Pat "Deep Dish" Bertoletti is one of the greatest competitive eaters of all time. While he's never won the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, he is one of five humans to eat fifty hot dogs and buns or more in the competition. He isn't the Michael Jordan of competitive eating, but he's certainly the sport's Oscar Robertson.
Given his clout in the world of competitive eating, Bertoletti is also the perfect person to help settle the most important culinary debate of our generation: is a hot dog on a bun a sandwich?
I asked Bertoletti that very question recently. Below is a transcript of that interaction. The following passage is a direct transcript of both his words and mine, with additional notes in brackets.
Jay Sanin: Do you consider a hot dog on a bun to be a sandwich?
Pat Bertoletti: [pause] I've never thought about it, but...I have no idea.
I mean, uh, [pause] I have no idea. Technically yes, I guess? Shit, I don't know.
Yeah, because it's between two slices of bread, so it's in bread but it's not closed, like a sealed...yeah. And the other thing is, like, the lobster roll. Lobster rolls are the same thing. Is that a sandwich?
I guess it would be considered a sandwich. Yeah. I guess. Technically.
There you have it, folks. Straight from one of five mouths to ever eat fifty hot dogs and buns in competition: a hot dog is a sandwich.