We’re sure you’ve all heard about Stephanie Smith – the woman whose boyfriend teasingly said he would marry her under one condition…that she make him 300 sandwiches. That was when Smith basically said “Challenge accepted”; 300sandwiches.com was born. To us, it was a new potato sort of engagement promise. With the ‘back to school’ season around the corner, we couldn’t help but sit down with Smith on all things lying between two pieces of bread…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day in sandwiches?
Assuming calories were no object, I’d start the day with an amazing breakfast sandwich with a fried egg, avocado, bacon and strawberries on toasted artisanal wheat bread, made at home. I’d wash it down with fresh pressed French press coffee. Lately we’ve been buying our beans from Brooklyn Roasters in DUMBO, down the street from our place.
For lunch – and you said ideal, so I’ll pretend I can make this happen magically – I’d have a meaty, juicy, Portillo’s Italian Beef sandwich somehow delivered to me fresh from my hometown of Chicago. It’s been my favorite sandwich since my youth, and something about that warm spicy beef on a soft, almost soggy Italian roll just fills the soul like no other. For dinner, I’d go to Pearl Oyster Bar, sit at the counter, and order up one of their lobster rolls. With fries, naturally.
Your favorite sandwich in three steps…
Bread. Peanut butter and Nutella. Bread
An unexpected sandwich combo you’re obsessed with…
Beet pesto and avocado. I love making homemade beet pesto, if not for the bright purple color alone. It looks like something created during a chef’s acid trip. I smooth it on toasted bread and layer on with avocado for the ideal veggie sandwich.
A dessert sandwich in three steps…
Cookie of choice. Ice cream of choice. Cookie of choice.
What was the most memorable meal you cooked your husband that WASN’T a sandwich?
For meals, Eric would say the first one – a goat cheese and caramelized onion tart I made for one of our early dates. Another good dish he loves is my pumpkin cheesecake I serve up for Thanksgiving dinner. There’s usually not one slice left of the dessert after the big meal.
The quintessential life lesson we should take from the book…
It’s the small things that matter. The small action of making a sandwich for someone else shows love, compassion, thoughtfulness, kindness…the true riches in life. Another big lesson – life cannot be planned out to the minute. I tried to time when Eric would propose by how fast I could make the sandwiches, all while trying to get married while my ill father was still around to see it. But I couldn’t rush fate. Eric proposed before the 300th sandwich, but my father didn’t survive long enough to make the wedding. Such is life, which cannot be defined by an Outlook calendar.
In the same vein as ‘what’s the new black’ in fashion, what’s the new potato in sandwiches?
Artisanal condiments. Plain ol’ mustard is great for your average ham and cheese, but these days stores carry artisanal, small batch, honey nutmeg, red pepper or any other flavor of mustard you can imagine – yellow or otherwise. Same with ketchups and mayonnaise, which all add a nice kick to your brown bag lunch.
Stephanie Smith, photographed at No. 7 Sub in Brooklyn, NY by Danielle Kosann. Stephanie wears a J.Crew jean jacket, Hanes t-shirt, Zara skirt, Zara shoes, and Forever21 necklace.