I've eaten a lot of shit in my lifetime. We're not talking coprophilia here -- just regular old garbage that I have eaten because I was, well, mostly young, dumb, and not thinking clearly about what I was actually doing to my body. Some
high low lights:
- I remember well the time I ate 8 Nutty Buddys in about 20 minutes. Each was just an exceptional sensory delight that particular evening. It was Leap Day, 1992, for the record. One of my friends tried to eat a shoe that day, but we stopped him. True story.
- I ate the infamous Double Down from KFC, inspired by this delightful review. This was actually not as bad as it was made out to me. I got a week's worth of sodium from it, but that's right up my alley.
- I once ate an entire raw onion the size of a softball in the manner of an apple, and I chased it with a shot glass of fluid sprayed out of a can of Pam. This occurred during an ill-considered game of "You Eat" which followed a heavy duty course of Gin and Tonics during "Silent Treatment Tuesday" where a friend of mine would drink with me in total silence. "You Eat" is, for the record, something like a gustatory version of "Truth or Dare" for the highly intoxicated college crowd.
- I once ate a large, non-stinging insect on a bet. Dead, of course. Or least after I ate it. I chewed it once to be sure. I've eaten many softshell crabs, so this really didn't bother me much. Softshell crabs have a large component of "eating fingernails" associated with them, and other than the obvious "ick factor" it was less difficult to eat the insect than my first softshell crab. In retrospect, it was probably a cicada.
- I ate a surplus "clearance" hot dog sold to me from the side of an Aramark food stand at CBP as I exited a men's room at the end of a Phillies/Mets game that I attended with WetLuzinski in 2011. Nothing makes a hot dog as delicious as buying it as you walk out of a men's bathroom after your "before I drive home" pee break following a rainy, miserable game in which the Mets bled Cole Hamels to death and beat him with Chris Young (the pitcher).
- I ate at Old Country Buffet once. Once.
- I've eaten many goldfish, raw oysters, blocks of plain, unadorned cream cheese, and pizzas that were burned enough that I could arguably have brushed my teeth, campfire-style, with some of it. I've also eaten at some really sketchy places, so honestly, God knows what I've really eaten over the years.
All of the above should convey a couple of messages important to the matter at hand:
- I have extremely poor judgment when it comes to what may arguably be considered to be "food", and
- While much of this may have been alcohol or eating PED-fueled "courage" (stupidity), I do not lightly choose to call something "inedible" or "vile". I've got standards - they are just probably very different and more tolerant than yours. Except when it comes to Schmitters.
This context thusly provided, I urge you to take with the greatest of seriousness that which follows: On August 1, 2015 between 6:40 p.m. and 6:50 p.m., I ate a Schmitter. I will never eat another, even if it is free. I would only eat it if someone paid me to eat it. It was, without a doubt, the second most vile thing I have intentionally eaten in my life. (Number 1 is at the end of the article.)
The August 1, 2015 Phillies game was the night Pat Burrell shot hot dogs into the crowd while holding a purse. Check it. That was a highlight for me. The sandwich? Not so much.
I went to this game with the intention of eating a Schmitter. I've passed the Schmitter-slinging hut by the left field gate many, many times, and I have never bought one. The stand never seems to be as busy as Campo's or Tony Luke's.
The sandwich itself seems to be contrived, though I understand it to have a life and a following outside of CBP. I mean, people go to Walmart, too.
I wanted to see what the deal was, though. I wanted to see if it lived up to the hype. I wanted to review it for you, dear reader.
I did it for you.
I stopped by the Schmitter hut on the way *into* the stadium. I brought my mother to the game with my son, and she was in line listening patiently to me drone on about this sandwich that I was going to review for a blog. She never once tried to stop me, by the way. Thanks, mom.
A woman in the line heard me bitching about the Schmitter as we waited for our opportunity to buy one. Being apparently something of a fan of the sandwich, she encouraged me to "get a fresh one" so as not to be disappointed. They were making them one after the other and stacking them up on the "take a sandwich" area, so yes, Schmitter aficionado lady in line with me, I *did* get a fresh one.
While I was in line, I took a picture of the sign listing the ingredients contained in the sandwich. I mean, I looked at all these ingredients and I thought to myself, "Gee, I like all of these things, so how could I not like a sandwich constructed out of them?" I did not get the chips.
I did get a Rolling Rock at another stand to help wash it all down. Not sure why - I have less than fond residual memories of Rolling Rock from my years in higher education. One Rolling Rock did not hurt. It did not help, either. Perhaps 12 Rolling Rocks would have made a difference.
