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Pierogi

Whither the Reuben sandwich?

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Oh, gosh, I'm not sure. It depends on how much counter/storage space you have, Jaymes. You feed quite a few people in your household, so either one big one or two smaller ones, if you have picky babies, so they don't have to have "their" food on the same oogy grill.

The one my son took off with was rather small and could hold a couple of steaks or four hamburger patties. It was big enough for us, but I never used it much and he doesn't have a grill right now, so off it went.

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We have given up on trying to find a good one around here. The only restaurant that I know of that serves them is Applebee's. My daughter ordered one there some time ago. Don't ask!

Since we love corned beef, I cook it often in the pressure cooker. We have dinner one night and Reuben Sandwiches for several days.

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I already went looking. I see there are several sizes & styles. Which do you recommend?

Get the kind that has removable cooking surfaces that you can put in the dishwasher. It makes cleaning much less of a hassle. Size - just depends on how many sandwiches you want to grill at once.


"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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Foreman grills are fantastic for Reubens. I have heard that the removable surface ones don't get quite as hot as the non-removable one.

I feel the original poster's pain. Up here in Seattle the Reuben is just something to mess up and try to vary at the cook's whim. One brewpub has the audacity to say their "Reuben" is classic when it is 1) baked and 2) using pickled red cabbage slaw. This is not a Reuben. This is a baked corned beef sandwich with thousand island and picked red cabbage slaw. Hmmphh!

I do find classic Reubens at little lunch grills downtown that are run by immigrants - they know what customers want and deliver!

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Well,come see me in Cleveland, Ohio.

we don't have much going for us, but I can take you to more places that will serve us a perfect reuben, built to your specs. and so big, you'll be eating the rest of it the next day.


---------------------------------------

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I do believe my favorite reuben in Oakland fits all your criteria. House pastrami, russian dressing, house kraut with melted swiss on dark toasted rye. So much good pastrami piled on the fixin's. And then some side stuff I don't really care about. This is a once a week thing for me.

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Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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I do believe my favorite reuben in Oakland fits all your criteria. House pastrami, russian dressing, house kraut with melted swiss on dark toasted rye. So much good pastrami piled on the fixin's. And then some side stuff I don't really care about. This is a once a week thing for me.

Close. So very, very close.....

And yet, so far away. Sorry Scotty, it's gotta be grilled ! A Reuben is a grilled sandwich, and as gfweb points out, its even better if the 'kraut is griddled before assembly. Toasted is not a Reuben.

It is, however, a very nice looking pastrami sandwich with cheese and 'kraut.

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--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Damn! One element missing! Well they got a grill and I know the owner so we're gonna have a chat :wink:


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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I do believe my favorite reuben in Oakland fits all your criteria. House pastrami, russian dressing, house kraut with melted swiss on dark toasted rye. So much good pastrami piled on the fixin's. And then some side stuff I don't really care about. This is a once a week thing for me.

So where is this place? Name and address, please. I'm always on the lookout for decent pastrami and corned beef.


 ... Shel


 

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Oh it's Chop Bar near Jack London square. You should check out the fried chicken and waffles at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland as well.


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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Damn! One element missing! Well they got a grill and I know the owner so we're gonna have a chat :wink:

Proper grilling of thin buttered rye and toasting the kraut will be transformative.

BTW mini reubens make nice canapes.

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Oh it's Chop Bar near Jack London square. You should check out the fried chicken and waffles at Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland as well.

Thanks for the pointer. I will definitely stop by. Their web site has piqued my interest.

I'm familiar with Brown Sugar. I'm not a big fried chicken and waffle fan, whether served together or separately. Brown Sugar's are good, though.


 ... Shel


 

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Proper grilling of thin buttered rye and toasting the kraut will be transformative.

BTW mini reubens make nice canapes.

Yes. They sure do.

In fact, that's one of our standard Superbowl Watching Party dishes.

I put my recipe in a previous "Superbowl Food" thread - Whatcha making for Superbowl?


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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New York Magazine (nymag.com) recently ran this short piece on the resurgence of the Reuben.

