Today I thought we’d go sample a sandwich that’s probably the most famous sandwich in Peoria: The Avanti’s Gondola. Avanti’s is an Italian restaurant that has been in operation since 1966 here in Peoria. They have pizza, spaghetti, lasagna and every other tomato and garlic-based dish that every Italian restaurant offers on their bill of fare. But what Avanti’s is known for is their signature sandwich, The Gondola. It’s ham, salami, American cheese and lettuce and while that doesn’t sound like anything special, trust me, it is! It’s the bread that does the trick, it’s somewhat sweet and has a taste like no other. I thought it would be fun to go to Avanti’s and not only get a Gondola, but go behind the scenes and take pictures of someone actually putting our sandwich together. I’m hungry just thinking about eating a Gondola, so let’s go. Sbrigati, facciamo brani!
Here’s Avanti’s at the corner of Main St. and University. It’s been at this location since 1989, but I remember going to the original Avanti’s across the street when it was right next door to Bradley. Back in those days Avanit’s was a small restaurant and there was a little takeout area off to the side. I remember ordering Gondola’s from there in various altered states of awareness back in the ‘70’s!
They have chairs and tables outside, but it’s a little chilly today for that...
So let’s go in, get a table and see how they do the magic they do in here as far as assembling a Gondola!
Okay, the waiter came to the table and he looked a little weird when I asked if I could take some photos of someone assembling my Gondola for the blog post. He said he’d go ask, so here we sit.
They have crayons here, but there’s only three at our table, kind of a gyp.
Oh well, I made the most out of them and we’ll leave the MBIP mark! It’s been like ten minutes, I wonder where the hell the waiter is? Did he go to Italy to ask permission from someone in the old country?
Well, he finally came back and handed me this paper and said, “I was told that any pictures in here have to be approved by Corporate first. Here’s their phone number should you decide to go that route.”
Huh? This whole thing has thrown me for a loop. First of all I don’t get what “Corporate” means. I’m guessing that means, corporate office, but that kind of boggles my mind too. Why would a local Italian restaurant have a corporate office? They just cook spaghetti here, they’re not day-trading on Wall Street. And besides, all I want to do is take a picture of someone making a goddamned sandwich, I’m not asking to see fiscal reports or tax returns for the last ten years, do we really need to mess with “Corporate” for that?
I really take these daily posts seriously and I kind of treat them like improvisational theater. You never know what’s going to happen, so I always want to stay true to my original idea and not stray from it. Which means this post is fucked five ways beyond Friday. I went ahead and ordered a Gondola, but now I can’t even take a picture of it. Fuck.
I can’t stop obsessing over the whole “Corporate” thing. The waiter was super-serious when he said it and when I said, “I have to get permission just to take a photo of someone making a sandwich in here?” He replied, “Oh yeah, they’re pretty rigid about that.” “They’re” meaning, “corporate” and that doesn’t even make any kind of sense to me. Corporate what?
Oh well, you can’t win them all, I tried, but this post today is kind of a “fail.” I just need to stop obsessing over it. There’s always tomorrow. Just eat the Gondola and forget all about this “Corporate” nonsense. Even though saying, “It has to be approved by “Corporate,”’ makes sense only in a place I like to call Bizzaro World. Paging Mister Mxyzptlk.
So the Gondola was good and now I’m on my way home, I have to get ready for work soon. It still fucking bugs me that it was phrased, “You’ll have to get permission from, ‘Corporate.’” Corporate what? Even on that stupid piece of paper, it just said, “Corporate.” I stared at that goddamned note the whole time I was in Avanti’s. It’s like it was mocking me. “Corporate.” Is it me, or does that just not make any fucking sense? Alright..I really need to stop obsessing over this and just go home and get ready for work and forget about it. It’s just one post, it’s not the end of the world. Okay, it’s out of my mind, time to move on down the road. I’ll try and do better tomorrow. The word, “Corporate” has been flung from my mind out into the universe. Buh, bye.
Seriously though, how do you talk to something that’s just named, “Corporate?” Fuck, I may never get to work...