Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Are These The Post-Christmas Blues?

Welcome back again, Dear Readers!

Did Santa bring you everything your heart desired for Christmas? And if you don't celebrate Christmas, did you happen to treat yourself to an awesome gift as well?

Being that I am back home for the holidays in Philadelphia, I decided to do a few sandwich stops as a treat to myself. But i have to admit that the holidays had made me a bit more lazy this week in pursuing a sandwich.

Blasphemy, I know.

But wanting to meet up with my friend Lance for drinks in town, he recommended a new-ish pub called Kraftwork which caters to highly developed beer palates as well as providing delicious food.

The interior of Kraftwork is very cool, and not expected for the neighborhood the bar happens to be in. Unfinished wood and steel, the bar has a very modern, constructed feel adds to the great vibe of this corner bar.

The sandwich selection was small, but every one of them screamed out to me, asking me to sample their deliciousness. I finally decided upon the French Onion Short Rib Sandwich.

Now I have previously had a short rib sandwich at 8oz Burger Bar in Los Angeles, but I remember not being completely impressed by it, so this was a chance for this type of sandwich to regain my trust, and for this bar to wow me on our first meeting.

The sandwich contained the shredded short rib meat, caramelized onions, melted Gruyere cheese, horseradish creme fraiche, all on a ciabatinni bun.

And yes, whenever I hear creme fraiche now, I always think of South Park.

Hilarious comedy shows aside, the short rib meat was moist, flavorful and well cooked, allowing it to fall apart with every bite. Since the meat was already shredded, the melted Gruyere cheese blended in seamlessly with the short ribs. This cheese, along with the caramelized onions, gave the sandwich a bit of a sweet flavor to it which was a nice change of pace from sandwiches that tend to overdo it with the flavor of their red meat.

The bun was also excellent: a sleek, golden outside and a soft interior that managed to hold up throughout the entire eating experience. Not that it lasted long at all.

So despite the fact that my night did not include a German techno band, it did involve an excellent craft beer bar with very notable sandwiches.

And hey, the waitstaff was pretty amazing too.

So if you find yourself in Philly in need of an excellent bar with a delicious sandwich to try, look no further than Kraftwork. It will be worth every minute of your time.

Until next week...

French Onion Short Rib Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
Kraftwork Bar
541 East Girard Avenue
Philadelphia, PA  19125

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Excuse Me, This Salmon Is Still Alive...

Well, hello again Dear Readers.

Have you been busy the past weeks preparing for the upcoming holidays? Hopefully you have had time to explore your neighborhood and checked out a local sandwich shop. You know that those businesses appreciate your visit just as much as any retail store at this time of year.

Despite looking for gifts and preparing to fly back east for Christmas, I thought I would try one last sandwich before I left Los Angeles for a week, this time I took a recently mentioned recommendation of Roman's in Sherman Oaks.

Now as you may know, I haven't really eaten too many vegetarian sandwiches, or really many sandwiches that don't involve a land animal, so I quickly jumped at the opportunity to eat the Salmon Sandwich when I saw it at the top of Roman's menu.

I am a huge fan of salmon, especially when it is either smoked or grilled.

I am not a fan of lox

For those of you that don't know what lox is, it's a cured salmon filet and something that completely grosses me out due to the texture. I know it's very popular with a lot of people, but it just does not fly with me as it seems like it's still almost raw, though I don't have a problem with sushi.

Well, that's exactly what was on this sandwich.


The "fish" was topped with marscapone cheese and fresh arugula on a delicious Italian roll. The cheese wasn't terrible, but it didn't add much to the sandwich. The arugula was fresh and tasty and the Italian roll was crispy on the outside and warm and fluffy on the inside.

But let's face it Readers, I wasn't going out last night for an arugula sandwich.

This has been my problem so far: I have not had good luck with sandwiches that do not contain red meat or poultry. Why? I have no idea. I love vegetarian restaurants here in Los Angeles, and I do love fish (especially salmon), so why have I had bad luck when it comes to these types of sandwiches?

