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American Sandwichiana


Gillman
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Those looking for a local snack to accompany a whiskey (somehow, bourbon and water iced seems to go best with these) might consider one or more of the following, some of which are classics, some of which are barely known (I suspect) outside their immediate area. I invite people to comment or suggest additions for the list:

- Made-Rite's loose meat sandwich from Iowa and beyond

- Beef on a Weck from Western New York State (weck is a salty, crusty roll)

- Bierock from Kansas (beef and kraut in a pocket of bread)

- Runza from Nebraska (similar to above)

- Club Sandwich (originally associated with Manhattan)

- Cuban Sandwich (Miami classic, pork and ham sliced thinly with pickle on a crusty roll)

- Hoagie (Philadelphia classic mixed deli meats sandwich, origin of the name unclear, may refer to a sandwich made for men who worked on nearby Hog Island)

- Horseshoe and the variant, Pony Shoe Sandwich (specialty of Springfield, Illinois)

- Hot Brown (turkey sandwich specialty of Louisville and environs)

- Mufuletta (New Orleans specialty)

- Cheese Steak (Philly again, everyone knows this one)

- Peameal Bacon Sandwich (Ontario)

- Smoked Meat Sandwich on rye (Montreal)

- Corned Beef and Pastrami on rye (New York, elsewhere).

- pork tenderloin sandwich (Mid-west, apparently developed from the European schnitzel)

- pork chop sandwich (Mid-west)

Many of the above were drawn from Internet research.

Gary

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Edward_call_me_Ed
- Runza from Nebraska (similar to above)

-Gary

Yea, Runza!

Though I have to admit that I always order either a cheese burger or a bacon cheese burger when I go to the restautant that bears that name. Unfortunately, they don't server bourbon.

Ed

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Can you describe it, Ed, how do you recall it? Were there different versions?

Point taken about likely non-bourbon availability for many of these but as Chuck said, it is easy usually, given some knowledge of the dish, to make them at home.

Gary

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Edward_call_me_Ed

Basically, it is a nice brown oven baked roll with ground beef and cabbage filling. I don't recall any spices, though I am sure there are some. To be honest, I haven't had very many. Like I said, I much prefer the restaurant's burgers. Not to mention their onion rings! If they replaced the cabbage with onions, or better, spring onions, my allegiance might change. But then they wouldn't be runzas.

Ed

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Thanks, the Internet source where I found this said its origin is likely Russian or other East European.

Gary

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A breakfast 'sandwich' of a kind -- thought certainly enjoyed and enjoyable 24/7 -- in the South is the ubiquitous country ham and biscuit. It is essentially a staple food from Virginia to the Mississippi River. Variations are the almost-as-universal sausage and biscuit, (country fried) steak and biscuit and chicken and biscuit.

But salt-cured country ham seems to be native to, and identifiable with, the South -- I know I never had it growing up in Michigan, and took a few years to acquire the taste after moving to Tennessee.

And then, of course, there's the pork barbecue sandwich...

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If you go to the Master's Golf Tournament, you'll get to taste another staple from around the South. The pimento cheese sandwich. Served on plain 'ol white bread. The squishy kind. Wrapped in green wax paper, it'll set you back $1.

JOE

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Be sure and add a BBQ Beef Sandwich from Texas to the list. It can come either as sliced brisket or chopped with a fair amount of sauce on it inside a hamburger bun. I've seen it on BBQ menus from VA to CA and they usually say "Texas Style BBQ Beef Sandwich". And yes, any kind of BBQ goes good with bourbon.

A local BBQ joint called Goode Co makes their sandwiches with thick sliced jalapeno/cheese bread.

Randy

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Thanks Randy, sounds great, we are in the field of "the mop". :)

That new issue of Imbibe I mentioned reviews some happening Texas (yes) wineries. I assume you know of same.

When bourbon palls (hardly ever, true) a chilled Texas chard or other fine white sounds like it would go well with this delicacy.

Gary

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Good ones Tim, thanks. I liked the mini versions of the first type you mentioned which you can get at the Samplers.

That ham by the way is nothing more (in transplanted, therefore somewhat altered form) to old English cured ham. Long dry-salted or brined (the former was always finer), usually smoked too, wrapped in muslin or similar, developing a characteristic natural mold and deep red color. Local porcine nourishment (peanuts, acorns, whey, slops) would give a particular character as did the smoking materials. It's from the old country (not mine, but never mind :)).

Gary

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All of the following are Chicago staples:

The Chicago-Style Hot Dog, which is a hot dog in a steamed poppyseed bun, topped with yellow mustard, bright green relish, chopped onions, tomato wedges, a kosher-style pickle spear, a couple of spicy sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. (and never, under any circumstances, catsup.)

The Maxwell Street Polish Sausage Sandwich, which is a griddle-cooked polish on a hot dog bun, topped with sauteed onions and sweet peppers.

The Maxwell Street Bone-in Pork Chop Sandwich, which is served on a hamburger bun, also topped with sauteed onions and sweet peppers.

