An Egg and Cheese State Of Mind

Being a native New Yorker I always detested the putz in front of me who ordered a roll with butter at the deli. It was always hard to restrain myself from yelling, “That order, never went out of style, a roll with butter. Then again, that order never had style.” My attitude is either order an egg and cheese at the deli or not, although I still got grief at the deli pre-COVID whenever I’d order an egg and cheese without specifying the inclusion of crispy, crackling, bacon or not, before I became a full time practicing Koshertarian Comedian. Deli guy asks with bemused matter of fact disgust, “That’s it, just an egg and cheese, no bacon? I snap back with, with equal matched pissed, ball busting fervor, “Yeah, egg and cheese only. Is my hangover order not manly enough for your standards, Dominick I Ain’t Fag Scholanti? And why don’t Italian Guidos get credit for being the original metrosexuals of their day? My people the Jews, didn’t keep Tanning Beds R Us in business throughout the eighties and nineties, no did we dare spike our hair, in pink polos in candy necklaces on spring break in Cancun, until Guido nation made it popular first. Eighties Guido Italians ruled the fashion scene back in the day. Even tough guy sounding Italian Jews like Andrew Dice Clay would pronounce in the eighties loud and proud in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden, “Anna Wintour, I fucked her, oh. Who cares if she looks like an albino ET in a wig and Stella McCartney shades? Oh, I can’t take no more.”  

The everlasting allure of delis for New Yorkers, isn’t the random, mishmash salad bar, unless you’re a colorless, hipless, Research Analyst for JP Morgan Chase who’s never passed out on the couch without brushing her teeth first. New Yorkers native or adopted, don’t love their bodegas or delis for their normally bland, too chunky, mayo-soaked chicken cutlet on a day-old Kaiser roll either. New Yorkers love their delis and bodegas, New York lingo for 24/7 open degentrified delis in reverse, because of the revered, never taken for granted, egg and cheese order, without having to specify roll ever or sandwich. Unless you want to be a totally tubby bitch and overcompensate for not eating bacon anymore and ask the pretty chesty, Italian Deli owner, in Duchess, County, who matches your flirty gaze every time, to make your dare I say egg and cheese sandwich on a sesame loaded hero, role with 2 slices of American cheese, salt and pepper, no ketchup, but some hot sauce on top and I’m in heaven, inhaling it with ravenous delight in my car 2 seconds later, at one with this ingenious breakfast start me up creation, wanting to shave with it, if I still shaved on a regular basis, feeling it’s presence nearer, as we press cheek to cheek, Irving Berlin lives, holla, thank you very much.

Last night, I spotted a leftover brioche roll and decided to make my daughter an egg and cheese sandwich this morning to earn her respect and appreciation for the holiest of holiest NY Institutions, no not UCB or the People’s Improv Theater, but a bomb egg and cheese, which makes commuting to the city a tad more tolerable and exciting, despite Manhattan being deader these days than Kurt Cobain’s shot at still winning father of the year. Post COVID or not, not every major retail institution in Manhattan was bound to go under sooner or later such as Century 21 by Ground Zero, still can’t call it the Freedom Tower Memorial Square Park, sorry. But it would get fucking super weird fast, if all the delis and bodegas in NY started dropping like flies. New York City running out of delis and bodegas to order an egg and cheeses is like McDonald’s running out of soda or BLM running out of excuses to riot or commit more hate crimes like killing happy spewing Asian sex workers in Atlanta because white supremacy turned our cities into safe space sanctuaries for Thugs Lives Matters most, got it.