SO I am reaching out to you to help with some more recommendations. You've all been excellent with suggestions in the past, so any help with a great fish or vegetarian sandwich would be an amazing help.

Your sandwich blogger of choice needs you, America. Will you help?

Until next week...

Salmon Sandwich
* Star
15100 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Little Something From Warmer Climes

Greetings Dear Readers!

You know, one thing I've discovered over my time writing this blog is that, even though I've traveled to numerous places and wrote about faraway sandwiches, sometimes the best ones come from your own backyard.

Not literally, of course.

One place in my new neighborhood that I've heard rave reviews about (from three different people without prompting) is a little mom and pop shop called HyMart Sandwiches and Mediterranean Fusion. Located on the corner of Vineland and Camarillo in North Hollywood, this shop is family run with ingredients imported directly from Turkey.

Seeing as how I love Mediterranean (my favorite restaurant in the Valley is The Great Greek, an amazing and well-known restaurant), everything on the menu immediately grabbed my attention. The question was quickly becoming not which sandwich to choose, but how could I come back to try them all?

Finally I settled on the Mediterranean Madness wrap. Packed tightly with labni (a strained Greek yogurt), hummus, olives, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers and stuffed grape leaves.

Yes, stuffed grape leaves were the main ingredient to this sandwich.

The vegetables used in this wrap where incredibly fresh. The onions and lettuce were crunchy, and the tomatoes used were not mealy but from perfectly ripened red tomatoes.

The stuffed grape leaves, and there were a few to each sandwich, provided the bitter tang that grape leaves are known for with the wonderful spices of the Mediterranean with the seasoned rice insides. I would have taken an order of the grape leaves to go even without the sandwich. They are just that good.

I also happened to order the spicy version of this sandwich. Now while I normally like spicy things, I think next time I order this I may hold back on the extra kick. While it wasn't too spicy for me, I think the extra flavor brought from the added sauce overpowered some of the more mild flavors of the sandwich.

Still an excellent sandwich though.

And as an added bonus: Hy Mart has excellent service from a friendly family. There's nothing better than supporting your local small business sandwich shops.

And so ends another satisfying week here on The Danger Sandwich friends. On December 23rd, I will be heading back to the east coast to spend time with family over Christmas, so if you know of some good sandwich shops in the Philadelphia/New York/Washington DC area, let me know in the comments section so I can try some of your favorite places while I'm home.

Until next week, Readers...

Mediterranean Madness
**** Stars
Hy Mart Sandwiches
4795 Vineland Avenue
North Hollywood, CA 91602

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An Unexpected Find

Greetings this week, my dearest Readers.

This week while taking our lovely little puppy for a medical checkup with her vet in Sylmar, I stumbled upon another deli without even the goal of finding a new sandwich shop.

Across from the vet , a bright sign stood out from the many in the strip mall in the north valley. Submarine Queen called my name in the light of the setting sun to drive across the intersection and sample their sandwiches.

Walking into the shop, I was amazed at the stark contrast between the very minimalist eating area and the massive checkerboard-sign in the front showing off some 40+ sandwich options. Even though most of the sandwiches were slight variations the other sandwiches, I finally settled on the turkey, avocado and Swiss cheese on a wheat roll.

The sandwich was pretty basic. Besides the main ingredients it had chopped tomatoes, pickles, onions and a bit of mayo. Since the tomatoes were chopped, I was spared the disgust of eating mealy tomatoes by only getting the best, red and fresh chopped tomatoes on mine. Mixed with the pickles, crisp onions (and a few pepperoncinis that I added myself) the vegetables of this sandwich were fresh, crisp and full of flavor.

The turkey was thinly cut, and full of flavor. The middle of the sandwich was packed with a ton of avocado. Seriously, there had to be about three full avocados crammed in there. And they were so fresh, it was like they were just picked from the tree before being sliced and added to the sandwich.

The wheat bread did an excellent job at holding the sandwich together until the end and was fluffy without being too thick and taking up the better portion of the sandwich.

After visiting Sub Queen, it is good to know that a great and simple sandwich shop exists in Los Angeles, it's just a shame that I normally have no reason on earth to ever make it out to Sylmar, except for the puppy to get checked out by her doctor.

