls section of Five Hundy podcast. I arrived with no expectations or knowledge of their menu, other than the obvious and asked the server what The Earl's 'signature dish' was. "The Original" she replied. "Ok, I'll have one of those and a soda and these potato chips." She handed me one of those "your order is ready" buzzer things and a receipt of my sandwich order and told me to go see the guy at the end of the counter, which I did. Guy at the end of the counter took my receipt, re typed it into the computer and rang up my order, took my payment and handed me a final receipt.

Walking around the smallish dining area - which sits on the corner overlooking the mall entrance and the first few yards of the casino floor - I noticed that every table featured a centerpiece consisting of empty sandwich wrappers, potato chip bags and drink cups as well as a table cloth made from a mosaic of greasy fingerprints. I chose the least decorated of the bunch and sat down.

Bzzzz. Bzzzz. Bzzzz. Sammitch arrived.

Earl of Sandwich

Undressing The Original's heat saving foil wrapping revealed a brick shaped sandwich on ciabatta bread, sliced in half.

Earl of Sandwich

A peeky under the covers reveals a wet roast beef sandwich with some orange goop (presumably cheese) and some white stuff on the bottom which could be mayo. I closed the top and took a bite. Yes, roast beef. Yes, the orange adhesive is indeed cheese. No, the white stuff isn't mayo, it's Horsey sauce straight from Arbys. The roast beef was sloppy, a little fatty and dripping wet. I'd love to tell you what it tastes like, but I can't... all I taste is horseradish sauce.

This isn't a sandwich, this is a sludgewich. Mushed meat and fatty gloop stuffed into a piece of bread that is fortunately stronger than the damaging effects of the moisture. Perfect food for a drunk. Horrible food for those who have, use and appreciate their taste buds. Guilty on both counts your honor.

Sludgewich, chips and a coke: $11

Jean Philippe Patisserie

24 hours and 24 cocktails later, I found myself at the Jean Philippe Patisserie inside of ARIA looking for an easy meal. Amidst the gorgeous array of pastries I found a delicious looking array of sandwiches.

Jean Philippe Patisserie Sandwiches

Turkey, ham, veg and roast beef, which I ordered along with a super tall cup of straight drip coffee. I grabbed a seat at 'the bar' facing Bar Moderno and peeked under the hood.

Jean Philippe Patisserie Sandwiches

Fresh light and fluffy French roll with fresh ground mustard, mayo, shaved onions, finely sliced tomato, spring lettuce leaves and thinly sliced cold roast beef.

JPP's use of fresh ingredients, prepared carefully and simply resulted in a sandwich full of defined flavor that did more than satisfy my hunger, it provided an exciting taste counterpoint to the challenging ambiance that is ARIA.

Sandwich + large coffee : $15.



Comments & Discussion:

"24 hours and 24 cocktails later" I call Bullsh*t, you had way more than 24 cocktails....... sandwich made me hungry tho

We went to Earl of Sandwich for the first time when we were out there 2 weeks ago. Honestly, I wasn't that impressed. I like Firehouse Subs sandwiches better than what they had there. I got the ham and cheese and it just tasted....tasteless. I guess it's just a west coast thing, but how come every sandwich (including hamburgers and chicken sandwiches) always come with avocado or some other random fruit on them? I don't ever see that until I get out west toward Cali.

I will come to the defense of the Earl. First, hot and moist beats cold and dry in most things. Second, you are correct that the Earl should properly be compared to Arby's, Subway, Quizno's, etc... in which case the analogy is like comparing In/Out burger to McD's and BK. Third, the Earl requires an appreciate for drunk dining (where base instincts take over); in the same way a bag of doritos is inhaled when baked.

Perhaps I didn't make my point clearly enough... the Earl and JPP provide similar sandwiches in completely different ways. Depending on your perspective, you could be satisifed by either or. I'm a foodie and a drunk. The drunk loves the sloppy sludgewich but the foodie finds it a borderline disgusting. JPP on the other hand satisfied the drunk AND the foodie.

This story is more about my internal conflicts than the sandwiches contained therein.

I agree with parched in that I can't eat a cold sandwich anymore. It makes me thirsty and bloated just thinking about it. I ate at Earl last week (first time eating there as well) and got the Italian which was good. It was pretty thin, but the quality was there and so was the flavor. Also they thankfully don't make the stupid mistake of putting mayo on an Italian sub. That by itself earns them a repeat visit next trip.

The JPP subs look very good artistry-wise, but I don't think I'd ever order a ready-made sandwich with bread that's been in a fridge.

In defence of the Earl, it's a Florida-based chain which is well known to tourists because of it's location in WDW's Downtown Disney shopping district. Which, I should point out, is almost always hoppin'.

I find it pretty good, but I haven't ever tried the one at P-Ho. Perhaps the quality guidelines didn't survive the trip west or they're using a different vendor or something.

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