Understand, I’ve already gotten my 2 boys into the egg and cheese, yet my daughter has been less an enthralled because my versions have been too “eggy” for her taste.  So, this morning, I became determined to win my daughter over with the everlasting allure of the scrumptious, cheesy, mac daddy, egg, and cheese. The Egg and Cheese is so New York, Weird Al would’ve given it a plug in the Eat It Video, if he didn’t grow up in Downy, California, where your only breakfast grub options are breakfast burritos, which don’t tumble onto your plate in an avalanche of disorganized smutz if you’re lucky. And good luck finding a deli or bodega of any kind in LA that makes an egg and cheese past last call at a hard 1 in the Land of Blue Balls Strained Dreams. Sure, I can wait 5 hours to be seated at an airy, sunny, brunch spot, around guys twice as good looking as me who never struggled to fit into a size 34 in their life, only to blow 15 bucks on an egg and cheese with freaking arugula, spicy mayo, more Italian fontina freaking cheese and extra thick cut Berkshire bacon, but I’m not a working actor in SAG or a sitcom staffed TV writer in the WGA either just yet, so that fantasy equipped with a personal trainer to help me slip into a pair of semi tight, grey jeans with a 34 waist for more killer stand up sets at Improv on Melrose isn’t happening tomorrow for me either. And our comedy clubs even open in LA these days? Imagine Dave Chappelle drop by the Comedy Store on Sunset, scan the crowd for a second and blurt out, “I’ve been selling out the Apollo since I was 19, what’s this 50 percent capacity shit? Who do you think I am, Cedric The Entertainer? Holla, thank very much.”

The Egg and Cheese is a NY Institution like 24-hour Greek diners frequented by your little Greek Landlord and pick up street ball games where the brothers call fake news fouls only against less athletic white boys when the game is on the line. In short, I’d fail as a proud New Yorker Dad for letting my daughter give up on the egg and cheese so soon. It would be worse than me letting her tune out Nasty NAS on Illmatic, his 5-star masterpiece according to the Source, the hip hop Rolling Stone, after the album starts a tad snoozier slow than you recall like the start of Spies Like Us, despite those killer rhymes being tougher than Dice, holla, thank you very much.

In the end, I fried up an American cheese omelet in a non-stick pan, always the best, plopped it between a fried-up brioche roll in butter with some semi-generous sprinklings of Frank’s Hot Sauce, the training wheels of hot sauce on top and my work was done. My daughter was sold on rock steady allure of the greasy, bustling, NY Institution classic. Egg and Cheese Merchant institutions in the forms of last standing delis and bodegas in NY City, my city, who come in all colors and sizes, will never die like the Goonies, unless they do some shitty remake with Juno playing the lead for diversity dividing sake.

Michael Kornbluth

Mr. San Diego

Grilled fish tacos are lame, especially the ones from Baja Fresh, a popular health-conscious LA fast food chain, where your sense of charming individuality and personalized edge flat line to death and die. Are grilled fish tacos healthier than battered fried ones? Did Tony Gwynn strike out less than a teen George Brett at Daytona Beach on Spring Break?  Also, did the 8-time batting champion, who batted .391 in 94, who hit .412 against the equally nerdy Greg Maddox in the post season, ever leave the impression, he’d spray even more doubles all over Petco Stadium if he went on a diet with Kirby Puckett and only ate In and Out Burgers ATKINS style, using lettuce as buns instead?  If you’ve never made your own homemade Big Ups Batter Up Beer Batter Baja Fish Tacos or never sampled the all-star goods from San Diego founded, famed fast food Tex-Mex chain Rubio’s, to inhale their battered fish burrito in 7 bites max, then your life sucks more than the snotty clogged Lupus from the Bad News Bear, before he snags a high fly ball over right field and chants with sudden clear voiced, take no shit bravado, “Just wait till next year”, before pouring beer on Miguel who looks like the uncoordinated Latino Tony Gwyn in the making.

Now, I’ve fried up Icelandic Cod using the standard, eggs, flour and panko breadcrumbs, or from using homemade discarded breadcrumbs ones, blah, blah, blah, yet all those crispy exteriors, even the non-blotchy, all covering coating jobs were flimsier than Wade Boggs power numbers against Roger Clemens during batting practice compared to my Lagunitas infused beer battered one. Regardless, if Nolan Ryan drank the cocksure Roger Clemens under the table the previous night and beat his ass in darts with overpowering, clutch precision, only to throw the upstart hothead into a crippling headlock for trying to call fake news bullseyes one too many times over a high stakes game of darts during All-Star weekend in Houston, when Robert Redford was deemed young enough to play the Natural because the casting director wanted a more stoic, wooden version of Kevin Costner if possible.

