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Posts Tagged ‘Sandwich’

New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger Co Review – Multiple Locations New Orleans, LA

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New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger Co ReviewI’ve been coming to this place for almost 20 years. It used to be for the hamburgers, and it was the hamburger because the location I used to frequent had a very large “fixin’s bar,” which was quite nice.

That feature seems to have vanished.  Now I come for the thin sliced fried catfish, cause I think this is the only place in the city you can get it, unless you’re in the mood for a Sunday drive and want to go about 40 miles north to Middendorfs, an old timey place which is really great as well.

What they mean by “thin-sliced” is the filet is sliced length-wise, resulting in a paper thin piece of fish.  It’s then flash fried in their unique breading, resulting in an extra crispy filet.

New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger’s menu has all the usual suspects of local dishes. Fried and grilled seafood, oysters, gumbo, and throw in the burgers for good measure.

They have great fries, extruded potato fry shape drenched in garlic butter and sprinkled with herbs. They’re kind of addictive.

This time around, I had the thin filet cat poboy, it was good, good bread, fully dressed, too large to eat at a sitting.  (If you’re a first time visitor to the city, servers will ask if you want your sandwiches “dressed” which means lettuce, tomato and mayo. Most people say yes.

This location (uptown, on the St Charles streetcar line) has a couple large rooms, so it’d be ok to bring your family thing or a tour bus here, I imagine. Full bar and a number of draft beers, and the sign said video slots, but I didn’t see them.

I think I’ll revisit the burger next time.  Good grub. Good value. Sparkling clean facility. Efficent service.

A bunch of locations in the New Orleans metropolitan area.

Full menu. (also below).   Kid choices, too.

 

New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger Co Review

Fried Catfish Poboy

 

New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger Co Review

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New Orleans Hamburger & Seafood Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger Co Review

New Orleans Seafood and Hamburger Co Review

 

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Buona Beef Grocery Review

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Buona Beef Grocery ReviewI’ve written a lot about Chicago’s Italian Beef sandwich. The easiest way to explain it to those not familiar is to say it’s a highly seasoned French Dip, but the “Dip” part is not on the side but involves dunking the entire sandwich in au jus (only if desired).  You can read my explanation of the origin if you like.

There are myriad restaurants that sell these marvels, many supplied by Chicago’s Vienna Beef Company, some shops that make their own. Used to be another big supplier, Scala, but I don’t see their product anymore, so don’t know if they are around or not. Devanco is another one, each of these probably does private label as well, and there are undoubtedly a number I don’t know about.

Many of these companies package for retail sale, you can find them at Chicago area grocery stores. I’ve tried and written about a lot of them, including Vienna and Mike Ditka’s for instance.

Enter Buona Beef, a mini-chain of Chicagoland restaurants specializing in Chicago foods – Beef, hot dogs, burgers, pizza.  I visited one for the first time a few weeks ago, and it’s quality, good food, efficient (counter) service.  They are supplied by a commissary/factory that they own, and they are also in the private label business, but lately, I’m seeing product in the stores under their own label. Italian Beef, Meatballs, and a couple other things in their line.

The product comes frozen solid in different weights. It is priced competitively, (but I think they are all too high, actually, I’d buy more if it cost less). I can tell you from experience (and the instructions on the package)  THAW FIRST. On an analog basis!  (Meaning in the frig overnight or on the counter for a few hours – not in the microwave!).  Then eat on a very gentle basis in a saucepan, select your bun/rol (in Chicago, Turano’s seems to be the preference).

Tong the meat into the bun if you want it “dry,”  add some jus to the bun if you want it “wet” or dunk the entire bun in jus for “wet.” Chicagoans often have the sandwich dressed with “giardiniera” a mixture of finely diced pickled vegetables, which can be hot or mild.  Melted mozzarella on top? That’s called a “cheezy beef.”  Wanna feel like a real insider?  Ask for a “Combo” which is an Italian Beef sandwich with an Italian sausage nestled in the beef (pictured).

Buona’s grocery product is good, very flavorful, nice slices of pure muscle beef, not a chopped, pressed, formed product like some companies. The ingredients list (pictured below) is straightforward and free of additives.  Up to this point in my life, as far as grocery store Italian Beef goes, Ditka’s was my favorite.  But now it’s a tie. So I’ll buy by price from here on out.

Haven’t tried Buona’s meatballs, will get around to that soon, I hope.  Buona does ship product, if you have a craving.

