Ah, the omelet. So deceptively simple. A few whisked eggs, some butter in the pan, a touch of salt, a little pepper and (hopefully) not too many ingredients folded in. What could go wrong? Apparently everything. With alarming frequency.
While at a pause in the climactic battle that, according to some estimates, would cause approximately $160 billion in damages to Manhattan at the rousing conclusion of Joss Whedon’s popcorn extravaganza The Avengers, Tony Stark/Iron Man suggests that his crew head out later for some shawarma, that delightful pita wrap, Turkish in origin, of spit-roasted meat with accoutrements such as hummus and hot sauce.
In the clever 2009 comedy I Love You, Man, insecure Peter Klaven (played by Paul Rudd), realizing he has no male friends, and thus no one to be the best man at his upcoming wedding, goes on a series of ‘man dates’ to find a friend worthy of the role. After little success at first, he meets up with easy-going dude Sydney Fife (Jason Segel), at James Beach restaurant near Venice where they crack each other up over beers and what Sydney claims are the best fish tacos in the world. We’d like to nominate another contender.
In The Help, Tate Taylor’s heartfelt adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s novel, Minny Jackson, the outspoken maid played by Octavia Spencer, the role for which she won an Academy Award, claims that “frying chicken just tends to make you feel better about life,” and we agree with one caveat: eating fried chicken makes us feel even better.
It’s hard to find a sandwich that inspires more ambivalence than the lowly egg-salad, reviled by school children as gelatinous chunks plopped between sodden bread and enveloped in a sulfurous cloud, and viewed by squadrons of office workers as the epitome of brown-bagged humdrum. And yet, at a tiny, clattery bakery/café on an unpromising stretch near the bland overdevelopment of Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard, is Europane.
Few things food-wise are more comforting than a perfect roast beef sandwich: tender rosy meat, sliced wafer-thin and generously layered, soothing in its faintly warm mineral blandness, slicked with creamy aromatic horseradish that spikes into sharpness, tamed by a pillowy weck roll that absorbs the beefy juices.