Please don’t Intrude while I’m eating a Reuben at Refuge..

Did you know….

There are two main theories as to who invented the Reuben sandwich, both of which involve the name Reuben. One theory is that the sandwich was first made at a New York City restaurant called Reuben’s Delicatessen sometime around 1914. Another theory holds that the sandwich was made and named for a man named Reuben Kulakofsky, who frequently dined at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha, Nebraska. (reference.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Refuge – Menlo Park, Ca

Average Cost

$10-$20

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Any of the Pastrami sandwiches, haven’t tried anything else yet.

Next to bacon, I think beef is one of my favorite meats to eat. Succulent, tasty, a self created oil that just makes you foam at the mouth when you smell it.

There are so many ways to cook it..

You can fry it..

You can barbecue it..

You can boil it..

And surely you can smoke it.

One of my favorite types of beef is Pastrami.

It is a cut of beef that’s cured, which means it has been brined in a salt water solution; then it is rubbed with spices and smoked.

Every real deal restaurant has a specific way they go about creating this tasty delight. I know a place where you definitely will not be disappointed..

And that is over at Refuge.

Let’s talk about it…

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They hit the Bullseye Right on the Dot over at The Sandwich Spot!

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Did you know….

1st Century B.C. -The first recorded sandwich was by the famous rabbi, Hillel the Elder, who lived during the 1st century B.C. He started the Passover custom of sandwiching a mixture of chopped nuts, apples, spices, and wine between two matzohs to eat with bitter herbs. The filling between the matzohs served as a reminder of the suffering of the Jews before their deliverance from Egypt and represented the mortar used by the Jews in their forced labor of constructing Egyptian buildings. Because he was the first known person to do this, and because of his influence and stature in Palestinian Judaism, this practice was added to the Seder and the Hillel Sandwich was named after him.

6th to 16th Century – During the Middle Ages, thick blocks of coarse stale bread called trenchers were used in place of plates. Meats and other foods were piled on top of the bread to be eaten with their fingers and sometimes with the aid of knives. The trenchers, thick and stale, absorbed the juice, the grease, and the sauces. At the end of the meal, one either ate the trencher or, if hunger had been satisfied, tossed the gravy-soaked bread to their dogs or given as alms to less fortunate or poor human. Alms were clothing, food, or money that is given to poor people: In the past, people thought it was their religious duty to give alms to the poor. Trenchers were clearly the forerunner of our open-face sandwiches.(whatscookingamerica.net)

Today’s Restaurant

The Sandwich Spot – Sunnyvale, Ca

Average Cost

Under $10

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

The Rockin Rueben or Sandwich of your choice

Sandwiches are a staple that us Americans love to enjoy. Funny thing is not every culture even knows what it is or even how to eat one.

It can be mysterious, spooky, and a riddle to the mind.

I remember some years back when I took my wife out to get a sandwich and she had no idea how to hold a sandwich or even the proper biting styles.

All the meat and fixings kept falling out and I had to show her how to hold it. She is better now but still lacks that finesse of someone born and raised eating sandwiches and burgers.

I also saw a documentary where some tribal people in a foreign country were given hamburgers for the 1st time.

Meat between bread nearly blew their minds. You can check out that video here.

Anywho…

Today we’ll talk about this new found heavenly location of delight and sustenance called The Sandwich Spot...

Let’s talk about it…

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You’re Gonna Need Time to Recoup after eating Butter and Zeus!

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Did you know….

The history of the beginnings of Chicken and Waffles is a perplexing one.  No one is really sure of its origins.  One of the original theories claims that Thomas Jefferson brought a waffle machine to the US from France in the 1790’s, thus beginning a waffle craze (even though the Pilgrims brought it to the New World back in the early 1600’s, we guess Tommy really sparked the interest).

Soon after, being embraced by the African American community, Chicken and Waffles began appearing in cookbooks (although, curiously, it did not appear in the first cookbook written around 1880 by a Black former slave called What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking by Abby Fisher).  The Pennsylvania Dutch (the first Germans to have settled in the US) have been pairing chicken with waffles probably before Thomas Jefferson was a twinkle in his mother’s uterus.

