Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Longfellow Grill-wiches

I went to the Longfellow Grill last night to celebrate my friend Barb's birthday. It was kind of a mob scene of former and current rugby players. The servers were fantastic and on their toes. I happened to arrive and sit down just as one group of people were giving their orders so I had about 15 seconds to look at the menu. Their sandwiches are always great so I just picked the first one on the list: The Tenessee BBQ Pork. Nice choice! The sauce was tasty, the meat tender and yet a little crispy on the edges, the crispy fried onions a lovely touch. I'd get that baby again!
This reminds me of a meal I ate there a couple weeks ago that included a sandwich I forgot to count (until now): the Breakfast Burger. That's chorizo, egg, hashbrowns, cheddar cheese, spinach and pesto. Sounds weird but it was another example of Sandwich Gestalt! Yum!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Add one gallon of mustard and...

I forgot to mention that we had to crack into the 1 gallon jug of yellow mustard during the Maid-Rite Sandwich Night. How did we come to own a gallon of mustard? Well, a few months ago Beth's brother Ted called (the following is a dramatic re-enactment based on my memory alone):
Ted: Hey, I'm going to Sam's Club, you guys want anything?
Beth: Yeah, get us one of those huge bags of chocolate chips.
Ted: Anything else?
Beth: I'll ask Rebecca. (yelling to me) Rebecca! Ted wants to know if we want anything from Sam's Club.
Rebecca: Tell him to get me a gallon of mustard!
Beth (to Ted): She says, get her a gallon of mustard.
Rebecca: No no no! I was just joking!
Ted (to Beth):Don't worry, I won't get her a gallon of mustard.

Lo and behold, the next time we saw Ted, he delivered a giant bag of chocolate chips and a gallon of yellow mustard. Drat.

The bright yellow jug has moved around the house since, like a trophy, never opened. We treated it as a display item and a funny reminder of that fateful day. Until last Wednesday when I pulled out the normal sized bottle of yellow mustard from the fridge for the Maid-Rites and found it practically empty. What to do? Maid-Rites must be served with yellow mustard! We had no choice other than to open the jug.

So, we have an open gallon of mustard. What should we do with it?

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Last night was Sandwich Night and my 100th sandwich of 2008. How exciting!
We welcomed three newcomers to Sandwich Night, too. Karen brought her new roommate Lisa and Lisa's dog Sienna. Our friend Mel couldn't resist coming either. (Mel made a permanent friend of Sienna by slipping her a fair amount of loose meat. Hee hee!)
I made Maid-Rite style loose meat sandwiches in honor of our failed attempts to eat them in Iowa a week and a half ago. There are an abundance of Maid-Rite recipes on the web. Some have truly bizarre ingredients--chicken gumbo soup, beer, Pepsi? I decided to try a couple recipes so we could have a taste-off. One had ground beef, onions, Worcestershire sauce, water and salt. The other had ground beef, onions, Worcestershire sauce and Coca Cola.
They looked pretty much the same. The Coke one seemed too sweet when tasted plain. The non-Coke one was yummy plain. But, when we added the traditional condiments-yellow mustard, dill pickle slices and chopped onion-the Coke one really shined.
Karen brought roasted green beans and they were so delicious that we ate them all as an appetizer while the loose meat was simmering. We heckled America's Next Top Model while we ate our sandwiches. And while we were certain that plus size Whitney was going to get the boot, we were surprised to see Lauren go home instead. Oh Lauren, you had such potential. Oh well.

To finish the evening we made floats from Schlafly Coffee Stout, vanilla ice cream, maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon (Mel's brilliant suggestion). They tasted almost like chocolate. And contained one of our servings of dairy for the day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Recent Dinner Sandwiches of Note

Beth and I have been on a roll with delicious dinner sandwiches lately. It started with a falafel combination from Holyland Deli last Monday. Always so yummy--I like the addition of fried cauliflower, zucchini, and whole roasted garlic cloves
The next fantastic dinner sandwich came as a complete surprise to me. As I was heading out the door Thursday night to go coach rugby practice I jokingly told Beth that "if a dinner fairy comes down and has something delicious for me to eat when I get home, I wouldn't be sad at all." Lo and behold, that dinner fairy turned out to be Beth, who made homemade black bean burgers. Yay!!!
The picture may be a little blurry, but the prettiness comes through, don't you think?
Sunday night we found ourselves at Prima, eating Panini al Bistecca. That's a panini with brie, roast beef, caramelized onions, and spinach.
And finally, we had to repeat the amazing Croque Monsieur paninis on Monday. We have to use up that gallon of maple syrup somehow...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Good Day, Sunshine

