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Bauru

BAURUUUUUUUU!

Today, we bring to you an utterly novel thing of beauty – the hollowed out French roll, stuffed of melted mozzarella and roast beef, along with the delightful old flames of tomato and some classic vlasics (kosher dill, DUH).

The Bauru comes to us from Brazil, invented by a Sao Paolan university student, and for all of us who have had the pleasure, thank you, Casemiro Pinto Neto, for your literally world-class contribution to cuisine.

Predictions:

Enough of that horrible abuse of grammatic convention – let us just say that our expectations were rather high. Her Eminence made what we have been calling “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pizza-cheese,” as when you melt a cup of mozzarella in a butter roux it turns into, god, I don’t know, melted edible DIAMONDS??? It was just obscenely melty.

The roast beef, purchased from the local meatmonger Zupan’s, was really, actually, no-hyperbole-necessary, some of the best roast beef I have ever had. It was all pink, which again is a pretty horrible sounding thing to say. I also feel like the deliciousness was also attributable to the very good, solid and ordinary par-baked french rolls utilized. Nothing special but ideally suited to the task.

Impressions:

Her Eminence of the Italian Deli Meat:

*sobs*
no words
should have sent a poet

The Vicomtesse of the Bacon Lettuce and Tomato:

Oh dear god, it was even better than we thought possible. I am not the Biggest mozzarella fan, but I see its place in fresh Italian foods and the delectable meatball sub, of course, but THIS, oh my, oh my, THIS was incredible. The melted mozzarella (so melty) was just, FULL OF SYNTHESIS with the pickley pickley pickle, if that actually means anything outside my brain. Uhhhhhh this was really, really good. Get on ‘n hollow you out a french roll, EHHNNN??

Do you immediately want another of this sandwich?

“Ish too bad we don’t have mre of ese fnch rolls s’we c’make more of’m,” said Her Eminence while chomping through the VERY FIRST BITE of the Bauru, so full of premature regret (Ed. Note: “pregret”) for lack of future sandwich was she.

And now it’s gone and it’s never coming back ūüė¶ what we are saying is this was an extremely good sandwich. YES. YES, YOU COULD SAY WE BOTH IMMEDIATELY WANT ANOTHER OF THIS SANDWICH.

Barros Jarpa and Barros Luco

It’s a Twofer, gang! Get excited!

It is entirely fitting that we cram these two sandwiches together because they are related both historically and taste-orically (huh?). ¬†The Barros Jarpa y Luco hail from Chile and have kind of a neat lil’ backstory. ¬†The two sandwiches were created in the restaurant of the National Congress of Chile. ¬†The Barros Jarpa, a melty ham and cheese, is named after Ernesto Barros Jarpa, a lawyer and politician. ¬†This guy right here:

Well hello, Glasses.

As for the sandwich’s origin story, I will just let this delightful bit of google translate do its work:¬†

“very slow considering the preparation of Sandwich Barros Luco, and as always was rushed, called an ‘ally ham-cheese’, but hot, and the servants to see him come and meet their plight shouted inward from the kitchen: ‘A Jarpa Barros, master’, thus baptizing popular Chilean sandwich known as¬†Barros Jarpa.”

Okey-dokey then!

The Barros Luco is a melty steak and cheese, with peppers, and it is named after Senor Barros Jarpa’s cousin, Ramon Barros Luco. ¬†This fella’:

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Well hello, Moustache!

This gentleman became the president of Chile, and his government’s philosophy was “99% of problems solve themselves, and the remaining 1% have no solutions” which perhaps explains why Senor Barros Luco is now best known for creating a sandwich (not that there is anything wrong with that, I think the vicomtesse and I would about kill for the opportunity to coin a famous sandwich).

So how do these bad boys stack up?

Predictions:

The general consensus was that these sandwiches would be kinda boring, which partly explains why we decided to cover them together.  However, we both acknowledged that there is nothing wrong with any of the ingredients involved so we expected they would be rather tasty, just nothing earthshattering. 

