PrattTribune - Pratt, KS
by Garon Cockrell
Opinion: Comic Book Men - Secret Stash Super Hero Sandwich not so super?
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By Garon Cockrell
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Oct. 15, 2013 5:20 p.m.

Just started watching Comic Book Men, Season 1. This isn't a full review; it's just a reaction to their Super Hoagie episode (ep 16).
But, as long as I'm here, let me say that this is a pretty watchable show. Why? I think the big reason is: they don't do recap! Man, I get so annoyed when they idiot-proof shows by going over what you've already seen over and over again. If I'm flipping channels and I come across your show, odds are I can get up to speed in 30 seconds or less. Kudos to the production for adding more content and less filler.
The plot is based in Kevin Smith's Secret Stash comic book store in Red Bank, NJ. The crew there apparently have hijinx and hilarity (well, mild hilarity), mixed with a nerd flavor of Antiques Road Show, during the course of running their store. Everything is produced and staged, obviously, but even with at least two cameras floating around, their segments about negotiating price for items is about as engaging as ARS. Just seeing the items and hearing their history is what carries that part.
The other part of the show is sort of a benign version of American Choppers, with "conflicts" between Ming, a shop clerk; Mike, another shop clerk; Walter, the manager; and Brian, who... is just there all the time? Brian isn't an employee, and a little research would probably discover he's a lottery winner or a trust fund baby. Not that you'd know it by his Grizzley Adams facial hair and long locks.
There's also the glue of the show, which I imagine is a version of some podcast or other, where the whole gang, hosted by Kevin Smith, does commentary about the events of the episode.
This is neither in the ep, nor is it a
super hero sandwich. Just thought it
was an appropriate visual.
Sandwich, right.
One of the produced conflicts has Ming & Mike versus Walter & Brian, finding out who can make a sandwich fit to be on the local Readings Deli menu. It would be called the Secret Stash Super Hero. Get it?
Why are we all wearing hats again?
Mike is a former chef, so Ming is just along for the ride. They submit a fried chicken sandwich with apple butter. Or apple jam. Something like that. Walter, who claims to have never eaten a sandwich in his life - yes, he claims he has never had a sandwich - directs Brian to make a sandwich with two kinds of bread (one kind on top, the other on the bottom), two kinds of pork (ham and bacon), two kinds of chicken (friend and deli), roast beef, and two kinds of cheese. The owner of Readings declares Mike and Ming's sandwich the winner.
Here's my beef (pun intended): I don't think there's anything "super" about either sandwich.
What is good to eat? How about
Granted, the guys may have had limitations with what ingredients they could use. And Mike's sandwich may taste great. And I do like the idea of two kinds of bread in one sandwich. But I'm going to go pie in the sky here and assume that any edible ingredient is fair game. If this is a "super" hero sandwich, I'm assuming Superman is eating it. In my view, Superman either has super taste buds which are very sensitive to subtle flavors, or else he can handle the most outrageous combinations because it's harder for him to, for example, be burned by spices.
Little known fact - Supes cooks for Bats.
Yes, this is a thing.
I'm going the latter route. I would make the ultimate spicy sandwich. I'd start with a hearty bread, a sourdough or French roll. Then, jalepeño jelly. That's got both spicy and sweet. It's not all about creating something impossible to eat, it's about having flavors that you wouldn't otherwise have if your tongue couldn't handle them. To go with this sweet/spicy jelly, I'd pick lamb as the meat, probably gyro style, just for convenience. Sprinkle a little salt and cayenne pepper on the meat for seasoning. Throw some mint leaves in, then add shredded purple cabbage, for color, texture, and contrast to the spices added so far. Finally, wasabi mayo for a strong aromatic heat that hits your sinuses while the dry heat hits your tongue. The mayo provides a counterbalance to the wasabi.
Now that, my friends, is a Super Hero Sandwich.
Of course, we all know Superman eats PB&J.
Because he's not allergic to peanut butter. Suck it, Tommy!

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