Feature Writer Roger Cicchese – They Named It After Me

Those who know me well are aware that I love to eat. In fact, I thoroughly enjoy the entire gustatory experience.

Several years ago, while living in a working-class community west of Boston, Massachusetts, I visited and sampled the extensive variety, including many ethnic foods, at numerous local eating establishments.

One favorite hangout was called Harold’s Truck Stop. It had the usual bill of fare: all sorts of burgers and sandwiches for the crowds of truckers that flowed through its doors on a daily basis.
I can still recall those burly men with their rumbling voices, laden with unfiltered cigarette smoke, and the loud back and forth calling of the short order cook and wait staff as they rang up the fast-paced orders constantly being placed by hungry customers in a hurry for their food.

As you can tell, I really took immense pleasure in the atmosphere and the environment of that multi-sensory eatery. The wait staff was very funny and the employees and customers treated me with humor and made me feel quite welcome. This was perhaps because I was a regular customer and that translated into dollars spent on lots of sandwiches and drinks. I was also a bit of a contributing jokester myself.

Now, readers beware! I have somewhat of an odd taste in food combinations. When I started visiting Harold’s I would order my favorite sandwich combination. The wait staff would always ask me if I was sure if I really wanted to order such a strange mixture. They would always warn me that it would cost extra because it was really like ordering two sandwiches in one.

They initially seemed reluctant to fulfill my request. But since I was insistent and always willing to pay extra for this rather strange combination they acceded to my demand.

After visiting this establishment for several months and ordering my favorite sandwich combination over and over again they stopped making fun of me and when I’d walk through the door they would simply say “the usual Mr. Roger?”

This continued for several more months. Finally, after about a year I walked in one day and was told “we’ve revised our menu and since you’ve made your signature sandwich so popular among our staff and customers we’ve named it after you and placed it prominently on our new menu. It’s called The Roger Special Sandwich.” What is in this fancy sandwich, you might ask?

Thickly sliced apple-flavored bacon, Boston lettuce, tomato on the vine, home-made cranberry walnut chicken salad, melted mild cheddar cheese on sour dough toast with lots of mayo. It comes with a side of steak fries and a large soft drink. The pickle is optional!

To this day, it is still one of my most favorite culinary delights. Give it a whirl and perhaps you will agree. Having a sandwich named after me was quite an honor and for at least a while I was famous. What a way to be famous. Well, they did name it after me!!! Since I never had a son I guess a sandwich will have to suffice!

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