Fantasy Friday: the ultimate steak sandwich

My steak sandwich cravings started in high school. I’d hang out at the mall on weekends with my friends, trying on clothes at American Eagle Outfitters and huffing men’s cologne at Abercrombie & Fitch. Eventually, we’d make our way to the food court, and I’d order a cheesesteak at The Great Steak and Potato Company. I opted for no peppers or mushrooms, just thinly sliced steak, grilled onions, Provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a generous helping of mayonnaise. So simple, so delicious, especially with a side of fries and their signature lemonade. At that age, steak sandwiches were one of the few indulgences I could afford, representing the promise of adulthood and the eventual control I would have over my diet.

Unfortunately, adulthood has not brought an endless bounty of steak sandwiches. Nonetheless, I still often seek out my teenage pleasure food. I was eating a steak sandwich recently when it struck me that the sandwich itself would be a good topic for Fantasy Friday. What would I put on my ultimate steak sandwich?

Thinly sliced steak, grilled onions, and a top notch hoagie roll are a must for me, as is mayonnaise–a lot of mayonnaise. I’d also want cheese, but instead of provolone, I’d opt for a queso that would be all melty and goopy. And, finally, I’d kick the flavor up a notch with roasted garlic and jalapeño peppers. Oh man, now I’m hungry!

What would you put on your ultimate steak sandwich?


We go where the math takes us: Bay Area

Just got back from one of my favorite places in the world, the Bay Area. David and I met as graduate students in Berkeley so we try to get back there as much as possible. This time our travel was math related. David attended a workshop on rational points at the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM) in Palo Alto.

On Saturday, after the conference was over, we spent time with a couple of our best friends in San Francisco. I wanted to see the water so we went to the Presidio and drove out past the Golden Gate Bridge. The day was warm for San Francisco. Birds flew overhead, and I longed to be one of them, surfing the wind and diving into the water.


I didn’t want to leave yesterday when our trip ended. I love my life in Atlanta, but I miss the beauty of the Bay Area and our friends who live there. I’m sad today because I want to go back, but I know what I want to go back to doesn’t exist anymore. Most of our friends from graduate school live elsewhere. We’re no longer in our twenties.

And I know my life then wasn’t as rosy as I remember it, but it’s hard to imagine life in the Bay Area as anything but perfect when you look out over the water to the hills across the way.