But if you happen to have another reason to head out towards Canyon Country, make sure you hit up Submarine Queen before doing so.

Turkey, Avocado and Swiss Cheese Sandwich
**** Stars
Submarine Queen
13758 Foothill Blvd
Sylmar, CA 91342

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Afternoon In Wine Country

Welcome back, dear Readers!

Hopefully this past week has been filled with delicious Thanksgiving holiday food and leftovers, and leftovers, and leftovers, etc.

I think I'm still up to my eyeballs in delicious leftover mashed potatoes.

On Black Friday, instead of heading out to shop and be pepper sprayed, I headed down to Temecula, CA for some wine tasting with family members who had graciously joined us in Los Angeles for the holiday.

I had been to Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez wine country, so I was glad to hit up another well-know SoCal wine area in Temecula.

Something happens when you hit any wine country in California. Life seems to melt away and time seems to come to a standstill. Life just...happens.

It's wonderful.

We originally stopped at Mount Palomar Winery, which had amazing wines and an Italian villa feel. After the 6 win tasting, we moved onto Maurice Car'rie Winery down the road which resembled more of a farm in the French countryside.

Pulling up to the patio cafe on the winery grounds, I ordered the Turkey Sandwich at the cafe. The sandwich came out on sourdough bread, with lettuce, tomatoes, and an optional cranberry spread.

The sourdough bread honestly wasn't very sour. The faint taste of sour was there, but wasn't as strong as I normally like it. The lettuce and tomatoes were fresh, but nothing to write home about. The cranberry spread added a nice flavor to the mix, but from what I could tell, it may have just been scooped out of the can. Now, don't get me wrong, I like canned cranberry sauce, but not on my sandwiches, and not at a winery. I feel like they could have gone above and beyond and made their own sauce.

Oh, the turkey? Eh. I felt like they just bought it at a supermarket. Pre-packaged.

Luckily, all of the wine I drank that afternoon was more than enjoyable.

In the end, the turkey sandwich was mildly forgettable, but the wine and the times spent at the winery will be remembered for a long time to come.

Turkey Sandwich
** 1/2 Stars
Maurice Car'rie Winery
Temecula, CA

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Deli Dilemma

Dear Readers, by now you have heard me mention before the difficulty of finding a good, dependable deli here on the west coast, and in Los Angeles specifically.

I've grown up and lived around numerous neighborhood delis that always provided top notch food and sandwiches that I never considered the fact that many cities were not as lucky.

Despite this, I have continually sought out a deli I could call my own here in the 818, but have, for the most part come up a little short.

Having driven past Handy Market in Burbank numerous times over my four years in LA, I had never even bothered to stop by. Not even on Saturdays when the chef fires up the giant BBQ grill and cooks outside.

So this past week, I finally decided to check it out.

First of all, Handy Market is more than just a deli. If you live in the neighborhood, it can serve all of your basic needs if you can't make it out to the supermarket easily. But the real story is the deli counter in the back.

For this experiment, I decided to order the pastrami panini with tomato, basil and feta cheese on a wheat roll.

The roll was fresh and when pressed and grilled had a nice crispy exterior while keeping the insides fluffy and warm. The feta offered an excellent dry and pungent flavor which contrasted well with the savory pastrami. The basil was so incredibly fresh and the flavor had an incredible bite which cut through most of the other flavors.

The only not-so-standoutish element was the pastrami. While it was tasty with a light black peppery flavor, the pastrami was a little too chewy at points. It could be that it cooled down a bit before I was able to eat it, but that shouldn't have accounted for this level of chewiness. While not bad, it wasn't spectacular.

Overall, my experience at Handy Market was fairly positive and I would definitely be willing to give it another try, but for the time being, I will just be moving on to find another deli.

What's your favorite sandwich at your favorite deli?

Until next time, Readers...

Pastrami Panini
*** 1/2
Handy Market
2514 W. Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91505

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Cubano Delicioso

Greeting, Readers!

