Friday, July 18, 2008

Why tri-tip sandwiches are better than houses


Whew, boy, what a cliff-hanger that was, huh? Were you all on the edges of your seats? We were, too, for a day or so in there. But then we got the call from our realtor, and I knew by the mournful sound in his voice that we were not moving into a Berkeley bungalow, that we wouldn't be enjoying the fruits of the persimmon, fig, banana and lemon trees in the back yard.
I think I'm OK with this. The house was never really ours, of course, so losing it didn't hurt too much. Just a little. And we all know that most hurt can be covered up with food, with cooking and with dinners out and with good friends. Isn't that true? So I made pesto and I made pie, braised brisket, tested recipes for sticky toffee pudding and made big salads of corn and tomatoes. But my best recent discovery, the one I forgot to tell you about because all this house stuff got in the way, is the tri-tip sandwich from Dunneville Market in Hollister, California.
We were down there the weekend before the house situation, visiting a friend's family (they have a lovely walnut, cherry and apricot orchard, and we made ourselves positively sick on the fruit). On our way out of town, we stopped at this unassuming little spot for their tri-tip sandwich, advertised on a sign in the parking lot. Now, imagine this: a length of griddled garlic bread (made from extra-soft rolls) topped with perfectly tender tri-tip. Wrapped in paper, handed over with a tub of tangy barbecue sauce for dipping, this could well be one of the best lunches around. Having come late to the glory of tri-tip, I fell doubly hard. No lettuce to muck it up, no cheese or tomatoes. Just the bread, the meat and an icy beer, all enjoyed in the shade of a fruit tree. It made me feel happy, and was about $529,994 dollars cheaper than a house in Berkeley.