What’s not up for debate, though, is that the Reuben, whoever invented it, is a world-class sandwich. Salty, tangy, fatty, and a little sweet, it’s got everything you could ask for—especially when properly buttered, griddled, and served hot. What’s curious, in this golden age of sandwich-making, is that, unlike the bánh mì, the BLT, and the grilled cheese, to name only a few, the Reuben has gone uncelebrated and been impervious to gourmet upgrades. That is, until now.

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Great.

It wasn't bad enough when we had to suffer through the "gourmet" burger phase. Now they want to come for our Reubens?

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I take a small hunk of sauerkraut, flatten it into a patty approximately the shape of the bread I'm using, put it between two paper towels, roll a bottle or rolling pin over it to dry it out as much as possible so that it doesn't make the sandwich soggy, put my sauerkraut "patty" onto the grill for a couple of seconds, turn it once, then put it onto my rye bread that I've smeared with Thousand Island, and onto which I've first placed a few slices of corned beef, top the sauerkraut with a couple of slices of Swiss cheese, put the second piece of bread on top, smear it liberally with melted butter, put the whole assembled sandwich onto the grill with the buttered bread side down, smear more butter over the top piece of bread, grill until the bottom slice is crispy and crunchy, turn the entire sandwich over so that the other piece grills to crispy and crunchy perfection and the cheese melts and seals the whole thing together.

Often, I'll even put a weight on top of the sandwich while I'm grilling to be sure it winds up thin, crispy, crunchy, and perfect.

That's almost exactly how I do mine. I don't make the kraut into a patty, just dry it and toss it loose on the griddle long enough that it just starts to caramelize the edges. I like to add just a (very thin) slice of good pastrami, all pulled apart, to the corned beef and I also give the meat a quick run on the griddle. I think having the meat and kraut hot from the beginning just makes the cheese that much more...melty. Good Swiss cheese in a must, but I like to add just a little grated Comte' right in the middle. The weight on top is essential in my mind. Like Jaymes said, crispy, crunchy perfection.

ETA: Around here (Nebraska, home of the original) its mostly thousand island these days. I like to add just a little horseradish to a good store bought thousand island. Sounds weird, tastes great on the sandwich.


Edited by Gregg (log)

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I love a reuben but prefer to make it at home as nobody else does it right. I like it classicly as described by others above (though I don't consider it a reuben if it's pastrami, corned beef is the classic, a pastrami reuben type sandwich is delicious though).

I will sometimes use dijon mustard instead of russian dressing but that probably makes it not a reuben as well.

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Observed recently on a local diner menu, two separate items: a reuben and a grilled reuben. The latter cost a dollar more. Unbelievable.



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Observed recently on a local diner menu, two separate items: a reuben and a grilled reuben. The latter cost a dollar more. Unbelievable.

Well, it's certainly a lot more work to properly grill that sandwich after it's been assembled than it is just to pile a bunch of stuff on toast.

At least they're giving folks the option.


I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Pierogi, have you tried Katella Deli in Los Alamitos? I'm pretty sure you can get one there. I live in Long Beach as well so if I hear of any other places I'll let you know!

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OK, OK wait. Are we talking grilled or griddled here? Because the above reuben from my favorite spot was buttered and then toasted on a griddle.

When you said that it was close because it wasn't grilled I thought a grill, grill. Then seeing the above post talking about grilling sauerkraut threw me for a loop!

Will defend my local rueben to the death!


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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Griddle or a flattop, Scotty. My mother used to make them on the flat sides of our waffle iron that had reversible irons, (one flat, one dimpled for waffles) like a panini.

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Please allow me to throw my 2 cents into the mix.

Here's how I do our Reuben's.

Plop a decent amount of Kraut on the flattop and do the same with 4oz of good Corned Beef (I prefer Sy Ginsberg's)

Next I put 2 pieces of thick sliced rye on the flattop as well.

After a minute, I turn the kraut and put the corned beef on top of it, after which I add a slice of swiss cheese.

I cover that with a lid so the cheese melts.

After I turn the bread, I place the kraut/beef/cheese on top of one piece and slather Thousand Island on the other.

I then put the sandwich together and put a grill weight on top.

I leave this for about a minute, then turn it and do the same.

When it is done...

A gooey, cheesy, blend of corned beef heaven.

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