Throughout my time reviewing sandwiches for this blog, I have been given a number of recommended places to visit. I end up adding these to a word document that I keep at my desk at work and it really has increased substantially over time.

I don't always get to hit up the list because I do a lot of research myself and tend to sometimes forget the places I've added to my list. But this week, looking for a close by eatery, that I haven't visited yet, I reached for this holy grail of sandwich lists.

Reader Matty has recommended Mambo's Cafe in Glendale numerous times and I kept forgetting to visit, despite the fact that I live ten minutes from it.

Mambo's is situated in a quiet neighborhood right on the border of Glendale and Burbank and serves up delicious Cuban food.

I had been tempted to sample the Cubano in order to compare it to my favorite Cubano at Porto's, but wanting to try something new tonight, I reached for the Pan Con Chorizo.

The sandwich is very simple: thinly sliced chorizo sausage and grilled onions.

For those that have had chorizo (and living in LA, I've basically had it with every meal in some form or another) I've found that it can sometimes be too overpowering with it's flavor. I've had a number of chorizo tacos where I'm still tasting chorizo three weeks later, but with this sandwich, that is not the case.

The chorizo flavor was still there, still delicious, but it was much more subtle, and the sandwich was better of for it.

The onions provided a nice crunch texture along with the delicious and flaky, pressed french roll.

Simple, stripped down, and delicious.

One part of the meal that I must pay special attention to has nothing to do with the sandwich at all. The service at Mambo's was incredible. Everyone who worked their stopped and asked us if we needed anything, and our server was very nice and always there for us as well.

I guess I haven't thought much about service because a bunch of my last reviews were grab-and-go

So if you're looking for good Cuban food in the Valley, and maybe you want to take in some Latin Jazz (Tuesday nights apparently), definitely check out Mambo's. It'll be worth the visit.

Until next week...

Pan Con Chorizo
**** Stars (out of 5)
1701 Victory Blvd. (at Western)
Glendale, CA 91201

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jinky's, Scooby!

Greetings, Sandwich Lovers.

I hope this past week-long celebration of the 4th Earl of Sandwich's birthday was a delight to you, and that you find a new sandwich shop gem in your neighborhood.

Wanting to celebrate the Earl's birthday, I decided to try out a place near my work, that I had never gotten the chance to try before this week.

I was surprised that the Studio Cafe in Studio City was actually another Jinky's Cafe (there are four in LA) and so technically I had eaten here before, but just at another location.

Not to worry though, there was plenty to sample of the menu.

For this week's entry I tried the sandwich that just screamed out to me: the Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich.

Now, if you know me for more than just this blog, you may also know that I am not usually a fan of chicken salad, or even mayonnaise. The condiment has never really sat well with me, and had led me to find alternatives to it over the years. So there had to be more to this sandwich to really catch my eye.

The curry flavor took a bit away from the mayonnaise and really hid the latter's taste well within the sandwich. The part that worked even better to make me salivate was the mango chutney which was evenly mixed into the sandwich filled with white meat chicken.

Oh and as a final treat: roasted, chopped almonds adding a bit of crunchy contrast and nutty flavor to the mix which actually blended with the chutney, curry and chicken quite well.

On the downside though, the whole wheat bread that enveloped the sandwich was listed as being "grilled", but I think the Studio Cafe's definition of grilled is quite different than mine. This bread was about as grilled as it would be if it were left out in the sun for a week. It felt more stale than crisp.

Besides the bread, I was really hoping one of the components, besides the mayonnaise would have provided a bigger flavor pop. The mango, while a powerful flavor, was not as present as I thought it would be, and the curry flavor was hidden a little too much beneath the mango and almonds.

Overall, not too bad, but it could have been a lot better. I would really like to find one of these types of sandwiches done even better next time.

Did I just say I would look for another chicken salad sandwich?

I must need some sleep tonight.

Until next week, Readers!

Curried Chicken Salad Sandwich
*** 1/2 Stars
Jinky's Studio Cafe
4000 Colfax Avenue
Studio City, CA 91604

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Sandwich!