Big Ups Batter Up Beer Batter slams all other breaded exterior concoctions out of the park by providing far superior crunch, snap and pop like Barry Bonds on the HGH, before his balls become the size of gumballs, better suited for the kid in the Bazooka Joe comic strips back in the day. Still, the added juicy, crackling oomph my Lagunitas IPA beer batter, mixed with rice flour, flour and baking powder required more rounded out flavor to make this Baja fish taco, the go to hot dog substitute to snag at the ballgame in Petco Field where the San Diego Padres play because HGH alone wasn’t responsible for Barry Bond’s breaking, Hammering Hank’s homerun record, knowing if I took steroids at sleepaway camp, I just would’ve struck at a more accelerated speed. If you’re going to make a consistently clutch, hit heavy Baja fish taco from home, you must add more boogie down balance and funky snap by rounding out the lineup  with a homemade pickled, purple cabbage slaw with jalapenos and Mexican oregano in addition to spreading the mini warmed flour tortilla with plenty of sumptuous, chipotle adobe mayo crema love, lined with plenty of chili powdered, in your face, spiky kick like the edge of Ty Cobb’s extra sparkly cleats up your ass, as he flew home like a bat out of hell in another blaze of natural born killer glory.

The Baja Fish tacos were a real hit with my kids, earning plenty of, “delicious nods”, so much so that I decided to make it a double header and serve them on back-to-back to nights this past weekend, doing my best hit heavy, consistently clutch, Mr. Sand Diego impression with endless joy spewing, Spring Training is almost here cheer.  For back-to-back nights, in our humble east coast Abode, Tony Gwynn, Mr. San Diego, the 1st ballot hall of famer, who would’ve most likely hit 400 or higher similar to Ted Williams during the abbreviated 94 strike seasoned lived again, especially knowing he didn’t become so pleasantly plump like fellow high average hitting sluggers such as John Kruck in the 90’s from sticking to protein shakes and black bean soup for after double header game feasts to. Even Don Mattingly, Mr. Neat, would’ve gotten his mustache and pristine pinstripes drenched in the crema from these Big Ups Batter Up Beer Battered Baja Fish Tacos, to eat his little hometown blues away, especially after the 94-strike season killed his shot at playing for the Yankees in the World Series, only to rip the ball off its seams into his favorite go to right field pocket in the House That Ruth Built, to make his own childhood Natural fantasy come true to.

Michael Kornbluth

Loud Man’s Disease

How loud was Do It All Dad? For starters, when seeing Aerosmith live in Las Vegas 2 summers ago with close seats to the stage before a mask muzzle was designed to kill freedom of speech forever, his incessant hollering and wooing, made lead singer Steven Tyler, shoot off retaliatory hate stares of disgust in his direction which screamed, “Somebody shut this loudmouth Jew up already. This is my showcase career retrospective, not his. I didn’t blow millions on blow and almost derail my stadium selling out career in the seventies to have this big-headed putz project louder than me without a microphone, Joe Perry and a state-of-the-art sound system working in his magnifying favor either.”

There was also the time Do It All Dad saw Dice in a casino in Arizona with his younger brother, only for the Dice Man to single out the loudmouth Jew and yell with exasperated force, “You’re an asshole”, and all he was doing was laughing longtime all the time prior while sporadically yelling, “Dice Lives, holla, thank very much.” Dice was so flummoxed by Do It All Dad’s laugh throaty roar, he beelined into his nursey rhymes prematurely way ahead of schedule to get the fuck out of dodge at a hard 45 minutes into his set.

Then, there was the time when Do It All Dad saw Bon Jovi at Mohegan Sun with his daughter Matilda, fairly up in the nose bleed seats this time behind the stage, yet his bombastic, rocket fueled voice, still managed to get under Zebra print’s skin, as the old school long cowboy from Jersey, projected a damning you ain’t shit thousand-yard stare toward Mr. Loud Man’s Disease general direction, as he sang along with rock star blasting authority, “Bad Medicine is all I need.”  