Buona Beef Grocery Review

Buona Ingredient List

Buona Beef Grocery Review

Into the pan, prior to heating

Buona Beef Grocery Review

Italian Beef “Combo” “Dry”

 

 

Buona Beef Grocery Review

Buona Beef Grocery Review

 

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Winstons Irish Bacon Review

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Winstons Irish Bacon ReviewWhen you request bacon in the US, you know what you are going to get. Smoked/cured thin slices of pork belly, with streaks of fat parallel to streaks of delicious meat.

Unless you request “Canadian Bacon” which is neither Canadian nor bacon, but very lean sliced pork loin,  cured and smoked. Outside of the US, “American style” bacon is often referred to as “streaky bacon.”

Not so in other parts of the world, where you can be faced with a number of choices.  In the UK and other remnants of the Empire, where you will most often be served what is referred to in the US and Canada as “back bacon,” thin slices of smoked (or not) pork cut from both the loin and a small bit from the belly.  It is cut from the same part of the hog as pork chops.

Order a “full breakfast” in England, and it will come with a couple slices of back bacon, sausage, eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, and toast. Maybe a grilled tomato. Depends on what part of the country you are in.

All this to say, in my recent visit to the mecca of foodie groceries, Jungle Jims, there are many choices of bacon to put in your cart, including a number of selections not made from pork. (My father was a habitual beef bacon consumer. It’s very lean, pretty chewy, but very tasty).

I picked up a pack of “Winston’s Irish Bacon,” which, to my surprise, is made here in Chicago. I’ve never seen it before, but apparently, Winston’s is a fairly old company specializing in Irish foods, they are wholesale processors, but also have a couple of markets and a restaurant.

Anyhow, Winstons bacon is delish.  I’m eager to track down some of their sausages and whatever else they got. Their factory/store is on the far south side of Chicago, but probably worth a drive. I’m a sucker for new sausage suppliers!

In the end, quality bacon at my house nearly always leads to a gooey fried egg sammich. Today was no exception!

Winstons Irish Bacon Review

In the pan, fried for 2 minutes a side

 

Winstons Irish Bacon Review

My fried egg sammich

 

Winstons Irish Bacon Review

Chicago factory and retail outlet

 

Winstons Irish Bacon Review

Winstons Irish Bacon Review

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Morris Liquors and Deli Review, Louisville, KY

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 Morris Liquors and Deli ReviewI love country style cured ham. Dry aged for months and months, salty, flavorful, still tastes like an animal instead of some heavily processed, brine injected, flavored pink stuff.

I quizzed Chowhound folks ahead of time to see where I might score some good Kentucky Country Ham in Louisville, and got lots of great suggestions where I could get it to nosh on or get a big ‘un to go.

I ended up at one of the top suggestions for sandwiches, Morris Liquor and Deli, a small liquor store in the center of the city with a deli counter. You walk up to the counter and select your bread, meat, cheese and condiments; sandwiches are sold by weight, and I can’t tell you what the price per pound is, but I can tell you I paid $13 for two sandwiches, two sodas and a bag of chips, which seemed quite reasonable to me.

I went with country ham on dark rye with provolone and yellow mustard. Also got a corned beef with Swiss on pumpernickel with German mustard. Both with superb. I would have bought sliced ham by the pound there ($16) but I knew I would be hitting a couple of groceries in search of a big chunk later, which I did.

This is a really excellent sandwich place, mostly take-out, a few tables inside and outside, great liquor selection as well as liquor mixers and such. Parking and entry/exit is a little dicey, but it’s worth taking your life in your hands for this country ham. Truly.

Morris Liquors and Deli Review

Country Ham & Provolone

 

Morris Liquors and Deli Review

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Morris Liquors and Deli Review

Morris' Liquors & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Pastrami Dip Recipe

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johnny2pngI first heard of, and experienced the “pastrami dip” at a West Los Angeles icon, Johnnie’s Pastrami, on Sepulveda near the Culver City border.  It’s a favorite corner of mine, also home to “Cinco de Mayo” (formerly Lucy’s #2)  a Los Angeles style Mexican fast food stand open all night.  I used to sit there in the middle of the night and write. Behind it is Tito’s Tacos, another local joint you’re bound to have to stand in line for. There’s a pretty fair pizza in the next block, as well. I like this corner so much, I have been known to hole up in a crappy  motel across Sepulveda for a weekend and indulge myself….on several planes.

There are a couple of different Los Angeles places that claim to have invented the “French Dip” a couple thousand years ago, and surely the pastrami dip is an off-shoot. You can sort out that whole “origin” thing at that online bastion of misinformation, Wikipedia, if you want, at their article on the French Dip.