Preparation:

Props to the vicomtesse for spearheading this one.  She picked up some nice crusty white bread, some good ham, some hanger steak, some peppers, and (after searching in vain for the correct cheese) some pepper jack.  

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The steak was sliced thinly and sauteed with balsamic vinegar, peppers and garlic.  The ham was also fried a bit.  Then we assembled the sandwiches and toasted them in the cast-iron.

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Impressions:

Very tasty indeed! Those deceased Chilean politicians knew what they were talking about.  We both preferred the Barros Luco because of the extra kick that the hot peppers added, but gosh, does anyone have a problem with a melty ham and cheese?  I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW THEM. 

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this (these) sandwich(es)?

Sure, why not? ¬†I believe our prediction was quite accurate. ¬†This sandwich is a little boring but definitely tasty. ¬†With a little experimentation, perhaps these could be outstanding sandwiches — particularly the Barros Luco (balsamic, hot peppers, and steak is a LEGIT flavor profile) — but they do leave a little something to be desired. ¬†

Barbecue (Sandwich)

Oh my dearie readers. ¬†Oh all of our dearie readers. ¬†Several weeks ago, Her Eminence and I, your humble Vicomtesse (the humblest, I assure you) visited our favorite barbecue joint, an amazing community organization-cum-restaurant named Po’Shines, in order to eat fine, fine barbecue sandwiches. ¬†And oh lord, did we. ¬†Rather than opting for the plebeian pulled pork sandwich (which we love, truly), we both ordered a beef brisket sandwich and a few sides, like the amazing fried okra, hushpuppies, and this flyer:

Okay, so we didn’t exactly¬†order the flyer, but there it was, on our table, for us to peruse while we waited, eyeing each others’ arms, starving. ¬†JUST STARVING.

Predictions:

Having been to the delightful Po’Shines plenty of times before, we knew we were in for the very best. ¬†Speaking only as the Vicomtesse, I do not believe I’ve gotten the beef brisket sandwich before, so I was especially excited.

Preparation:

Just like last time, because we’d eaten out, our preparation consisted only of sitting there, sobbing over a lack of food in our bellies pre-meal. ¬†And the preparatory obesity flyer. ¬†Of course. ¬†It, ah, belongs at every table, of course!

Impressions:

V: I found the coleslaw atop the brisket to be a bit too sour-mayonnaise-y, and there was a lot of it. ¬†Believe me, I love a sour balance to a rich meaty flavor (why does everything I type sound disgusting) but I did away with much of the coleslaw. ¬†THAT SAID. ¬†This beef brisket barbecue sandwich was phenomenal. ¬†Really. ¬†The bun (classic white-bread hoagie roll) was perfect and only started falling apart at the very last. ¬†The barbecue sauce was not too sweet and not too thick. ¬†DELICIOUS, Y’ALL.

E: It was f***ing delicious.  WHEW

[ed note: we did not initially include our final question, which for the uninitiated is “did you immediate want another of this sandwich?” ¬†In this case the answer is a resounding “yes” from both parties.]

Banh Mi

Ah, the Banh Mi. ¬†We decided to outsource this one and go to a restaurant that the Vicomtesse and I were already acquainted with. ¬†Best Baguette. ¬†It’s not just a clever name.

One of the Banh Mi’s many virtues is that it is HELLA cheap. ¬†A generously sized baguette stuffed with all manner of delicious pork-based meats, topped with daikon, carrot, jalapeno, cilantro, and mayonnaise is like $2.50. (we love us some mayonnaise)

Predictions: 

Please, no predictions necessary. ¬†We knew this was going to be amazing. 100% certain. ¬†And we were not wrong…oh no.

Preparation:

Well, in this case, there was no preparation as we are incapable of making a Banh Mi as delicious as the $4 ones that Best Baguette offers.  They bake their bread hourly, people, holy. crap. so. good.

The Vicomtesse ordered a pork meatball variety, and I opted for the house special with Vietnamese Ham and Pate and probably some other stuff (because I fear no organ meats).  We both loaded up on the cilantro and jalapenos.