Do It All Dad didn’t only piss off living legendary comedians and hall of fame rock star front men with surefire, unintentional precision. His omnipresent Loud Man’s Disease enraged his normally English dour, future father-in-law over a dinner at his home in Delaware only 2 minutes after grace, compelling him to bark out in depleted, drained already disgust, “He’s more talkative than the other one.” The other one being the gentile mute from Indiana, his daughter was engaged to before his daughter found her real deal partner in love this time, at least for the time being.

The major issue now was Do It All Dad’s loud man disease causing his son Art Show USA to develop all-consuming migraine headaches, leading his son to sport a permanent PMS face, until he started to take up mainlining extra strength Tylenol again. And Do It All Dad’s son was tough. How tough you ask? Well, when Art Show USA required stiches for tripping on top of an empty IPA glass on the ground and had to wait 1000 lifetimes in the emergency room so the other doctors could serve all the 1st in line dreamers in attendance, the doc gave Do It All Dad 2 options, “Either A) Authorize the doc using an anesthesia which would take 20 minutes to kick in, or B) To stich up his son the spot as his gaping gash continued to open wider than Octomom after push 5000. Do It All Dad chose B, only for the doctor to say, “Your kid is tough.” Do It All Dad inquires, “Indulge me doc, how tough?” Doc says, “One time there was this black kid from Brooklyn.” Do It All Dad says, “Sold already Doc. Thanks for giving my son tough guy bragging rights for me to derive vicarious pride from till my last dying breath.”

But how was Do It All Dad going to solve his Loud Man’s Disease exactly? Would triple masking even get the job done, after getting his tonsils taken out for an extra safe precaution to? Would Do It All Dad become a eunuch monk, despite already feeling this way at times from being a Stay-At-Home Dad, bitchy underling until his comedy writing career achieved blast off already? Would Do It All Dad seek out a Voodoo Doctor in Washington Heights to cure his Loud Man’s Disease by changing his pigmentation to ESL Asian?

What could Do It All Dad do to prevent his son from receiving any more debilitating headaches in his presence again? Finally, Do It All Dad devised a cure all solution. He’d buy his son a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones to wear in his presence and teach him fucking sign language. Because native New Yorkers were made to be heard.

The End

Michael Kornbluth

Chicken Cutlet Hunters

The Chicken Cutlet from the Edgemont Deli on Central Avenue next to Danny’s Cycle in southern Westchester County, 30 minutes north of Manhattan was always the best.  My old school dear friend Ari, now a Kidney doctor who part owns his own practice in CT, a graduate of Washington University, no dummy, would agree with me, we became fixated on hunting down the perfect chicken cutlet sandwich ever since. I remember inhaling down this chicken cutlet thinking, I was in the presence of greatness, just based on the crispy enough, herbed spice breading on it alone. Back then, I didn’t know the difference between sage or rosemary. I wasn’t aware of how cilantro was used as an herb in salsa. Shit, an underclassman fooled me into buying oregano for weed senior year in high school, so I wasn’t obsessing over the herb installation componentry embedded in my bomb chicken cutlet from the Edgemont Deli at the time, that wasn’t Calista Flockhart skinny but more Jo plump like from Facts of Life, which gave you something more excitable to chomp into again and again. The perfectly shredded lettuce, semi-thin, actual fleshy red tomato on top,  nestled between the banging Kaiser roll, which was never drowning for dear life in an amorphous plop of mayo goo didn’t hurt the chicken cutlet sandwich’s overall appeal one bit either. Ah, those were the days, pre-Yelp, where you actually had to rely on your own intuition and New York bred sense of adventure to try and consume it all, like a less hyper articulate, perpetually suave, mini Anthony Bourdain in the making, minus the French royal rocker look working in your favor either.

