Wednesday, October 14, 2009

An Exception to the Rule. Mr. Subb is Serving a Mongrel Neba.

So, I stopped at the drive-thru at the Burger King on Western Ave. in Guilderland for a large, fountain, diet Coke. I openly admit to being completely addicted to the fizzy, chemical brew which is probably wreaking havoc on my poor kidneys and prostate. But even Mr. Dave must have a few vices. Anyways, the above image flashed across the little intercom/TV contraption. It proudly proclaimed, "Everything tastes better with bacon and cheese." I would generally agree with this statement in most cases (albeit not necessarily with Burger Kings particular brand of cheese and bacon), but there are certain exceptions.

Stay with me here, I am getting to the point directly. An adolescent voice piped up from the intercom stating that the register was broken and I would have to come inside to order. Fie I say, if I am going to get my lazy kiester out of my Toyota, I am going to go ahead and patronize the Mr. Subb in the plaza 100 feet away from the BK.

We have already discussed my love for the Neba, I even wondered if it should be named the quintessential Capital Region food. For new readers I shall summarize. The Neba is a hot roast beef and jus sandwich originally served by Mike's Neba locations in the Albany, NY area. It had a fierce local following, but disappeared for many years, only to be resurrected by Mr. Subb. Mr. Subb is the legacy restaurant to Mike's Neba, sharing the same (but not original) owner of Mike's Neba. Confuse anyone?

Anyhow, walking into the Mr. Subb, I noticed this new section of the menu board.

It is offering Neba melts, Nebas with bacon/cheddar, ham and cheese Nebas?!? What is this abomination? For shame, for shame! The glory of the Neba lies with its simplicity, the lovely combination of jus, beef, and roll. Perhaps a little horseradish/horseradish sauce for kick, but that is it. As if to punctuate my point about the glory of bare beef and bread, an older gentlemen came in and ordered a "Hot Beef." There is no Hot Beef on the menu, this is the old language, but the guy at the counter new what he was talking about. The Hot Beef is a kissing cousin to the Neba. It is simply warmed roast beef on a sub roll. Nothing else. The Mr. Subb kid knowingly asked, "No cheese or anything, right?" The wizened gentlemen answered with an emphatic, "Bah, noooo."

You see, I think that modern food offerings have gone a little crazy with condiments/additions/etc... Especially in the sandwich/sub category. It is almost as if people are becoming hardwired to expect something on top of whatever they are eating. Places like Subway which base their business model on piling 15 odd items on to any given sandwich are to blame for this. It is my opinion that Subway does this to cover up the horrid, processed taste of their meats and cheeses with all of the extras. Myself, as much as I love cheese and bacon, I will take the simple Neba without the greasy duo. Intending to buy only the soda, I had to indulge myself in beefy bliss.

So, you are wrong Mr. Burger King telecom/TV apparatus. Not everything tastes better with bacon and cheese. If you are going to get a Neba, resist the urge for all of the additions and savor the original. Just a little sage advice from Mr. Dave.

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