Accompanied by some delicious iced coffees, this really was an ideal dinner.  And so economical!  I mean, look at how substantial this sandwich is:

DAAAAAAAAAAANG!!!

Needless to say, they went quickly.

We left sated, and with mouths aflame from the jalapenos.

Impressions:

V: Perfect and magical.

E: What she said.

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this sandwich?

Duh.

Sandwiches We Have Known And Loved, Part TWO!

Well, friends, lovers, sandwich enthusiasts, I have only just finished up my school term, and am now able to share with you the beautiful sandwich that I made for myself in lieu of a Sadness Sandwich* when returning to my home at approximately 2:30am, some weeknight last week.

This is the Peanut Butter and Strawberry sandwich. Oh my god, everything is right, here. I love a classic PB&J, but even with the more actual-fruit brands, it’s often still like eating a snickers bar in terms of sugar. I ain’t need that, friends.¬† Candy is for children.

Here, then, is the Vicomtesse’s brilliant variation: rather than jam, use actual strawberries.

And to answer to the lack of “wetness” that jam offers, oh, here is where it gets so incredibly good. BUTTER THE BREAD. Don’t be stingy. Really get into it. I prefer fancy unsalted European-style butter, but that’s probably just because I don’t have a mortgage.

I also add just a pinch of salt and sugar (salger?) since jam usually has a fair amount of both, and if you care about this kind of thing, you can bet the extremely small amount of sodium/sweet (seriously, just a pinch) you have added will be WAY less than what is contained in even a decent jar of jam.

Do I immediately want another?  Yes.  So I made one.  And it was awesome.

 

*A Sadness Sandwich is a subway(tm) sandwich, eaten quickly (“bolted,” you could even say), by oneself, sober, at three in the morning.

The Baked Bean Sandwich

Well, it’s the Baked Bean Sandwich, the most coolly-anticipated sandwich yet. ¬†So cool, in fact, that we postponed this Sandwich not once, but twice. ¬†Her Eminence and I resolved to buy the highest quality baked beans, as the thought of lumps of childhood coagulated cold beans, disregarded on styrofoam plate after plate was enough to turn the stomach of the Vicomtesse. ¬†Not that we have any styrofoam.

To the sandwich! ¬†The organic beans that we did buy were $2.50 for the box and could make three sandwiches. ¬†Economy! ¬†We toasted and spread lots of butter before adding the heated beans. ¬†I initially only put ketchup on half, and after one bite, knew I could not eat this sandwich without ketchup, and added another 200% of what I’d initially spread.

Impressions:

V: Come on, The British (thus far poorly represented on this blog)!  You have to put more than one thing on a sandwich! [ed: apparently, even though the British are fond of beans on toast, this is not, in fact, a British sandwich.  We borfed it on this side of the pond.]  Once again, Portland Ketchup Co has saved the day.

Its fresh sweetness was a great counterweight to the, ahem, pasty-textured beans. ¬†As it would be to any bottom-heavy ingredient. ¬†The very first “flavor profile,” as it were, was the taste of the very good butter (some kind of european style unsalted butter) melted into the toasted Dave’s Killer bread. ¬†Ahh – perfection. ¬†Until the beans hit. ¬†Then… uh, it was regular? ¬†It was just back to regular life, after the island beach vacation of the best kinds of food (I absolutely defend the statement that very good butter on very good bread is some of the best food possible), back to what you nuke for three minutes on your strictly regimented 30m break, before you strap your headset back on and beg people below the poverty line to subscribe to hundreds of dollars’ worth of magazines.*

I’m probably being too hard on this sandwich. ¬†But as I said, after the initial bite where I’d hoped to eat half of it “classically,” that is to say, just beans, and the other half ketchuped (that certainly is not a word), I realized that I couldn’t do it, and slathered the whole mess in ketchup. ¬†Again – this ketchup is¬†really, really good.

No, indeed, The Vicomtesse does not immediately want another.