Now, that I’m getting my 3 kids more courageous about trying different Kosher meat creations because they know I’m writing a book about it and unlike others, they still believe me in pounding my dreams of comedic superstardom into freaking reality already, especially when I involve them in the act of pulverizing the homemade Kosher chicken cutlets I made tonight with real deal Hebrew Hammer fury.  I told my son Arthur to choke up on the mighty mallet before pounding the chicken cutlets for round 2 with the intention of smooshing those cutlets into barely recognizable form like when Mitch Blood Green came up with the bright idea to start a street fight with Iron Mike in Harlem during his prime time domination years, where he knocked out legendary heavy weights by the time you banged another one out to Taste Of Amber again.  

My wife had to Nazify my dream chicken cutlet recreation tonight, using a combination of panko breadcrumbs and homemade ones while also using a mishmash of chopped parsley, sage and rosemary, by insisting on calling it the meal “Schnitzel”, saying, “I haven’t had Schnitzel since Oktoberfest in Germany.” Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “Chances are you had pork schnitzel for starters, which is fine, but don’t lump my dish into your non-eating Kosher past in Germany before the open borders invite to invade and resist assimilation lead to no-go zones, proving too much for Angela Merkel’s hunched shoulders to bear alone. Where is W to give Angela Lansbury’s, more homely, less talented, dour dumpy clone to give an unsolicited back rub, when you need him?  Also, I didn’t  know what the hell Schnitzel was in high school, I just knew how to order a chicken cutlet at the deli, with shredded lettuce, tomato, mayo, Russian dressing or getting some melted provolone on it if I was feeling particularly eccentric for lunch, that day, that’s it. Granted, tonight, I did fry up gargantuan flatted breasts which looked like Pauly from Rocky passed out on Bridget Nielson’s tits. But I wouldn’t call a schnitzel dish using Panko breadcrumbs and Kosher certified chicken as a sterling example of keeping it real Arian like either.  Actually, for those food nerd historians at home, schnitzel was actually invented in Austria before famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal helped track down Adolf Eichman’s Nazi footsteps in Buenos Aries pleasuring himself to more Malbec and Nazi trading cards bound for the ashbins of truly deplorable history. Before shiny shoes got hanged in Israel for being Farrakhan’s dreamboat exterminator against you know who Gervais, and it wasn’t your mole infested British commoners working as Bank Tellers for Barclay’s Bank either.

I’m most impressed with my how kids continue to embrace and try any new meat creation I make for them, because they know it’s made with love and kids always love you back twice as much, when you make them like feel like the center of your universe instead of the reverse. Last, your kids can’t help but look up to daddy a little bit in the kitchen knowing he’s doing his best to please God  and obey his dietary laws in exchange for blessing him with the greatest home team imaginable, which grows closer every day, yeah, yeah.

I’m about to put my 3-year old son Samuel in the car today on our way to pick up a couple of last minute, improvised inspired ingredients and he says with a wink and brightened smile, “I hate your jokes and your books to.” I laughed long time. The fact my 3-year-old son already understands the full spectrum of silly minded, sarcastic fueled ball busting while also comprehending what work I’ve been pounding away at since he was born is a sign that God really is looking after my back through this miracle wonderkid. Samuel Chosen Curls Was Bound To Woo really is the pubescent, Total Package, Lex Luger after all.

Michael Kornbluth

Historic Landslide Coming

The only thing historic about Obama is his refusal to honor the White House of traditions past because they’re culturally biased I’m assuming, by continuing to run his mouth about how President Trump winning an election fair and square is an attack on Democracy, despite his administration being caught illegally spying on Trump’s campaign in 2016 because he’s slipping, falling and can’t shut up.

mMichael Kornbluth

The Religious Scholar

Remember when we took out the number 2 in charge of ISIS and the Washington Post the next day lionized the Terrorist ringleader as a “religious scholar”? And Judd Apatow is the Chief Happiness Officer for Breitbart. Actually, he was a virgin fantasy pushing loser, who couldn’t get sucked off in a Chicago bathhouse during Arafat appreciation day.

Michael Kornbluth