Photo reluctantly taken by Shane Harms.
The Ballard News-Tribune does not condone food pornography but has made a desperate exception for the sake of public safety. In this disturbing image we see the depraved culinary mark of the beast: Paseo's Caribbean Roast Sandwich.
Mere sandwich? Paseo Apocalypse Now….brain goo…bigfoot
Is it fate? Death? Desire?…or just a sheer movement in the brain that leads people back again and again to the pink peddler of pork perfection, Paseo Caribbean Restaurant (6226 Seaview Ave N.W. and 4225 Fremont Ave N.).
Among a fuselage of flavorful delights that the Paseo menu offers, there is one item that stands out to this lowly reporter. It’s called the Caribbean Roast (#2 for short).
To most patrons this is the alpha and the omega of Cuban sandwiches: food of the gods materialized, passed down from a cosmic reverberating Big Bang flux for Seattle mortals to bow down before and offer sacrament to.
To sit down with feet firmly planted under a stable ritualized eating shrine (table) holding the succulent sandwich is finally, truly, to live in the moment: when it’s time to eat, you eat (all that yoga and meditation but all that was needed to obtain enlighten was this mere sandwich).
But why is eating this sandwich such a religious experience? After all, it’s bread, meat, sauce, and vegetables combined with heat. Seattle circles cannot say enough. The mere mention of Paseo elicits Dionysian soliloquies of culinary credence and praise. There must be different forces at work here.
The Ballard News-Tribune has an objective, scientific theory.The Caribbean Roast is a recipe for intoxication that taps into the most primitive areas of the brain. Reacting much like an empathogen, eating the sandwich stimulates mass elation, empathy, bliss, and euphoric complacency with waves of hallucinogenic syncopations. The synapses in the amygdala (fear zone) are blocked by a strange aioli-like goo called “Paseo-num peptide”. After consuming, the subject’s cerebellum undergoes an abrupt disconnection from the spinal cord and a drone mode ensues. "Feeders" report a loud echoing boom followed by a long low hum, and then KAFLOOM! "White Rabbit" erupts in their sonar field. In short, a love-zombie state happens after only one inebriating bite (dose). What else could cause such terrible overwriting in this very article?
With such powerful psychoactive effects, surprisingly the DEA has not scheduled this "sandwich" as a schedule 1 narcotic. Indeed, they could put together a whole new drug classification schedule for each item on the menu.
Watching the wide-eyed, frenzied, patron-zombies leaving the line at Paseo with pupils dilated and white knuckle hands grasping bags full of their dopaminergic fixes leads one to suspect there is a “feel good” pandemic of grand proportions happening here. Perhaps a second “love wave” back from 1967 is happening right here in North Seattle under the very noses of decent and hardworking, relatively drug-free, patriotic Americans and law enforcement — they soon shall catch on.
What makes this sandwich so psychoactive? It can only be the combination of savory, garlicky aioli (Paseo-num peptide), a crisp yet chewy baguette, spindled cilantro, caramelized globes of giant onion, lettuce, opiates of jalapeño, and of course, the gospel itself: wet shreds of steaming pork. Together they infuse a synergy of umami with raptures of textures unsurpassed by other, mere mortal sandwiches. This is a breed of a different class -- a "soma" sandwich (gasp).
Beware! Oh beware reader if you endeavor to devour like the rest of the love-zombies and slip into the ether. You will need a publication of napkins, a quart of any beverage (sour beer for this journalist to tame the atavistic psychosis), restraints, emergency Thorazine, and a sober fiend I mean friend to keep back fearful onlookers when "Wolfy" violently emerges. In addition, this isn't amateur hour. Don't dare even try to eat the Paseo sacrament unless you have the clear minded stamina in feeding only Big Foot, Jesus, Joan of Arc, Don Juan, Miley Cyrus, Tim Leary, and the President of this great democratic nation can endow.
Now knowing the power of the Paseo, we can assume that if this combination of delirium inducing, cosmically orgasmic ingredients were to fall into the wrong hands there would be no end to the enthralling widespread madness. Western civilization would collapse and apocalyptic love-pandemonium would grip the world (Picture “Mad Max” meets an unrated rendition of “Grown Ups,” directed by Lars von Teirs … The horror! The horror!). War would end. Disease would be eradicated. Utopian communes would rise. Citizens would write satirical epitaphs for "capitalism." Human language would evolve into telepathy. Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus would retire.
Oh dear reader, be glad, be glad for your life that this sandwich from the gods is here in Seattle, where the rainy winters, mild summers, Sound air and Phoenix Jones keep midnight Cuban sandwich devils at bay… at least for now.
Eat well Seattle. Rest easy. Good night.