If he were alive today, John Montagu the 4th Earl of Sandwich, and the namesake for the item that is adored by this blog, would have turned 293 years old.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Brat's All, Folks!

Well Dear Readers, with Portland wrapped up last week, it is time we make our way back to the South Land and hit up some trendy LA hotspots.

Living in the Studio City/Sherman Oaks area, we have a lot of new restaurants pop up in the area over time, and a fair amount of them are worth checking out. One of those eating establishments I've heard a lot about is Brats Bros.

Tucked into a small spot on Ventura Blvd, Brats Bros.' interior looks like a German beer hall, an excellent precursor to Oktoberfest at Big Bear Lake (which I would attend one week after eating here). The atmosphere at first seemed very warm and inviting, that is, until I tried to sit down.

While the tables and the giant shared table were all booked up, there were a number of seats around the bar where we could sit. My first seat, near the bar but not at it, I sat at for 15 minutes with not so much as a "Hello" from one of the waitstaff.

Then when two seats opened at the end of the bar, it was another 10 minutes before we were even asked what we wanted to drink, and even then, the servers trays were stacked in front of us so there was no room at first to put our beer down.

So, why did i stay?

Maybe part of me wanted to believe that these sausages were really as good as advertised.

Maybe the other part of me wanted to let you know the service here for the most part is unreliable at best.

I ordered the Rancher Brat, a fairly standard offering of smoked beef and garlic topped with sauerkraut. The sausage was very good, the beef was flavorful and was matched by a strong garlic flavor that I thoroughly enjoyed. The sauerkraut on top added a great tangy flavor to match with the savory sausage. On the side I ordered red cabbage and creamy potato salad. Both were excellent complements to the sausage itself.

Even though this is a sandwich blog, I have to say that the real standout of the evening was the dessert. A stack of pancakes with raisins, apples, hazelnut and syrup, it was delicious. Amazing even. This dessert alone is worth the visit to Brats Bros....well, and maybe the beer too.

Until next week!

Racnher Brat
*** Stars
13355 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Eating My Way Through Portland, OR (Part 5 of 5)

Welcome back Dear Readers!

While thinking about the sandwich I was going to write about for this week's entry, I began thinking of another thought that permeated my mind while wandering through Portland.

Would I ever just happen to bump into Chuck Palahniuk?

I know it's a crazy thought. Like I would just wander into Powell's Books or Stumptown Coffee and there he'd be. Sitting in the corner reading some new fiction book or jotting down notes for his next novel. 

It's actually better that it didn't happen, as I'd probably just end up not able to speak.

But let's pretend for a moment. Let's pretend that I did meet Palahniuk in Portland on the night I stopped by the food truck square and ordered a banh mi.

It was after 11pm, and a little chilly as I ordered a banh mi from a truck in the square. I waited in the cold as the early departees from the bars made their way down the street. In the dim light between my Vietnamese food truck and a reindeer sausage grill I sat eating the sandwich.

This is when Palahniuk walks up and sits down with some food offering from a neighboring truck.

This is also the time I internally try not to freak out, like that time I sat behind Tom Waits in Mel's Diner on Sunset Boulevard. My voice was about 10 octaves higher than normal then. 

But I ask him about his new book, Damned, which Doubleday so graciously presented myself and 99 other bloggers with copies of. I'd just finished reading it only hours before walking out for this late night eatery adventure.

The book centers around Madison Spencer, a thirteen year old girl who dies from a marijuana overdose and is condemned to hell. While discussing the story, Palahniuk talks about how he was working on the book as he was taking care of his mother while she was suffering from lung cancer (and eventually died). 

In a way, it's a much more comforting and personal book than any of his other novels are. I'm sure he feels close to every character he's created, but you feel like he's close to Madison. 

It also feels like he's trying to comfort himself from the thought of our inevitable death and that everything will be okay when we die because Hell, according to Madison, is also "where all the cool people go". 

Yes. Despite being more sentimental in a way than Palahniuk readers may be used to, this book is still filled with the sick and the absurd.

And it's wonderful.

