With the recent kickoff of the Tony Gwynn Gourmet food truck and SDSU's week long dedication to Tony, it seemed like an appropriate coincidence that a quick lunch break at a sports-themed burger and sandwich spot would unearth a little Gwynn reference.
MVPS Bar & Grill, located less than ten minutes away from the California State University of Long Beach is riddled with player references. With half of their burger menu dedicated to George Foreman, a veggie-packed sandwich labeled "The Mean Joe Green", and a grilled ham sammich dubbed the "Hammering Hank Aaron," it immediately piqued curiosity when the "Tony Gwynn" was found among the menu.
Expecting something incredibly deep-fried or chicken-themed, it was a bit head-tilting to then discover that Gwynn's representation on a menu (one that's filled with with triple-decker, cajun-grilled, cheese-dripping items) was a simple BLTA (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato & Avocado.)
$5.35 Bacon, lettuce, avocado, mayo and tomato on grilled sourdough.
Immediately I started scanning through my small memorized list of all the things I could recall Tony Gwynn mentioning he really enjoyed eating. Something the Gwynn Food Truck brought to the table was throwing southern-US chow chow on a ballpark hotdog. The only Tony-themed food that came to mind was his love for random yummy junk food and fried, southern foods.
The BLT doesn't really fall into either of those categories, even with the sandwich being all about the bacon. It honestly seemed like they wanted to include Gwynn in their catalog of baseball icons and picked the most Californian sandwich (because avocados!) they didn't already have tied to somebody else. I could be wrong though, Tony could have easily adored BLTAs.
Other menu items include a Sammy Sosa (grilled chicken, bacon, chili, cheese, lettuce, and tomato,) The Koufax (Pastrami, swiss, mustard and pickles,) and the Harry Caray (Triple-decker ham, turkey, bacon, cheese lettuce and mayo.)
Oh well. You can't really mess up a BLTA without putting in some real effort to screw things up. The $5+ sandwich wasn't anything short of tasty, and it was nice seeing Mr. Padres name up on the menu an hour and a half north of San Diego. On a side note, the onion rings were pretty great.
Above all else it made me wonder what other food joints, restaurants, trucks, and etc. have bestowed a Padre name on one of their dishes. Other than the Gwynn Gourmet truck, I have yet to find any other Friar foods within the borders of San Diego county.