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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What's in a name?

Fall Skyline Room Menu
It all started with Curb Your Enthusiasm. Specifically, there was an episode about a Hollywood deli that named its sandwiches after celebrities. Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and real-life George Costanza, wanted to swap his Larry David sandwich for the Ted Danson. (Hilarious clip contains crude language.)

So why not try named sandwiches here, in the Skyline Room? Our faculty members are our celebrities. So in the fall of 2015 we rolled out a new menu featuring some of our faculty superstars. Bob Blystone, Richard Burr, Bill Christ, Ruben Dupertuis, Coleen Grissom, Paul Myers, and Claudia Stokes all good-naturedly agreed to lend their names to a new spate of sandwiches. Some of the sandwiches were pre-existing. Some were new and customized. Dr. Blystone, for example, was very specific about the sandwich he wanted, which may be why it was almost dropped from the menu.

Indeed, the new chef looked at the menu over break and proposed dropping the Reuben Dupertuis and the Paul Myers from the spring menu. This was nearly a done deal until the serving crew at the Skyline implored me (they actually did), to not drop the Reuben or the Paul Myers. Sure enough, it turns out that the Grissom BLT and the Blystone had the fewest sales. The chef just wanted to rotate out for better variety.

The Bill Christ. Really
Interestingly, when I initially told Ruben Dupertuis that his Reuben was possibly being rotated out... he kind of took it personally. I assured him it was about sales (which turned out to be false). But even that didn't bolster his spirits. He is lobbying for the sandwiches to have tenure so they can never be dropped. He might have a point. I haven't broken it to Coleen Grissom that her BLT is low in sales, but she wouldn't complain. She whines that she wished she was the Claudia Stokes.

This was all a bit more than I bargained for. I was able to convince Dining Services to keep the whole menu, for now, in addition to rotating in the three new sandwiches selected by our new chef. Professors Blystone and Grissom have a reprieve. Paul Myers, indifferent to his sandwich, seems as safe as a Reuben, for at least the spring.

I polled the faculty for nominations to name the new sandwiches and received a robust response. Without further ado, I am pleased to announce the new sandwiches for Spring 2016:

The Brian Miceli Celifornia Chicken Club
Grilled chicken breast with bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato on ciabatta.
Brian received several nominations as the ultimate California dude. When I asked him if this would be okay he just said "cool."

The Carolyn True Caprese Sandwich
Fresh mozzarella, tomato, and basil on a ciabatta roll with balsamic pesto dressing.
When I approached her about the Caprese, which does sound musical, she listed all of the ingredients. This is a True match.

The Camille Reyes Cuban Melt
Pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles, cabbage, and mustard on a baguette.
Camille is of direct Cuban descent and was so excited to tell her family she is now an American sandwich.

The previously unnamed Pepperoni Flatbread will now be The Mike Wilkins.

Of course Peter Olofsson, Aaron Navarro, and many others provided some interesting suggestions. The response to the sandwiches has been fantastic. The students really love to order their favorite professors. The Skyline use has seen a 125% increase this fall. And the faculty involved have been incredibly great sports. The others who submitted names had fun nominating their friends and colleagues for this honor. This is truly Trinity at its best. And the sandwiches aren't half bad either. I invite readers to check out the expanded menu sometime in late January.

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