At that point, I finished my sub-par banh mi (the Nom Nom Truck in LA and Banh Mi My Tho in Alhambra are worlds better) and Palahniuk and I part ways after thanking him for another excellent read.

Walking back to my hotel that night I thought of my own writing, this blog in particular, this pursuit of the Danger Sandwich.

I thought I could only hope to match Palahniuk's voice and style with my own, but then realized that maybe doing so is not the point of my writing this blog.

Maybe my goal for this blog is not just to find the most treasured of sandwiches, but also to establish my voice as a writer.

So like I joined Madison on her adventure through Hell in Damned, I thank you my Dear Readers for following me on this adventure.

Not only of sandwiches, but of self.

Until next week.

by Chuck Palaniuk
**** stars out of 5

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eating My Way Through Portland, OR (Part 4 of 5)

There are certain days, even having only visited Portland a few short weeks ago, that I yearn to return to the city for a long weekend and enjoy the city's culture...and food of course.

Oh, hello there dear Readers! Welcome back. Just musing to myself here.

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, and family members headed to the West Coast for a visit, I was thinking about one of the sandwiches I had in Portland that is perfect for leftovers.

One night while walking back to the hotel, we stopped at Kenny and Zuke's, a delicatessen near The Pearl. Scanning their expansive menu, I noticed a sandwich titled A Day After Thanksgiving and my mind was made up for my evening sandwiching.

The sandwich was packed with chunks of roast turkey, sausage and mushroom stuffing, gravy and cranberry between two slices of thick grilled white bread.  The savory turkey, stuffing and gravy were given a sharp contrast with the slightly sweet and tart cranberry spread, and made my tongue jump back and forth between numerous taste sensations.

Luckily we arrived at this place right before closing. I would have been real disappointed had I missed out on this one.

I've made my own Thanksgiving sandwiches before, but something about this sandwich really blew me away. This will definitely be a stop I'll be making the next time I visit Portland.

And so ends the fourth week writing about my trip to Portland, one sandwich left to go to close out the 31st state I've visited.

Until next week readers...

Why don't you all leave a comment below telling me about your favorite sandwich while travelling.

A Day After Thanksgiving
**** Stars
Kenny and Zuke's Delicatessen
1038 SW Stark Street
Portland, OR 97205

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Eating My Way Through Portland, OR (Part 3 of 5)

Hello again, dear Readers!

I realized while I was organizing the photos for this post, that Portland will be the second most reviewed city on the blog here, besides Los Angeles of course. which is pretty impressive as we slowly march on towards the 100th sandwich entry.

I'm hoping that as the next few months come along, I'll be able to branch out again from Los Angeles and visit New York, DC and maybe even revisit Seattle as I was last there before my journey to find The Danger Sandwich began.

But back to Portland...

Besides visiting Portland for its incredible eats, I was also hoping to visit one of the numerous breweries in town. For being such a small town, Portland is home to more breweries than any other city in the world.

Impressive right?

Besides hitting Rogue (which was excellent), I made a stop at Deschutes Brewery, of which I had heard much about, specifically their Black Butte Porter.

Black Butte is this incredibly rich, dark porter that has notes of coffee and chocolate. The flavor just stays with you long after you've finished the last sip, and now I can admit that I am thoroughly hooked on their beer (luckily a distributor nearby stacks up on Black Butte). Their other beers were also top notch and some of the best local brewed beers I have ever sampled.

With this delicious porter in mind, I decided to order the Black Butte Porter Burger for my sandwich sampling. This medium-rare burger was made with seared Coleman Ranch beef, Black Butte Porter Worcestershire sauce, asiago cheese, grilled red onions, seasonal mushrooms and Black Butte Porter mustard on a freshly baked bun.

This burger was excellent. The meat was cooked perfectly with a little bit of pink on the inside. The beef was tender, savory and with big flavor in every bite. The Worcestershire sauce and mustard made were excellent additions with their contrasting salty and spicy flavors. The addition of the porter to these two condiments tempered the flavors of each while adding a bit of the chocolate coffee flavor of the porter.

