Saturday, November 14, 2015
All Hail the Tuffy's Toasted Roll
WARNING: No bourbon content.
From time to time I like to write about local and regional food specialties. I was born and raised in Ohio and attended Miami University there from 1969 to 1973. Ohio has many favorite foods, some statewide, some very local. This is a very local one.
Tuffy's was a little basement sandwich shop and hangout. It was a private business but virtually on campus. I don't remember what the classes were, but I remember having two classes with a one-period break between them. I usually spent that period at Tuffy's with friends.
Tuffy's was on the northwest corner of Bishop and High. You know the type of place, a few steps down in a basement. A counter at one end with a flat top behind it, wooden tables and plain wooden booths. Very austere, no decor to speak of. The sort of place only a college student could love. I guess they sold sandwiches but mostly they sold toasted rolls and coffee. At least that is mostly what they sold to me.
So what is a toasted roll? Imagine a large cinnamon roll, like 4" x 6". Cut it lengthwise. Slather the two cut sides with butter and throw them on the flat top until they brown. Remove from heat, dust the two grilled sides with powdered sugar, close it up, and dust the top with powdered sugar. Eat with a fork.
You could also get ice cream sandwiched between the two grilled sides, which was a 'toasted roll a la mode,' or in the sublime wit of college students, a 'roasted mole on the commode.'
The student union also served toasted rolls in deference to Tuffy's. It still does.
I must always have sat in the same booth, at least that's what is indelibly etched in my memory, a view of the whole place from a very specific seat, the counter and griddle in front of me, the entrance to my left.
I have one permanent memory of Tuffy's, a scar on my right hand from where I brushed it against the brick wall one day on my way out. It has faded with time but it's not gone entirely.