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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tailgate Season

I must confess I had never tailgated before. So when it came time to plan a menu for the Phil Lesh and Friends show at the Greek Theater, I was quickly put in my place when I suggested bourgeois dishes along the lines of gourmet cheese plate, dainty chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, and fresh spring rolls. The co-chair of the food committee (my boyfriend) handed me a copy of Mario Batali's Nascar Tailgating cook book as a starting reference point. Batali's book was full of hearty, carnivorous dishes that involved some hardcore grilling, which was problematic since open fire cooking is a no-no in the dusty hills surrounding the theater-- California is very susceptible to fires, apparently.

So we hit up the Italian food emporium, Bay City Deli, in Santa Monica for some of their specialty sandwiches and deli delights. Bay City is a haven for those East Coast refugees who crave Italian sandwiches known by their noms de guerres that suggest heft and power such as grinders, subs, and hoagies. Think delicious, crusty bread without a trace of sourdough with all the fixings such as olive oil, and spicy pickled peppers.

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