The grilled onions were freshly grilled with a bit of crunch and the seasonal mushrooms gave an excellent pop with every bite. Oh and that freshly baked roll? Delicious, fluffy, and held together until the end.

All in all, an excellent sandwich, but there was one more star of the show which we enjoyed during the beer tasting before dinner: the brewery pretzel. It wasn't just the pretzel that was a stand out winner, it was the dipping sauce, a mixture of white Tillamook cheddar, cream cheese and Black Butte Porter mustard.

Wow. We even had to use some of the leftover cheese dip for the fries, it was amazing.

And that is that for this week's Danger Sandwich. Week three of Portland has continued to wow me with the city's wonderful selection of food and beer. So far I know it's a place that I will have to return to again in order to sample more eats and beers, but will this feeling hold up through next week's review? Or will the next sandwich fail to live up to the Portland hype?

Only one way to find out.

Until next week, dear Readers...

Black Butte Porter Burger
**** Stars
210 NW 11th Avenue
Portland, OR

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Eating My Way Through Portland, OR (Part 2 of 5)

Welcome back, Dear Readers!

One of the things that stood out to me while in Portland (especially coming from Los Angeles) was the apparent lack of food trucks at first.

Here in LA, you can't go anywhere without seeing a handful of these trucks driving around, and so I thought with Portland having such excellent food, they ought to have some great food trucks, right?

Well imagine my surprise one night while wandering the city we found an entire parking lot (one square city block) that had food trucks lined all four sides.

Not on the street mind you, inside the parking lot so that you could peruse the food samplings without the trucks blocking traffic.

Excellent idea, but the problem became the fact that there were too many options now.

On my last day in Portland I wanted one last sandwich to really leave a lasting memory, and so while out on a walk we passed by one of the parking lots filled with trucks.  It took me about 20 minutes, and two laps around the perimeter of the lot but I finally decided to eat at a truck called "Eat This".

Simple enough.

What really drew me in was the lead sandwich on their menu: A flatbread sandwich filled with garlic mashed potatoes, Black Angus meatloaf and grilled Walla Walla onions. What could make this sandwich even better? Oh, maybe the fact that the flatbread was handmade to order.

one side of the food truck square
Each flatbread was rolled out when you ordered, and slightly grilled before being stuffed with the ingredients. The bread was fresh, soft, warm ad delicious and wrapped nicely around the ingredients.

The Black Angus meatloaf may have been the best part about any of the sandwiches out here. It was soft, tender but with a slightly grilled outside and a strong Black Angus beef flavor. Even this meat had to have been made in the morning. No day old ingredients at all. The onions were nice and crisp too even after being grilled.

If you haven't guessed by now, I devoured this sandwich. It was amazing and bursting with flavor. If I hadn't been stuffed, or eaten all weekend long, I might have gone back for another.

But for now, I'll just keep it in mind for my next weekend visit.

Join me again next week, for MORE PORTLAND.

Until then, Readers...

Handmade Flatbread with Braised Black Angus Meat Loaf with
Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Walla Walla Onions
**** 1/2 stars
Eat This!
On 9th Avenue between Washington and Alder
Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eating My Way Through Portland, OR (Part 1 of 5)

The coolest logo ever.
Hello, Readers!

This past weekend, I made a trip up to the northwest for the first time since my 2009 trip to Seattle. This time I stopped in the city of Portland, Oregon, which is a city I've always wanted to visit since I fell in love with the northwest on my last trip. Coincidentally, this trip was also my last state on the West Coast to visit (and 31st overall).

But what is one to do in the city of Portland? Besides visiting a few historical and sightseeing spots, Portland is well known for its food and beer. Breweries and restaurants are on every corner, and it made the selection of sandwiches for this blog so difficult.

This may be why it'll be a five part series.

Prior to my trip, I had planned out a few spots that I wanted to visit and review for the blog, but today's entry came from a chance wandering through the north part of the downtown area. Passing by an awesome sign with a sickle and a hand holding a sandwich (akin to the former USSR logo), I decided I had to stop into The People's Sandwich of Portland.