Making the sandwich at home isn’t particularly challenging. Buy some high quality pastrami (high quality = at least $12 and up a pound), stuff it in a French roll, and prepare a dip.

Cheat on the dip by buying a packet of dry mix at the grocery, or beef bullion and adding (at least ) 5 cloves of garlic and simmering for an hour. Or the better way, deglaze a pan from a beef roast and make au jus from “scratch.’  My favorite way.

The Chicago version of the French Dip is called “Italian Beef” which is a marvel in itself. I’ve written a lot of posts on Italian Beef.

Johnnie's Pastrami

The Pastrami Dip

Pastrami Dip Recipe

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Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review

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Hormel Roast Beef ReviewI’ve been trying out a lot of deli meats, lately, mostly pastrami and corned beef. I’m a fairly big snob / choosy about what I buy, eschewing the more inexpensive brands, which tend to be what I refer to commonly as “chopped, pressed, and form,” meat and other additives reconstituted to resemble roasts.  I much prefer companies that use whole muscle meats for their deli offerings, like NY’s Carnegie and Chicago’s Vienna Beef.

Today I picked up a pound of Hormel Roast Beef ($6.99 a pound, Wal Mart), and upon investigation of the packaging, and noting the USDA establishment number (15835), I find this product is produced and packaged for Hormel by a company called  Dan’s Prize, in Long Prairie, MN.  Dan’s Prize was started in the 80s; Long Prairie is in the middle of the state, about 3.5 hours NW of Hormel headquarters in Austin, Minnesota.

The taste and texture of the meat is acceptable, and my only red flag is the printing on the front of the package “contains isolated soybean proteins.”  Upon further investigation, this is a powder used to emulate flavor in food products, and are a highly concentrated form of protein.  They were developed nearly 80 years ago for industrial purposes, mainly as (wait for it) adhesives for paper coatings.  Yum.

If you choose to shop the deli counter at most Wal Marts, your brand selection is pretty narrow.  Most of the product is Prima Della (Wal Mart’s house brand) (also made by a variety of contract manufacturers), at the store I stopped at today, in addition to the one Hormel product, there were about half a dozen Sara Lee deli meats.

They don’t stock any of the premium national brands at the service deli, however you may find some pre-packaged items elsewhere in the store.

Would I buy the Hormel beef again?  Well, most likely, it’s a fair price, and as I said, the taste and texture are palatable. And who can’t use a little more paper coasting adhesive in their diet?  Pix of Dan’s Prize factory below.

Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review

 

Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review

 

 

 

 

 

Hormel Deli Roast Beef Review

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Millionaire Tuna Salad Recipe / Melt

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Millionaire Tuna Salad / Melts

Why “Millionaire?” Because I start with fresh Ahi which I order from a sashimi supplier. Regardless of your source, using fresh tuna of any ilk to your preparations that call for tuna, adds an entirely new depth of flavor and texture over the canned product.

Ingredients

  • Fresh tuna steak, sushi grade   ( I buy it here, great company)
  • Mustard (your choice) Stone ground, Dijon, Yellow)  (French Maille is the best, you can order it here).
  • Mayonnaise
  • Diced Green Pitted Olives
  • (Optional crunch factor) Add diced celery or onion if desired
  • Bread (choose English muffins,split baguettes, or sliced bread)
  • Cheese for melting (Havarti, Provolone, or American)

Directions

Sear the tuna well on both sides in a hot skillet. I season mine with Tony Chachere Seasoning….it’s similar to a ‘blackened’ seasoning, but with more heat and less salt.

Rough chop the tuna and olives.

Mix in mayo and mustard, measurements depend on your preference for creaminess.

Lightly toast your bread, ladle on the tuna salad, cover with cheese, and dust with paprika, before putting it under the broiler until the cheese is thoroughly melted.

 

 

Tuna Melt Recipe

Seared Ahi

 

Tuna Salad Recipe

Mixing Ingredients

 

Tuna Melt Recipe

Open Face on Rye Toast

 

 

Tuna Salad Recipe

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Perfect Brunch Recipe Reuben Strata

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You may have made a strata before, it’s sorta like quiche, but because of its construction, opens up other flavor possibilities.  One of my favorites is to make a “Reuben” strata, which is a perfect alternative brunch recipe.  Here’s the dope.

