Peggy Sue’s is hard to miss. Leading up to the diner on I-15 are more signs than you can count. We took this as a sign and decided to get lunch. Now, Peggy Sue’s is a tourist trap. There are just no two buts about it. Stocked to the brim with old movie memorabilia (the owners used to work in the industry as well as at Knott’s Berry Farm), a 5 and dime store, and a diner-saur park, this diner is most definitely a place to stop if you need to stretch your legs.
Now, apparently I had neglected to mention to the Love, the Bus boys that I was taking my blog on the road…or for that matter, that I write a sandwich blog to begin with. So, they were rather excited when I started snapping pictures (some of their sandwiches will also be featured in due time). For this first meal, I decided to get a patty melt.
I am a big fan of patty melts. For me, they are the ultimate diner and truck stop sandwich. A few years ago I was driving from Santa Cruz to LA with a friend and we stopped at a truck stop for lunch. I ordered a patty melt, and it was most definitely one of the most flavorful, cheesy, meaty, greasily awesome sandwiches I’ve ever had. Ever since then, patty melts have been my go to sandwich at any greasy spoon spot. What better sandwich to start the road trip off with?
Supposedly, the patty melt appeared around the 1940s as a new incarnation of the cheeseburger. And really, the patty melt takes pretty much everything great about a cheeseburger, removes all the healthy stuff (do you really need lettuce and tomato?), and adds caramelized onions and buttered rye bread, all fried up. Though traditionally served with swiss cheese, Peggy Sue’s decides to do a combo with american cheese as well…which, of course, only makes it more fatty and delicious. An interesting aspect of the patty melt is that unlike other sandwiches, it is served without any condiments. I like to dip my patty melts in ketchup, but I do think that this sandwich can stand alone just fine. Patty melts can also be made open faced with the use of a broiler.
Furthermore, patty melts are not the only melts out there. I’ve featured a tuna melt before, though not in the context of melts, and crab melts are also popular. Are there any other melts that you like? Let me know and I’ll go search one out!
“The importance of the sandwich to western habits of eating is incalculable.”
Oxford Companion to Food
We have all partaken in the convenience that a sandwich brings to a meal. There are very few meals that can be eaten on the go, but you can almost always rely on a sandwich to feed you while, say, multitasking, walking, or driving (which of course, you should never do). It is largely for this reason that I have decided to take Anatomy of a Sandwich on the road. That’s right…for the next month, I will be driving cross country, taking down the best sandwiches America has to offer.
This all worked out because of my friends at Love, the Bus: Tyler, Seth, and Corey. Last year, they converted an old school bus into a biodiesel RV, and then spent last summer traveling from Maine to Los Angeles. The purpose of the trip? To help people who deserve it (mostly youth organizations) by doing crazy activities. They made the trip interactive by creating a web series where people could not only follow along, but also suggest challenges, places to go, and people to help. Four months on the road, 2,300 donated dollars, and six months of re-padding the bank accounts later, the boys are driving Chartreuse back to Maine, and kindly invited me to join them! Aside from following my eating adventures here, you can also follow our trip by clicking the link above!