On September 25, 1989, Mark Hamill was turning 38 years old. Christopher Reeves was turning 37. William Faulkner was not turning 92, but he would have had he not died 27 years earlier.
I was turning 16 years old and furiously reckoning with a several months old accident that involved a totaled Buick belonging to my father and a possibly unlicensed 15 year old driver that looked a lot like me.
So while Luke and Superman were celebrating and a lot of serious sounding literary types were saying serious sounding literary things about Oxford’s most famous, I was ruing a few decisions. Rather than dealing with the feared “Big Haired Lady,” known for failing 16 year olds at the drop of the hat at the Arkadelphia Rd. drivers testing site, I was watching my friends get their driver’s licenses while my extra legal ambitions delayed my sallies forth, backward, and three point.
In the end, a court decided that I had to wait 6 months past my 16th birthday before I could test to drive on my own. Immediately upon passing, I applied for a job as a delivery driver at DeVinci’sPizza, a place owned by my neighbors from across the street.
The delivery corps on most nights was me, Brian, and Jason - two friends from my high school class.
For the most part, we would rotate delivery assignments, correcting for distance and dollars as best we could, but there was one address that we kept on a separate ledger.
It was a strip club a few miles away called Sammy’s GoGo. At least twice a week the dancers would order and we’d be pressed into service.
At minimum, five different girls would ask for five different tabs and 16 year old me or Brian or Jason would bypass the bouncer by the magic of the pizza bag and wind up behind the scenes to transact.
It’s impossible for me to explain how life affirming it was for us to meet our customers, bare breasted women who pinched our cheeks while saying “you are so cute” and tipped us absurdly (in ones of course). But the topper was that since the “dancers” always wanted separate checks the chance that we had to wait because Desire (pronounced Deseray), or whatever, was on stage was very good. The delivery wasn’t done until her set was over. Wait and watch.
As I wrote years ago elsewhere:
“At sixteen you stood and watched topless ladies writhe due to a loophole in the law that allowed underage high school students to ogle breast as long as they possessed a pizza delivery warming bag. The pizza bag is an immediate pass by lines waiting behind a velvet rope, a salve to otherwise suspicious bouncers, and +5 vs. off duty cops.”
Ever seen three teenage boys fight over whose turn it was to do some work? Brutal stuff.
The most popular order from the lovely ladies who tipped so well in one dollar bills was beyond a doubt the Outrageous Steak Sandwich. As I’m about to explain, it’s a messy and cheesy sandwich that is the last thing you want to eat while hanging out backstage topless which I can aver that they did, but they ordered and ordered it.
So for the big rubber match against Clemson, let’s let it all hang out.
The Outrageous Steak Sandwich:
DeVinci’s let me pester them in the kitchen and watch as they made this sandwich. As with all professional kitchens, measurements fall by the wayside as familiarity and intuition take over. The following measures are my estimations.
- 3 tbsp diced onion
- 5-6 oz. sirloin (very thinly chopped - there are numerous very good Philly Steak products out there that are pre-chopped and ready to go)
- ½ handful chopped mushrooms
- 2 tbsp demi glace
- 1 handful mixed grated provolone and mozzarella
- Salt and pepper
- hoagie roll
- olive oil
Cleaning this pan is going to be awful, but put that aside for a while.
Add a few glugs of olive oil to a skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion until translucent, and beef, and cook until medium rare.
Add salt and pepper and stir.
This looks like an absurd amount of cheese, but this is an absurd sandwich.
Mix it well.
Eventually you will get what looks like an omelette.
Prep a slightly hollowed out hoagie and toast it.
Do not tell your doctor about this.
We have a hell of a game coming up. Most of those reading will be at home as opposed to in New Orleans, so give this a shot. I’ll apologize for the ridiculous clean up. That cheese crusted skillet is going to test an arm and a scouring pad, but it’s so worth it.
If you are in Birmingham, the “Outrageous Steak Sandwich” is still available at DeVinci’s Pizza in Homewood, but they screwed it up and changed the name to the anodyne “Stromboli Steak.” If you want to call in to-go order before the game, which I highly recommend, make sure to tell them that the new name stinks.
Here comes the rubber match. I can’t wait.
Enjoy, Roll Tide, and no injuries.