E: Not as low as my lowest expectations but not as high as my highest hope, the baked bean sandwich is simply “fine.” ¬†It was improved dramatically by ample amounts of ketchup and butter. I do not immediately want another of this sandwich, either.

Ah well.  For Science (TM), we will continue to eat and review ALL of the sandwiches, even the sub-par ones!

*note, please, that this was one of the vicomtesse’s many and splendorous positions, a very long time ago. ¬†oh god.

Sandwiches We Have Known And Loved (Part I)

Hello all,

I am hereby instituting a regular feature (although I haven’t run this by the Vicomtesse, I expect she will be on board). ¬†Though “Sandwich Club” is itself limited to the challenge of consuming and ranking ONLY the sandwiches on the Wikipedia list, we are, as it were, TOTAL SANDWICH GENIUSES, and sometimes (well, oftentimes) we create a sandwich too magical not to be shared with our four regular readers (hi Mom!).

So this evening, I worked late, which is a thing that happens a lot to me (in addition to being a sandwichaholic, I am also something of a workaholic).  Despite having been fed at work, I came home wired and ravenous.  And then I made this:

This is an open-faced chicken salad sandwich.  The chicken salad is made with homemade spring garlic mayonnaise.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT! You guys, you never have to buy mayonnaise, homemade mayo is so, so, so easy. SRSLY, do not buy mayonnaise ever again:¬†New York Times’ recipe for homemade mayonnaise. ¬†I would say it took me all of three minutes to make this mayo. ¬†And, you can add WHATEVS to this, for example, I used a few cloves of spring garlic.

I then topped it all with a few slices of avocado and red onion.

And there, folks, you have your first installment of Sandwiches We Have Known And Loved.

The Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Sandwich

Once again, we have filled the hallowed halls of Her Eminence’s manor with the glimmering aroma of bacon grease in the pursuit of the perfect bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich (hereinafter BEC).

Also, special treat(!), Her Eminence’s Mother is visiting (hereinafter HEM) and generously lent her tastebuds to this noble experiment.

(We could not wait to take a proper picture of the completed sandwich.)

Predictions: 

This was a hotly anticipated sandwich.  We were all very hungry.

Preparation:

There are many different ways to prepare a BEC, but we went basic with high-quality ingredients (no Kraft singles for us!).

Fry some bacon.

After frying the bacon (hooray!), prepare your cheese.  We used Tillamook Extra Sharp Cheddar.  We grated it for extra meltability and toasted it with a pub bun.

Finally, fry an egg in your leftover bacon grease.

Assemble and consume with your preferred hot sauce (we used Sriracha and Frank’s Red Hot respectively).

Impressions:

V: Well.  It was excellent cheese, barely-cooked bacon, and a goddamn egg.  It was everything I hoped, and expected.  The bun was the surprise delight Рas HEM put it, it was both crispy and soft.  I have no doubt that there are all manner of terrible ingredients in the buns, but they were absolutely perfect for the sandwich.  It was delicious.

E: This completely made up for the lackluster Bacon Sandwich from last time. ¬†I think cheese has once again proved itself to be essential. ¬†Good job, cheese! Tilliamook Extra Sharp Cheddar is highly recommended. ¬†I used Whole Foods Bacon which was not the best option, it was too thin and didn’t cook very evenly. ¬†However, it was still bacon so I ate it. ¬†This sandwich was everything I hoped for.

HEM: ¬†I’ve tasted many BECs in my time, but this one exceeded my expectations. ¬†But I may be a little bit biased, due to love of my daughter.

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this sandwich?

V: I do. I do. I do.

E: Yes, and I probably will.

HEM: Yes, absolutely [ed note: HEM eats like a bird and did not actually finish her BEC, so the Vicomtesse and I swiftly came to her aid.]

The Bacon Sandwich

Well my dear friends, we have just consumed the first sandwich on our epic tour through sandwichdom and it was the classic Bacon Sandwich.  We chose to go real simple with this one, just bacon, bread, butter, and ketchup and A1 (we could not find HP sauce [which stands for House of Parliment, which as rulers of sandwichdom the Vicomtesse and Her Eminence find pleasing]).  This is a very British sandwich, known alternately as a Butty, Sarnie, or Sanger (Margaret?) depending on which British Isle you are upon.

