These days, most of my friends are out discovering America while their kids are on summer break. Because I travel with my job, I have staycations. Yesterday I chose to drive into Napa and partake of the world's most blissful version of serendipity: The Roadhouse Buck Tri Tip Sandwich from the Buckhorn Grill. No, this isn't the famous Buckhorn Steakhouse in Winters, CA that I'm praising. (So great, but not as great as this place!!) This is the Buckhorn Grill. For all you friends out their discovering the Seven Wonders of the World, let me just tell you - this is the only wonder there is, besides of course, the donut. (Don't get me started on that roller coaster ride. Before I know it, I'll be three dozen in, one gallon of milk down, and twitching while Nurse Betty talks me down from my donut-crazed addiction. Donut places all over town have my picture up and are warned not to sell to me.)
The Roadhouse Buck Tri Tip Sandwich is not like any sandwich you have had the pleasure of ingesting yet in your life. I had to perfect Guy Fieri's Triple-D hunch-over method just to eat this mammoth of a sandwich. Allow me to strap on your leash and take you for a walk down the road of meaty-goodness-meets-fried-food-meets-snobby-cheese-heaven. (I'll let you stop for potty breaks along the way.)
Start with a roll. Easy now, before you start snorting that a roll is so elementary, and how could this make such a special sandwich, because I'll go all Roadhouse Buck up in the heezy and...sorry, the sandwich made me do it. This roll is special because it is soft on the inside, but the crust is so very crusty on the outside that it can easily hold the most insane contents - of which I'm about to ooze out into seductively suggestive words like some hot sex scene in a romance novel. Food is my porn these days.
Inside the roll, you get something I can only describe as nirvana in a sauce: Red Ranch. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh....(the Single Girl makes that sound that the creepy restaurant owner made when he asked Monica if she was going to slice the carrots, and she said that she was going to do them julienne.) The sauce is essentially ranch dressing and barbecue sauce mixed together to form the epitome of an orgasm. But wait - it totally gets better. As if it could, right? Keep your leash on. We've still got a few blocks to walk.
From here, they add tri tip. Ask for it sliced thin unless you want the meat to come sliding out of the bun each time you try to bite into the sucker. (And we all know how horrible THAT is when that happens.) But what happens next is nothing more than a foodie's wet dreams come true. Add the thinnest, most deliciously battered and crispy-fried onion straws (which totally don't taste good burping up, unlike donuts, which taste like heaven!) AND sweet, tangy crumblings of bleu cheese strewn about over the whole package. What you have left here, my friends, is a sandwich so good that it should be illegal. It will truly be the best meat you've ever had your lips around. (Yes, I went there.)
Never mind the piddly offering of fries that come with the sandwich. It's almost an afterthought, really. Like asking if you want a corn on the cob with your bacon-wrapped, garlic herb butter reduction sauced filet mignon. No thanks - I'll pass. So anti-climatic.
How could this get any better, you ask? Well, well, well mon cherie! If you want to take this whole thing up a few thousand notches, ask for a bowl of the au jus. But be careful. Dunking your sandwich in this elixir just might send you over the edge. If I smoked, I'd offer you a cigarette after you were done eating. There are simply no metaphors that could explain how beautiful the whole experience is.
If you're ever in my neck of the woods and have a hankering for this sandwich, let me know. And I won't say a word if you make me stop at a donut shop on the way there! I get my own box, though.