The Italian Beef Sandwich, which is thin-sliced roast beef, steeped in a spicy beef broth, topped with either sauteed sweet peppers or hot giardiniera, served on a crusty Italian roll, and either "dipped" (the whole sandwich briefly plunged back into the beef broth) or "dry" (i.e., not dipped).

The Italian Combo Sandwich, same as above but with a Italian sausage link nestled beneath the beef.

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Wow, that all sounds really good. There is a seemingly casual or random quality to the garnishes on that hot dog yet (I know) they are by now very traditional. One wonders how these things start and take root.

The website (I will try to find it again) that listed many of the sandwiches I mentioned offered an explanation for the origin of the term, "hot dog" I have never seen before although it also mentioned the better known theories (e.g., the illustrator who (comically of course) placed a daschund in a hot dog bun, could not remember the spelling or name, "frankfurter" and so called it a, "hot dog"). The lesser known tale is some Yalies in New Haven in 1894-'95 used to call nearby sausage stands that sold franks in a bun, "dog stands". From that, the term hot dog acquired casual use on the campus, and then beyond. This pre-dates of course the 1904 St. Louis World's Exposition where the hot dog is said to have been invented or at least popularised (the latter may still be true). The website quotes a Harvard magazine of 1895 specifically referring to students "munching hot dogs".

In German-influenced Kitchener, Ontario, a German-style sausage has been served for years in a split bun that is not a commercial hot dog bun but bears some resemblances to it. It is a sort of biscuit in fact, a firmer, split biscuit. This seems to me the ancestor of the dish and the sausage stands in Cambridge, MA in the 1890's were probably run by immigrants who would have specialised in such fare -or so I infer, and later more commercial versions emerged.

Gary

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Thanks for this. I've since noted that Wikipedia contains a great amount of information on the hot dog, which indeed is a subset of the sandwich. (A lot of it rings true and I won't express the usual caveats about this source).

Not sure about even iced bourbon here, though, but cold new whiskey, closer to the styles of the places where the sausages came from, might do the trick. That rye from West Virginia, Isaiah Morgan for example!

Gary

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I grew up in Nebraska, and I've had many a Runza in my time. The basic Runza/bierock is relatively unseasoned - salt and pepper, maybe some garlic and onion, and then the beef and kraut. You could probably add paprika, given the Central/Eastern European heritage/connections of the sandwich, but I never have (my mom taught me how to create a homemade version that's stellar...). The bread is actually a sweet yeast dough, and the sweet and savory elements of the sandwich play off of each other nicely.

The Runza chain offers an "Italian" runza and a cheese runza, both of which are fine, but the original is still the best, and indeed I think it would make a good bourbon accompaniment.

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Thanks TBoner, that's a great evocation of the dish. (But what's the home-made recipe ?:)). Interesting that an Italian version is offered. Could this suggest the dish has Italian origins..? The name sounds Italian, sort of.

Joe, that's intriguing about a pepper and egg hero - more details please!

Gary

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Speaking up for the Maryland contingent:

Crabcake Sandwich - MD Blue Crab cake on roll. Served with Old Bay seasoning, cocktail sauce, and tartar sauce on the side (add to taste).

I've never had one with bourbon, but I'll bet a nice high-rye bourbon would go nice after eating one.

Jay

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Both great additions, many thanks. I am sure in the 1800's these would have been consumed with glasses of rye whiskey or a not well-aged bourbon, maybe chilled (or maybe with mint juleps or similar). Baltimore being one of the great homes of rye whiskey, I think ways were found to pair it with the fine crab dishes of the area.

The Po Boy etymology is fascinating.

Gary

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Lets not forget the Pittsburgh, Original Primanti Brothers Sandwich. It contains your choice of grilled meat, vinegar based cole slaw, cheese, 2 slices of tomato and French fries all stuffed between 2 slices of thick Italian bread. I am getting hungry just thinking about it and when I added the pictures, well, it looks like and early lunch for me.

Howie

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Lets not forget the Pittsburgh, Original Primanti Brothers Sandwich. It contains your choice of grilled meat, vinegar based cole slaw, cheese, 2 slices of tomato and French fries all stuffed between 2 slices of thick Italian bread. I am getting hungry just thinking about it and when I added the pictures, well, it looks like and early lunch for me.

Howie

Now, THAT'S a sandwich! :bigeyes: :bigeyes: Sheeze, looks like you could hurt yourself eating that one. Does look good, though. :yum:

JOE

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Thanks Howie! While that big glass of chilled Coke looks perfect with this, I could see those flasks people keep talking about on SB being brought into service in such cases. :) Since we're talking Pittsburgh, Old Overholt sounds right!

In Toronto, a number of Greek restaurants serve the classic souvlaki (sometimes called a gyro sandwich - I never understood the difference in terminology) and include a few French fries in the sandwich. I have never seen that anywhere else, but here we have an example from Pittsburgh with a different type of sandwich.

Gary

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In Paris I got to experience the Grec Avec Frites, shaved lamb on a bun with choices of sauce and "salad"-lettuce and tomato, all topped with an order of fries.

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