I ate the sandwich in Section 211, which is my preferred section for watching the Phillies, especially when I get four free seats for buying a customized replica jersey. So I sat in my free seat in shouting distance of a bathroom and I unboxed my Schmitter. Here is what I found:
This was not an impressive presentation. It was not unlike an ankylosaurus of Kaiser roll with a gangrenous infection that slimed up part of the roll into bread with the consistency of egged up and uncooked French toast. CAN'T WAIT TO DIG IN!!
As part of the unboxing, I opened the lid of the sandwich to take a peek at the delicious goodies inside. In the case of this product, it reminded me less of a sandwich and more of a rumen sample that you might remove from a cannulated cow. I saw one of these cows as a kid. It left quite an impression. That is a great Youtube video, by the way. Open it in another window and play it in the background for atmosphere as you read the rest of this, or at least as you look at the pictures below.
Courteously, the vendors at the Schmitter factory sliced the sandwich in half, from pole to pole, as it were. This allowed me to get a cross-section picture:
Say it again to yourself: "cannulated cow". That may be the best name ever for my as yet unformed psychobilly band. YOU MAKE ME WALK...LIKE A CANNULATED COW.
If you are a fan of good food, or at least of food that is not awful, or at least food that does not come from Hardee's, you will appreciate how unflattering the cross-section of the Schmitter is. The "bread" to "shit that is not bread" ratio is all out of whack. I'm estimating that the Schmitter has about 2 inches of bread and a three-quarters of an inch of greasy mashed bread, meat, onions, tomato, cheese, and "Schmitter Sauce" which is either Thousand Island dressing from a giant plastic tub or Thousand Island dressing from a very big plastic tub.
The sandwich, having been documented, was then eaten. It was surprisingly dry and bready for a sandwich drowning in Thousand Island dressing. I was warned about this by a fellow blog lord. I didn't believe it though, especially after I saw what I estimated to be a quarter cup of dressing drowning this sandwich. You told me so, Mr. Lyons.
I could tell that there was a sliced protein matrix in it as I ate it, but there really wasn't any meaty taste to speak of. The tomatoes alleged to be in the sandwich were completely invisible. The onion was there, but filler. Slimy, tasteless filler overwhelmed by grease and dressing.
I mean, I ate it. Below is a partially eaten Schmitter. I guarantee that neither my mother (cackling with laughter at me the whole time with schadenfreude) nor my son were going to eat it. While I did try to rope in some passersby to take a bite of my leprous sandwich, I found no Good Samaritans. I was on an island folks, and I had no lifeboat.
Is the Schmitter a war crime? No. While Article 23 of the Hague IV conventions on war outlaws the use of poison in combat, you must recall that eating a sandwich is not land-based combat. Therefore, Hague IV does not apply. Someone clearly consulted their lawyers before developing this technology.
What do I think of the Schmitter? It is delightfully slimy. It's more slippery than Tracy Flick and Dave Novotny. The residual tactile feel is not unlike what you might get after washing a frying pan out without soap after cooking bacon, only it is on your face *and* your hands.
Despite what you may think based on so many potentially tasty ingredients, you will not be compelled to taste anything other than bread and dressing. It is incomprehensible that something with so many potentially good ingredients could be so bland and tasteless, yet somehow this was achieved.
Visually, it is as appealing as a bread bowl containing something my cat might hork up when her stomach is upset. Even the color scheme matches. If you do eat it and keep it down, don't worry - it will not stay with you long. If anything can grease the skids, so to speak, it is this sandwich. It will empty your wallet and your bowels.
For $11.00 whole U.S. dollars, I want a sandwich that isn't terrible.In other words, I do not want a Schmitter. I will never have another Schmitter. Unless they fix it first:
- More beef
- Less dressing
- Dispense with the kaiser roll and use a sub roll
- Bigger, thicker tomato slices or simply do away with them
- Make it so you can taste the grilled salami, or, likely better, just remove it.
- Cook the onions less, to avoid turning them into a gelatinous paste
Taken as a whole, I am essentially suggesting that the Schmitter simply be turned into the true signature sandwich of CBP: a Campo's cheese steak.
And as promised, here is the most vile thing I have ever eaten: The Fahrenheit Dog at Hersheypark at the Dietz and Watson Craft Barn Kitchen (down by the Trailblazer): a quarter-pound hotdog drenched in cheese whiz and coated with grated raw onions, jalapeno peppers, and hot sauce. It was so slimy that it actually slithered out of the bun when I tried to eat it. I ate all of it, thinking it would get less bad, but it just got worse and worse. It was really appalling.
I regret not taking a picture of it this weekend, but my phone battery was kaput. When I am back to Hersheypark, I will buy one just to get a picture, and I will update this story with it. It would be a wonderful bookend to the pictures of the Schmitter.