Entry #5 - Moochie's, Salt Lake City
by Matt Bonner
Salt Lake City might be the best city in the NBA when it comes to the quantity and variety of good sandwich shops within walking distance to our hotel. There is a downside to this: we only play there twice a year. I suppose I can hope to face them in the playoffs but it seems quite absurd to root for a matchup based solely on the opposing city's sandwich status. But if it happens, I certainly won't complain.
So how do I choose where to eat? Last time we played the Jazz I faced this same dilemma. I had many options but wasn't sure which spot would be the one. So I just walked around and followed my gut (no pun intended). Fate intervened and led me to Boston Deli where I enjoyed an amazing sandwich with assistant coach Brett Brown. This time around I didn't leave it to fate because I received a tip from none other than our radio announcer, Bill Schoening.
Bill told a tale of a fabled sandwich shop where one could escape the cold mountain air and magically teleport back to his hometown of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (not Mississippi*). So I met Bill in the lobby and we made the four block walk to "Moochie's". His son Eric, who attends the University of Utah, was waiting there to join us for lunch. Moochie's didn't look very remarkable from the outside. I had my doubts as the three of us made our way to the entrance.
We stepped inside and I took a look around. There were tons of articles, reviews, and awards singing praise for Moochie's covering the walls. But once my eyes got past all the accolades, I realized what Bill was talking about. I saw the Phillies jerseys on the wall, the Tastykakes next to the cash register, the numerous patrons chowing down on mouth watering steak and cheeses, and I truly felt like I was in The City of Brotherly Love at an authentic cheese steak joint. And my elder lunch partner immediately transformed from Bill Schoening to "Philly Billy". Even if it was just for lunch, Bill Schoening was home.
You know what they say, "When in Rome…" Although technically I was still in Salt Lake City, I went with the obvious choice for lunch at Moochie's: a steak and cheese sandwich. I was a little worried about eating such a heavy sub the day of a game, but with seven hours to tip-off, I felt confident my digestive system could handle it. So we placed our order, grabbed our chips, beverages and desserts, and sat at an open table to wait for our sandwiches. Amazingly, our whole order was ready within five minutes.
*Believe it or not, there is a town called "Philadelphia" in Mississippi.
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