Ingredients

  • 8 slices hearty rye bread, crusts removed
  • 2 cups milk or half and half
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 6 slices swiss cheese
  • ½ pound corned beef
  • ½ cup sauerkraut, thoroughly squeeze to remove moisture
  • 1 t powdered mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Spray 8X12 baking dish with quick release

Place bread in bottom of baking dish, cut to fit dish

Beat eggs with milk and dry mustard

Place layer of corned beef, topped with swiss cheese on top of bread

Pour milk / egg mixture in baking dish

Let sit in refrigerator over night

Pre heat oven to 375

Cover dish with foil, bake 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Serve hot, with side of mixed fruit.

Possible variations:  substitute Italian sausage, salami, or pepperoni and mozzarella.  Bacon or ham and cheddar.  Country sausage crumbles, american cheese and drizzled with county gravy.

Brunch recipe

Bacon & Cheese Strata

 

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Devanco Gyro Kit Review

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Devanco Gyro KitThe gyro (however you choose to pronounce it, ”yero’, ‘jy-ro’, ‘geer-o’) is a sandwich of Greek origin consisting of vertically spit roasted meat, cucumber sauce, onion and tomato on a split or folded pita.  The name comes from the Greek word which means “turn” – a description of the meat roasting on the revolving vertical spit. The meat is thin sliced and placed into the folded pita  with the condiments. Documented history of the sandwich dates back to the 19th century.

Chicago’s Devanco Foods is one of several large suppliers of gyro sandwich fixings; they supply to both restaurants and package in retail for purchase by consumers at groceries.  The kits are “heat and eat” affairs, weighing in at about two and a half pounds, and priced in the $8-$9 range.  Contents include six pitas, 10 ounces of tzatziki (cucumber) sauce, and a pound of gyro meat, which is beef, lamb, breadcrumbs, flavoring and spices.  The kit is supposed to make six sandwiches, which comes out to about a buck and a half each, considerably less than restaurant pricing. Consumers may add tomatoes and onions to their sandwich, which they must supply from their home pantry.

The product is sold frozen (hard) and instructions recommend thawing the ingredients overnight in the refrigerator. Further instructions allow for heating the thawed product in the microwave or in a skillet on a stove top.  The box further directs consumers to place ‘about’ 5 slices of meat in each sandwich.

Growing up in a small town in the Midwest, I wasn’t aware of gyros until the advent of adulthood, and later, when work took me to the Middle East, the variations became a favorite. The sandwiches were also quite plentiful when I lived in Paris, in the 10th, as our neighbors were primarily Turkish and there were a lot of shawarma/gyro shops in the neighborhood.

In addition to gyro fixings, Devanco makes other Chicago favorites, including Ditka’s Italian Beef (review), various types of Giardiniera, a pickled vegetable mix Chicagoans enjoy on hot dogs and other sandwiches.

As always, I went with stove top prep, believing “slow and low” the key to success in the kitchen, most of the time.  I did add tomatoes and onions to my pita.

Will you notice much of a difference between these heat and eat versions and ones you’d purchase at a shop?  Not really.  One exception would be at a shop you can ask for ‘crispy’ bits of meat, and some shops add lettuce, which I eschew on any sandwich. Devanco’s meat is tasty, they include an ample amount of cucumber sauce, and their pitas are about as good as any anywhere. Funny, near my old  house in Portland there are some hummus shops, and the one that specializes in hummus has the worst pita and chips I’ve ever consumed anywhere.

Would I buy the kit again?  Absolutely!  Tasty food, great value.

Devanco Gyro Kit Review

Frozen components

Devanco Gyro Kit Review

Thawed meat

 

Devanco Gyro Kit Review

Assembled, ready to eat!

Devanco Gyro Kit Review

Packaging

 

Devanco Gyro Kit

 

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Barrington, IL – The Bread Basket Restaurant Review

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Had a craving for corned beef today, out in the old stomping grounds of idyllic Barrington, IL. So it was off to the Bread Basket, one of the two old standbys for locals in the village. (The other being “The Canteen“).   Been here dozens of times, back in the day, it was a favorite of my daughter when she was coming up.

I opted for the corned beef on rye, and the waitress told me “some people like it cold,” to which I retorted, “no, it’s supposed to be warm.”

End of discussion.

It was a good sandwich, lean corn beef, probably from Vienna, many restaurants in the Chicago area use that supplier, and they have a great product.

My only “beef?”  The restaurant uses “extruded” fries. That’s a potato product, a slurry of  mashed potato-like batch is whipped up, and then “fry-shape” pieces are shoved through a mold and flash frozen. They get a certain crispness on the outside, and are smooth and soft inside.  Just not my favorite.

But!  I was there just before closing, so the waitress gave me a go-cup of coffee, gratis.  Score!  (Great coffee, too, btw).

Bread Basket Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Barrington Restaurants

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