Predictions:

We thought it would at least taste like bacon, and so therefore it would be a safe bet; a rather amateur sandwich. ¬†The Vicomtesse was a bit concerned about the lack of HP sauce at our local grocering location. ¬†Her Eminence was stuck at the office during said grocering and seriously could not have cared less about the Vicomtesse’s concerns. ¬†There was a phone call. ¬† ¬†Her opinion was made known. Consequently, A1 sauce was purchased. ¬†

Preparation:

Uh, fry some bacon? That’s kind of the whole thing about this sandwich.

But then we toasted bread, which was of the Dave’s Killer variety. ¬†We then buttered the bread. ¬†And then, the Vicomtesse made a delightful blend of ketchup (Portland Ketchup Co because blegh to that Heinz crap) and the A1, which the Vicomtesse noted was typically reserved (in her childhood home at least) for the “cheap steaks”.

Combine and serve.  BLAMMO!

Impressions:

V: I found the texture delightful, but that is in part due to the high quality of bacon that we purchased [ed note: only the best for sandwich royalty].  The sauce is really good.  The acidity of the A1 combined with the tomatosity of the awesome ketchup was a perfect complement to the fatty bacon and butter.  I really liked it.

E: I was underwhelmed by the sandwich, which in a million, billion years I never expected. ¬†The sauce was indeed incredible, but I thought it drowned out the bacon flavor. ¬†[ed note: Vicomtesse agrees that the sauce drowned out the bacon a bit]. ¬†It’s not like it was bad, it’s just that I wanted it to be better. ¬†HOWEVER I HAVE NO REGRETS.¬†

Final Question: Do you immediately want to eat another of this sandwich?

V: Yes.

E: No. But I will note for the record that I am still hungry. 

A Brief History of the Sandwich

Hello Fans of Sandwiches, i.e., EVERYBODY,

Here, for your reading pleasure, is this history of the noble sandwich, cribbed entirely from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandwich.

Like all good things in life, the sandwich was invented by the Jews! (Her Eminence is herself a Jew so it is okay for me to take credit for all of sandwichdom). During Passover, a wise elder Jew had the good sense to put some lamb meat in between two Matzohs “in the manner of a modern sandwich made with flatbread.” ¬†This was obviously totally delicious as well as being portable when one is wandering through the desert for 40 years, and the World’s Most Finest Convenience Food was born.

Then we skip a significant period of time to end up in the Middle Ages, a rough-and-tumble historical era ably captured by Monty Python movies. ¬†There is not much going for the Middle Ages except for the fact that they TOTALLY HAD SANDWICHES, YOU GUYS. ¬†The Middle Agers would use stale bread called “trenchers” as plates. ¬†“Trenchers were the precursors of open-faced sandwiches.” Thanks, Wikipedia! [note from the vicomtesse: oh my god you guys I am so excited for open-faced sandwiches now {subnote: I was already excited}]

However, the most direct precursor to the modern sandwich comes to us from the clever Dutch, who would hang beef from the rafters of their taverns (as you do) and take slices from the rafter-beef and lay those slices on buttered bread.

Sad Fact: For a time, the sandwich was both sexist and degenerate as it was shared by men while gambling. ¬†However, a secret that good is not going to stay a secret forever, and eventually sandwiches became accepted by the aristocracy as a viable food-source (but only as a late night meal. ¬†Aristocratic Sandwiches…the Original Fourth Meal (TM)).

Once adopted by the rich, the humble sandwich experienced a meteoric rise throughout the rest of Western Europe and eventually  the United States.

Her Eminence is realizing as she writes this that Wikipedia’s History of the Sandwich is awfully Eurocentric (apart from the brief reference to the Jews (yay!)). ¬†I therefore promise you, fellow sandwich-worshippers, that I will try to find a more representative history of the sandwich to share with you all at some other point when her eminence is not at work.