Confessions of a Sandwich Snob

Ever hear the one about the evil tuna? He was rotten to the albacore. File photo

Like most gluttons, culinary obsessives, annoying recreational eaters, imperious food snobs and occasionally successful cooks, I have entertained the dubious notion of opening a restaurant.

The notion is dubious, primarily because Alameda is suffering from a restaurant glut. There are currently 170 eateries in Alameda. They are struggling for an ever-shrinking slice of the recreational eating pie. Naturally, if I were a restaurateur, my massive, greedy ego would demand a very large slice, and I’m pretty sure that, in spite of the glut, my clever, eclectic and highly original restaurant concepts would assure it ... maybe, I hope.

The first irresistible concept, "The Big Tuna" would be a creative outlet for my sandwich snobbery, which primarily involves the tuna sandwich. The tuna sandwich is one of mankind’s finest culinary triumphs, right up there with chicken-fried steak topped with bacon-cream gravy; juicy bleu cheeseburgers; super nachos; gravy fries, pizza pups and giant, sloppy burritos. A fine tuna sandwich is the epitome of comfort food.

The Big Tuna would specialize in enormous tuna sandwiches. The sandwich choices would include tuna melts; tuna with hard boiled egg; or with capers and olives; or with pickle relish; tuna with avocado, onion and tomato; or with bacon and tomato; and a hot creamed tuna and bell pepper on toast.

Please note that The Big Tuna’s sandwiches would be for staid American culinary purists only. You would not find foo-foo stuff like chipotles, sriracha, harissa, arugula, chimichirri, aioli, or zataar anywhere near the The Big Tuna.

The Big Tuna’s signature items would be its fresh, house-baked sandwich rolls, shaped like gigantic albacore tuna fish. It would offer gigantic tuna-shaped potato chips, and huge tuna-shaped cookies for dessert. The décor would be all tuna: blue walls, floors and ceilings with paintings of large tuna fish.

Until some lucky investor tosses a fat wad of Chases ($10,000 dollar bills) my way and makes The Big Tuna a reality, you can enjoy the tasty and tempting tuna sandwiches at these fine Isle of Style eateries:

The Island City Café: Their tuna salad sandwich is excellent, with a perfect ratio of tuna to mayo on fresh home-made breads, thus making the sandwich appropriately soft, creamy, savory and satisfyingly two-napkin sloppy — as is the wont of all truly great sandwiches. Garnishes include romaine lettuce, tomato, pickle and red onion. I stuck some avocado in mine, with superior results. The Island City Café’s spacious, spotless dining areas, impressive menu, friendly service and big, meticulously prepared sandwiches make it Alameda’s premier sandwich emporium.

Alternately, the iconic, venerable and extremely popular Pier 29 restaurant also serves forth fine tuna sandwiches, in an appropriately nautical Ballena Bay atmosphere. The Pier’s grilled albacore tuna and cheese sandwich on sourdough is consistently well prepared, as is its classic cold albacore tuna sandwich with mayo, lettuce and tomato on a croissant.

With great offerings like these, Alameda is truly a sandwich snob’s nirvana.

Trippin’on tuna at satsfats510@mailstation.com