What’s the perfect go-to food when you’re starving to death and standing in front of the refrigerator with both doors open? That’s right! A sandwich! It’s arguably America’s favorite food, in part perhaps because a sandwich can be thrown together in a pinch from all the great leftovers in your house.
Unless, of course, you’re watching Jeff Mauro’s new Food Network show. On today’s premiere episode of Sandwich King, Jeff made a Chicago Italian Beef Pot Roast Style sandwich… which might be delicious IF I WANTED TO SPEND TWENTY ONE HOURS AND TWENTY FIVE MINUTES MAKING A FREAKING SANDWICH! Want the homemade Giardiniera to go on top of it? Sure, but that’ll be another 16 hours and 20 minutes. Of course you could plan ahead, but doesn’t that defeat the entire point of making a sandwich?!
With the magic of TV, it was all made in 22 minutes. Unfortunately, the rest of us at home don’t have that luxury.
Anyway, the episode kicked off with Jeff leaning over the counter of his poorly decorated set, rattling off the ingredients for his sandwiches. He’s too cool to stand up straight. He doesn’t have to. He makes sandwiches.
Speaking of the set, it was pretty much the cheapest thing ever. It looked like a back corner of a NYC subway that someone set up a discounted Ikea kitchen in. Food Network might as well just come out and say: “we are not expecting you to do well, so we’re not going to throw a lot of money into this at all. Here’s $50 for paint. The bald guy from HGTV said barf green was your color. Now run along and make it happen.”
As far as first-time hosts go, Jeff wasn’t half bad. You don’t instantly want to jump through your television and strangle him like with some “other” winners of Next Food Network Star, and that’s always a good thing. Aside from some over the top accents and an overuse of stupid filler words like “awesome” and “perfect” he held his own.
Personally, I really could have done without those constant triple-camera chopping and assembling shots. I get it. He’s chopping shit. I don’t need to incessantly see it from every possible angle known to man.
And as is the case with most Food Network shows, the majority of the half hour was centered around filler, fluff, and tall tales about the host’s boring childhood.
Jeff’s 2nd sandwich was a panini made on focaccia bread. The catch? He didn’t have a panini press, because “he ain’t no millionaire.” As Eric told us on Twitter: “The Sandwich King doesn’t have a panini press in his kitchen?! Next week, he won’t have bread.”
Jeff couldn’t afford to spend $30 on a panini press, but luckily, he could afford to spend $20 on a heavy-duty cast-iron bacon press. Oh happy days. One thing’s for sure: Jeff certainly ISN’T going to be a millionaire any time soon, because Food Network is going to own his ass for the next X amount of years. Oh, those pesky contracts.
The best part of the show came when Jeff took a break to play a little impromptu saxophone:
Kidding. He was really just eating his sandwich. Maybe next week.
Bottom line: I watched the entire show, and all I got out of it is that people in Chicago are rude to you if you order a sandwich wrong. Jeff did a fine job, but then again, he hasn’t had time to become an overly characterized Food Network-ified version of himself yet. For his sake, I hope that doesn’t happen.
What did you think of the show, FNH?
Other posts on Food Network Humor:---Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin: Another Unoriginal Idea
---FNH RECAP: The Pioneer Woman Premiere Episode
---Ridiculous Food Network “Recipe” Of The Week: Robin Miller’s Sandwich Cookies
---FNH Recap: Tough Cookies Series Premiere
---Guy Fieri Knuckle Sandwich Knives