A friend recently recommended “A Hot Dog Program” and “Sandwiches You Will Like”. I poked around a little and discovered that they are both WQED Pittsburgh PBS programs hosted by Rick Sebak. He started making Pittsburgh-centric documentaries in 1988, many of them about food. Sadly, not everything is available on youtube, but some clips are.
The name “Sandwiches You Will Like” pretty much says it all. It’s a 2002 show about those things with the things in between the bread which are called sandwiches (not “sandos” or “sammies” ferchrissakes). This one starts with a place in Maine that specializes in lobster rolls. The best lobster roll I’ve ever had was during a memorable trip to Montauk. The shack served served them in a hot dog bun with a little mayo and celery salt. It is a sandwich I will never forget.
Too bad the episode featuring Huong Lan in San Jose is not online. You can buy the DVD here.
This longer clip focuses on 10 sandwiches on the North Side of Pittsburgh. I may never go there but this is still entertaining.
“A Hot Dog Program” also has a charmingly simple name. Slebak’s style is like a cross between a kinder, gentler “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” and a Pittsburgh version of the Huell Howser (RIP) show “California’s Gold”.
Turns out Sebak has something new up his sleeve: in the “Judging Pies” episode of a series of short films titles “What’s Rick Sebak Been Doing?” (I know you’re wondering), he reveals that he is working on a new, pie-related series. This was posted just a few days ago! I’m excited to watch.
Type “Sebak WQED” into the youtube search bar and find your own favorite clip. His non food reporting is entertaining, too! You can see from the tattoo up top that he has devoted local fans.