 Instead of frying their chicken pieces, the PA Dutch version uses shredded pieces of boiled or roasted chicken on top of waffles and top it with lots of creamy gravy instead of hot sauce and syrup.  You may think this either looks like sick on a waffle or, possibly, chicken pot pie over a waffle. The final and most common origin is that Chicken and Waffles began in the 1930’s during the Harlem Jazz hayday, specifically at a place no longer in existence called Wells Supper Club.

When the Jazz musicians walked into Wells after a long night of playing, they wanted a combo of dinner and breakfast (dickfast?  dinfast?) and the staff created the crispy, crunchy, salty, sweet combo we love today. (weareneverfull.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Butter and Zeus – Santa Clara, Ca

Average Cost

Under $10

Rating (1-10)

8.5

They can get a 10 if they add flavor to the waffle, like cinnamon or something. Or have a special type of butter, maybe a honey butter or something.

Recommended Dishes: 

Definitely Chicken and Waffles but there are so many to choose from!

Breakfast in one of my favorite meals of the day, especially on the weekend..

Breakfast can be eaten in the morning..

For brunch..

In the afternoon..

For dinner…

I’ll even eat it on the road…

Bacon..Sausage.. Pancakes…

and the new craze happening all over the United States.. 

Chicken and Waffles!!!

Let’s talk about it…

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I’ll Place all Bets on Grilled Chicken on a French Baguette!

Southwest Chicken Sandwich - Grilled Chicken Breast, Crushed Avocado, Tomato, Onion, Cilantro, Jalapeño Peppers and Chipotle Mayo on a Toasted French Baguette

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Did you know….

Southwestern cuisine—from the region that covers New Mexico, Arizona, the bottom of Colorado, and Utah—looks and sounds a lot like Mexican, born of Spanish influence on indigenous tribes like the Hopi and Zuni. It relies heavily on regionally available produce in its fresh and preserved forms: squashes, blue corn, chiles like the Hatch and Chimayo. Green chile is king; sopaipillas, a kind of fried bread, are as commonly found as tortillas south of the border. Preserved in amber until the early ’80s, Southwestern cuisine was mostly a tourist attraction to non-natives—just another stop on the road trip after the Grand Canyon.(firstwefeast.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Cheesecake Factory – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$11-$30

Rating (1-10)

9

Recommended Dishes: 

Southwest Chicken Sandwich, Bang Bang Chicken and Shrimp, Chicken Potstickers, Spinach Dip, Cheesecake!!

It’s Friday people and time to get rid of the exhaustion from the work week and begin the weekend relaxation!

Today may be a burger night..a pizza night or maybe a salad night.

But if you are in the mood for a combo of slight spice, mixed with tender chicken and a baguette crunch that locks in all of this phenomenal entertainment then the Southwest Chicken Sandwich at Cheesecake Factory is the choice for you.

Let’s talk about it…

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I’ll Travel the Grand Canyon on a Bike to get to a Chicken Sandwich at Ike’s!!

Menage a Trois BBQ Sauce, Cheddar, Halal Chicken, Honey Mustard, Pepper Jack, Real Honey, Swiss

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Did you know….

A Muslim butcher opened recently in our neighborhood and they sell halal meat. We wondered, what exactly does “halal” mean?

Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible.” In terms of food, it means food that is permissible according to Islamic law. For a meat to be certified “halal,” it cannot be a forbidden cut (such as meat from hindquarters) or animal (such as pork.)

The slaughter of a halal animal is called “zabihah” and there are certain guidelines to follow:

Allah’s (God’s) name must be pronounced during slaughter.
The instrument must be very sharp to ensure humane slaughter. The animal must be slit at the throat.
The animal must not be unconscious
The animal must be hung upside down and allowed to bleed dry. Eating blood is not halal.
These steps must be accomplished by a Muslim or the People of the Book (Christian or Jew.) Many observant Muslims find kosher meat acceptable.
The animal must have been fed a natural diet that did not contain animal by-products.(thekitchn.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Ike’s Place – San Jose, Ca

Average Cost

$10-12

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Menage a Trois on Dutch Crunch with Bacon

I have to tell you folks..Hands down this is the best Chicken Sandwich I have ever tasted in my life!

