premiere Wednesday, January 8, 8PM (check local listings)
are just one of the great American foods. From peanut-butter-and-jelly
to roast beef to Italian hoagies and Texas barbecue on a bun, these
simple, tasty stacks of assorted breads and fillings are one of
the main fuels of Americans across the country. And in an age of
ever-expanding national franchises, there are still many unusual
little restaurants and stands that serve unique, locally famous
sandwiches that help preserve some of our country's regional charms.
sandwiches make a perfect topic for Sebak and his crew from WQED
Pittsburgh (the folks who brought you "A Hot Dog Program"
and "An Ice Cream Show" among others on PBS.)
Sandwiches That You Will Like is
an exciting explosion of American voices talking about favorite
sandwiches, tastes, traditions and toppings. (cont'd
to view/download (300 DPI JPGs, print size, appr. 3"
Credit: WQED Pittsburgh.
Taylor's Maid Rite, Marshalltown, IA.
George's in Philadelphia, PA. The logo was based on this old
Sebak at Pat's in Philadelphia, PA.
at Central Grocery, New Orleans, LA.
Brown Hotel, Louisville, KY, home of the Hot Brown.
of Thelma's Bar B Que, Houston, TX.
critic Holly Moore at Pat's in Philly, PA.
Beef, Chicago, IL.
Isaly's, Irwin, PA.
West View, PA.
from Red's Eats (where you can get a luscious lobster roll) in Wiscasset,
Maine, to Huong Lan Sandwiches (where there are many kinds of banh
mi, the tasty Vietnamese treats on French bread) in San Jose, California,
Rick and his crew have gathered and assembled images and interviews
into a sort of video mosaic that celebrates regional American foods
and delicious neighborhood cultures.
a lot of beef in the program. In Buffalo, Rick and crew visit a
small restaurant called Schwabl's that specializes in thinly sliced
beef on an unusual German-style roll called a kümmelweck, making
the western New York specialty known as "beef-n-weck."
At Revere Beach near Boston, Kelly's puts rare roast beef on big
toasted buns. In Chicago, at many places, including the enticing
Mr. Beef, there are juicy Italian beef sandwiches topped with hot-pepper
giardiniera. And, of course, in Philadelphia, the beef is grilled
and combined with onions and cheese (if you know how to order correctly)
to create a classic cheesesteak at places like Pat's and Geno's.
New Orleans, every day the Central Grocery turns out hundreds of
large, round, salami-ham-and-cheese sandwiches known as muffulettas,
topped with an unforgettable chopped-olive salad, while at the Uptown
neighborhood bar called Domalise's, you can get some sublime sub-like
sandwiches called "po-boys," filled with fried oysters
or shrimp, among other things.
of our biggest problems with this show," says Rick, "was
figuring out which of the many different sandwiches we would and
could include in the hour-long documentary. Even here in Pittsburgh,
we were blessed with lots of possibilities. Pittsburgh is a great
sandwich town, and of course we'll mention Primanti's, but we also
stopped at Chiodo's Bar in Homestead for a "mystery sandwich,"
and at Charlie's in North Oakland for a Pittsburgh cheesesteak,
then on to Isaly's in West View for a chipped ham "Slammer"
on the amazing homemade buns there."
truly unusual sandwiches also make the program's menu. Ever had
a St. Paul sandwich in St. Louis? It's an egg-foo-yung patty on
white bread with lettuce and tomato. How about a Maid-Rite "loosemeat"
sandwich in Iowa? It's freshly ground beef seasoned with just salt
and pepper then scooped into a bun. In Louisville, Kentucky, you
can get a Hot Brown sandwich at the Brown Hotel. It's an open-faced
turkey sandwich, covered with cheese sauce and strips of bacon.
program looks at a few old favorites too, like peanut-butter-and-jelly
in New York's Greenwich Village, French dips at Philippe's in Los
Angeles, pastrami at Katz's Deli in Manhattan, and classic Italian
hoagies in South Philly. "It ends up being about more than
just the sandwiches," says Rick.
"It's about all the people who love these unusual places with
a passion. It's about attention to detail and the care that's taken
to preserve culinary traditions. It's about regional accents and
the diversity of American tastes. And, having used sandwiches as
a reason to explore America, we hope other people will want to try
some 'sandwich tourism' themselves."
Sandwiches That You Will Like
is Rick's sixth national program for PBS, his twenty-second major
documentary for WQED since he came to work here in 1987. This will
be the first Sebak production available on DVD (although you will
have to pledge to your local PBS station to get the disc), and the
first to have a companion book (also available only as a thank-you
gift for pledging), written by Becky Mercuri, author of Food Festival
U.S.A. with a production diary by Sebak and a Foreward by Pat Bruno
from the Chicago Sun Times.
Sandwiches That You Will Like
is made possible by contributions to your PBS station from viewers
like you. Rick Sebak produced, wrote and narrated the program; Kevin
Conrad edited it; Buck Brinson was the Director of Photography;
Minette Seate was Associate Producer; Bob Lubomski did the sound
work, and Patty Walker was Project Director.