Today it is actually kind of hot outside! It's been soooo long since we've had warm weather. I decided to celebrate by eating outside at the park by work. I used to go there every nice day with Kate and Kristi before they found better things to do with their lives than work here. Now I shall dine solo.
I decided to branch out and try a new sandwich from the snack bar at work--the Cali Kid. And no, it's not because I'm from California. It just sounded good: ciabatta roll, turkey, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, cucumber and "avocado spread". The avocado spread comes from a freezer bag, that's for certain. Not that I didn't completely expect it, but it was a little disappointing. All in all, it was a fair sandwich. Just fine for #96.
Also disappointed was the guy with the cute miniature schnauzer who always came over to chat when Kate ate lunch with me. Today they played in the grass, no visiting with boring old me.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fierce Sandwich Night

The biggest disappointment of our trip to St. Louis last weekend was the fact that all the Maid-Rites in Iowa are closed on Sunday. A delicious Maid-Rite loose meat sandwich would have made the perfect end to a fantastic trip.
So, I've decided that our next Sandwich Night will be Maid Rites! Wednesday April 23. ANTM. You know the drill.
Be fierce.

St. Louis Not Inspirational, Sandwich-wise

What is inspirational about St. Louis (and the entire reason for our visit) is the City Museum. Like the House on the Rock, you must see it to believe it. It was incredible. Well worth the dearth of inspiring sandwiches.
The great food news I have to report from St. Louis is that I ate a heart-stopping breakfast called the Devil's Delight at the Courtesy Diner. It's hashbrowns, 2 eggs, chili, cheese and onions. (I skipped the onions because I am a wimp.) If you add two hamburger patties, they call it the Slinger. This is the breakfast my brother Peter was born to eat. And someday we will go to St. Louis and fill up on chili for breakfast before hitting the City Museum for a day of mayhem.
Also, the beer at Shlafly's Tap Room is awesome. Especially the American Pale Ale and the Coffee Stout.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Good leftovers sandwich

I threw together the following sandwich from leftovers yesterday: French roll, maple stewed peaches, brie, and Swiss cheese. I microwaved it for 30 seconds. It was fantastic--the cheese was good and gooey, the roll didn't get too rubbery and the peaches were lovely, of course. I love brie and fruit!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Guess where we're going....

The City Museum!
It's like a Sandwich Night road trip--Beth, Karen, Kate and I are driving to St. Louis on Friday to meet a slew of my co-workers at the City Museum.
Sandwiches and other hijinks are sure to ensue.
For example, the City Museum has a restaurant called Samwiches in the City.
Karen says that the City Museum changed her life. I can't wait!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Sandwiches for Syrup!

The whole point of the last Sandwich Night was to eat our homemade maple syrup with sandwiches. And to avoid using the stove since it was busy with sap boiling.(The tree has finally stopped running, by the way. Thank goodness. It produced over a gallon of syrup. We might have had to go into business!)
Both Croque Monsieur and stuffed French toast on the panini maker sounded good, so that’s what we had. I assembled wheat bread and potato bread, plus Black Forest ham, Swiss cheese, cream cheese, strawberry raspberry jam (also homemade) and I cooked up some sliced peaches with cinnamon and maple syrup. I whisked together some eggs, milk, and a drop of vanilla (the secret ingredient to delicious French toast) to dip everything in.
Kate brought strawberry flavored sparkling wine and orange juice which made quite tasty mimosas. Sarah brought fruit salad. Karen came, too!
As usual, the regular frenzy of sandwich making followed. My favorite of the night was very straightforward: Black Forest ham and Swiss cheese on potato bread, dipped in the batter and pressed lightly in the panini maker. I dipped it into a small cup of warm syrup as I ate it. It was fantastic. Other stand-outs included a ham and peach number Karen came up with and a peach, jam and cream cheese number I managed to squeeze in for dessert.
We had a great time watching ANTM, including the shocking elimination of Claire! My girl Lauren really dodged a bullet. She’d better step it up!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fools

Our April Fool's trick is the 6 inches of snow that fell yesterday. Nothing says Spring like a winter wonderland outside your door. The good news is, it will melt soon. Which makes shoveling it seem kind of futile, but we're doing our part to be good neighbors...

In other news, after going back and forth on having a Sandwich Night tomorrow night, I have decided that yes, we shall! Originally we were thinking of doing Eggs Benedict, but the April Fool's joke is on you since we need our stove to boil maple sap. So the menu will feature Croque Monsieur and Stuffed French Toast. Why? Since they both dip in egg batter, both can be cooked on the panini maker (of course) and both can be eaten with fresh maple syrup!

The festivities begin around 7:00 with ANTM viewing commencing around 8:00. It's go-see week...can't wait to see who will come back late. My chips are on Dominique. But it totally won't be her fault. It will be because all of the other girls are intimidated by her general fierceness.