If I was being sentenced to death by electric chair..This would be my final meal!

If there was an alien attack on earth and they were knocking at my door..This would be my last meal!

If I heard the trumpets from heaven calling all of His Saints to meet Him in the sky.. This would be my last meal!

Ike Shehadeh, the founder of Ike’s Place must be a scientific genius and I’m sure he brewed up this sandwich in a mad man’s machine right next to Frankenstein.

Just talking about it makes me think this sandwich must have been created to be eaten by Greek Gods. Us normal beings on this land are not worthy for such a divine creation.

Let’s talk about it..

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My Eye starts to Twitch when I need a Cajun Chicken Sandwich Fix!

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Did you know….

The Acadians – Frenchmen who settled in “Acadie”, the wilds of Nova Scotia – were forcibly driven out of Canada in 1755 by the British and shipped off to regions as disparate as Massachusetts, the West Indies, and Uruguay. This exile was called Le Grande Derangement (“the great trouble”). After returning to France, one of the largest groups of exiles landed on the shores of South Louisiana. Over time, more waves of Acadians reunited with fellow refugees, and they became known as “Cajuns”.

Acadians were hunters, farmers, and fishermen well-versed in the art of living off the land. They were given land grants upriver from New Orleans and moved into the swamps, bayous, and prairies of Louisiana to start farms and ranches. Unlike the cosmopolitan Creole cuisine, which is largely thought of as more refined and seafood-centric, Cajun food leans toward the rustic and rural, featuring wild game, pork, beef, and cured and fresh sausages.(langloisnola.com)

Today’s Restaurant

St. John’s Bar and Grill – Santa Clara

Average Cost

$15 for a burger, fries and a soda

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Any burger or chicken sandwich of your choice!

It’s Thursday and just 1 more day to call it a week!

I need something exciting and adventurous to bite into..

Hmmmmm..Something fulfilling and something that makes my mind journey to another place other than work…

I got it!!

The light bulb turns on and my tongue begins to water as an image of an enticing chicken patty in-between two buns squeezes itself into my mouth and massages every inch of my palate..

Where can I find this exotic temptation that has been envisioned in my mind? The one and only St. John’s Bar and Grill!

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I’ll swim through a Tsunami for my #9 Hot Pastrami!!!

Togo's #9 Pastrami

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Did you know….

Pastrami is a brisket (or other cut) of beef that has been cured in a mixture of sugar, spices and garlic and then smoked before cooking. While many people associate this savory meat with their favorite New York-style deli, the recipe for pastrami actually originated in southeastern Europe.

“Pastirma” (Turkish for pastrami) is believed to have first been cooked up in Kayseri, a town in the east of Turkey, during the rise of the Ottoman Empire (between the 13th and 15th centuries). Legend has it the horsemen of that region preserved their meat by curing it and then hanging it down from their saddles and pressing on it with their legs as they rode. “Pastirma,” as it turns out, is derived from the Turkish word “bastirmak,” which means “to press.”(livescience.com)

Today’s Restaurant

Togo’s – Santa Clara, Ca

Average Cost

Less than $8 for half sandwich, half salad or a full sandwich

Rating (1-10)

10

Recommended Dishes: 

Pastrami! #9

Asian Chicken Salad, Pastrami Sandwich-Half and Half

McDonald’s has their fries, Burger King their Whopper and Togo’s has……

The #9 extravaganza of taste and flavor that can’t be compared to any other Pastrami sandwich that I have ever tasted!!

“Trev, this is a crock of crap! I’ve had delicious pastrami sandwiches and they are outstanding. You’re telling me that this fast food hole in the wall tastes better than those?!”

“Yes I am!!”

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