I Will NEVER Eat A Sandwich From Walgreens
I’ve been made fun of a lot in the comments since I decided to not eat one of those terrible looking, shrink wrapped sandwiches from the Walgreens in Times Square. For any of you who may have missed it, I’ll briefly recap: awhile back, I posted that if there was something you were afraid to try in Midtown you could “dare” me to eat it, and I would be happy to oblige. Whether it was banana sushi from a generic deli, or steak from Tad’s, or a beef liver sandwich from a cart, the idea was that I would be more than willing to try something that a Midtown Lunch’er was curious about, but didn’t want to eat themselves.
I was dared to eat a sandwich from the new Walgreens in Times Square- and fully intended to eat it, until I got there and discovered that the sandwiches were actually pre-processed and shipped from Massachusetts. It was like being dared to eat a Lean Cuisine or a Stouffer’s Pizza, and I thought it went against the spirit of the original “service” I agreed to provide. I put my foot down and decided not to eat it.
Most of the abuse and jokes about my not eating the sandwich are easily laughed off (I’m a big boy, and this is the life I’ve chosen), but yesterday one comment really bugged me:
“Zach, it’s just a damn sandwich! : ) All right. I’m going to get on my soapbox now. (Violins playing in background) I get the whole thing of not eating anything that’s less than delicious. But there is something a wee bit spoiled about refusing to eat something that’s probably not super yummy because it’s shrink-wrapped and it won’t be as heavenly as Panda Express (which still stumps me). Maybe it’s because I’ve been to a lot of third-world countries where a lot of the people don’t have this privilege of choosing what and where to eat. At the end of the day, it’s just nourishment. We’re lucky enough to be in a position where we can make choices. End soapbox. So, Zach, I really think you shouldn’t have chickened out on the bet. –Boo”
Really? That’s where you want to go with this? Midtown Lunch is more of a fun site, and doesn’t really ever get serious (mostly because I don’t think anybody wants to hear about my political or social views about anything, you just want to read about places to eat lunch), but this one I had to respond to.
The comment I posted in response to “Boo” is after the jump…
Are you freaking joking? This is your defense of a shrink wrapped, pre-processed sandwich sold by a Times Square drugstore? I should eat this because we’re lucky to live in the one of the richest countries in the world? That is just stupid. By that rationale, I shouldn’t say anything tastes bad on this website. I should just be happy we have access to it?
Panda Express is one of my guilty pleasures… I admit it. And there’s no defending it. But at least it tastes good. I didn’t eat Walgreens because I knew it wouldn’t taste good. Make a fresh sandwich in your drug store, and wrap it in shrink wrap and I’ll eat it. Pump something full of preservatives and ship it across country to be eaten two weeks after it was assembled? No thanks. You want to find something to be pissed off about in this country, there it is.
I agree with you that we should be incredibly happy living in the USA… and I have done plenty of food traveling to countries much poorer than this one, that has made me very appreciative of what we have access to. But eating a sandwich from Walgreens doesn’t support that thinking in any way. Personally I would rather eat at the carts and restaurants run by people who came from these third world countries (and send money back to their families there), then buy a shrink wrapped sandwich from Walgreens.
He then responded with this:
@ Zach â€” Unless I’m mistaken, didn’t you agree to eat a Walgreens sandwich during a bet? I’m not saying you should eat the sandwich of your own free will when you have lots of other great things to choose from. But to go back on your words because you don’t want to eat a shrink-wrapped processed sandwich is kind of lame. It’s not like we’re asking you to eat what Andrew Zimmern ate on Bizarre Foods last night. To be perfectly honest, your vehemence of your disapproval of the Walgreen sandwich sounds a bit petty. Then again, that’s my opinion, and it’s your site and your body and you will choose what to do. But I think there are a lot of people on this site who would love to see you eat the sandwich and give feedback.
Boo – I would *gladly* eat every single thing that Andrew Zimmern has eaten on Bizarre Foods, over eating the Walgreens Sandwich. (And that includes the blood milkshake he ate on Wednesday night.)
I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again… if they made the sandwiches fresh in the Walgreens- (or even somewhere in New York state!!!) I would gladly give them a chance. But why would I try a sandwich that was made in Boston two weeks ago, shrink wrapped and shipped to Times Square? In what bizzarro world would that be something that *anybody* would ever want to eat? Blondie and Brownie and Wined and Dined both tried the sandwiches and agreed they would never go back. I think that is plenty of “feedback” for anybody who is truly interested…
I considered going and eating [the sandwich] to shut everybody up, but now- you know what. I’m taking a stand. I’m NEVER eating that sandwich. It’s not about being worried that I’ll get sick (I’m sure I won’t) or even caring whether or not it tastes good or not. It’s about knowing- without even trying it- that it is nothing that any self respecting Midtown Lunch’er would ever want to eat.
And that’s the end of that. Now back to your regularly scheduled, Midtown Lunch frivolity.
(There was more nonsense about “By your logic, Treats Truck shouldn’t be on this site either” because they bake their cookies outside of Midtown, but it’s not even worth reprinting. If you’re interested you can just read it yourself in the comments.)