Being drawn in by the awesome logo and posters outside, the first challenge of the weekend came in choosing which sandwich to eat. Each with its own cool name, I decided to go with the Hammer & Pickle.

Why you ask? The Hammer & Pickle is a cubano sandwich, and we all know how I feel about cubanos.

I frequently reference the cubano at Porto's in Burbank as being the top sandwich I have eaten since starting this blog, so this sandwich from TPSP had a lot to live up to.

The sliced ham and pork loin were grilled and joined with melted Swiss cheese, crisp pickles, homemade mustard (all condiments are made in house) and mayo (made with organic eggs) and pressed in a french roll on the grill.

The ham and pork loin were tender and delicious. The Swiss was melted throughout the sandwich lending a delicious smoky/savory flavor. I think one of the best surpsises in the sandwich came from the homemade mustard which reminded me a bit of horseradish with that slight burning feeling at the back of your nose.

Note: I love the taste and feeling of horseradish. It is always a good compliment, and that mustard-y feeling is present here in all its delicious glory.

So you stack all of these delicious ingredients into a french roll that's pressed on a grill with a crispy, flaky and golden outside with soft and fresh insides and you have...

The best cubano I have ever eaten. Hands down. All of the flavors blended together incredibly well and were each prominent on their own, contributing their portion of deliciousness.

Oh yeah, and they even threw in a tiny tootsie roll for after your sandwich.

Sorry Porto's of Burbank, you had an excellent run as the top sandwich of the blog, but I will now find other reasons to visit Portland, just to have this sandwich again.

Part 1 of my trip to Portland ended on an incredibly high note, could my other stops live up to the hype?

Until next week...

Hammer & Pickle
***** Stars
The People's Sandwich of Portland
53 NW 1st Street
Portland, OR

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Farewell Coffee Table, Farewell

Hey Readers.

I come to you this week to talk about the closing of a great local restaurant.

The Coffee Table in Silverlake closed its doors last week and the neighborhood will really miss this great little place that offered not only great breakfast foods, but coffee and of course, sandwiches.

Now, way back before my first post here on The Danger Sandwich, I visited The Coffee Table and ordered a Portobello Mushroom Burger that was supposed to be my first sandwich review. And it turns out I never used that sandwich for any review because I had started to visit so many other great places that I kept pushing The Coffee Table back into my "To Use If Necessary" file. Well now with the recent events, I figured why not use it?

I even scribbled down notes of the sandwich afterwards, just do I wouldn't forget when I finally got around to it.

For my first foray into the world of sandwich reviewing I decided to take the Portobello Mushroom sandwich for a ride and was pleasantly surprised. As I've noted in the past about the problems of cooking mushrooms, you can easily turn a delicious and perfectly ripe mushroom into mush with just a second too long on the grill, but this managed to do it just right.

Ah heck, enough about the sandwich.

The best part about this place is that it was an excellent local place to gather and enjoy the scenery and chat with friends. With a covered outdoor patio and a very cool indoor coffee shop vibe, this place had it all, and was in a very cool neighborhood.

It's always a shame to see a place like this go, and especially what it was going for.

Apparently the developers that will be working with the property plan to turn the area into a building of condos and a small retail area to accompany it.

What an odd addition to a neighborhood that is anything but condos and high profile retail centers.

Until next week, Readers! Leave me a comment telling me about your favorite local place to eat, drink or catch up with friends.

Portabella Mushroom Sandwich
*** Stars
The Coffee Table
2930 Rowena Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fair Food Is Fun Food

Hello Readers!

This past weekend, I ended up visiting one of my favorite places to spend an afternoon at the end of summer: The LA County Fair.

Besides walking around and enjoying my time at the fair, my favorite part  is the food. I will eat anything that a fair provides as long as it's fried or covered in some sort of chocolate or barbecue sauce. Which is practically everything.

So of course, after hearing about an incredible new treat making the rounds at SoCal fairs, the first thing that I ate was not a sandwich. It was Deep Fried Kool Aid.

I know what you're thinking: How do you deep fry a liquid? The Kool Aid powder is mixed with water and flour to make a thick pancake-like substance which is then scooped out and dropped into the deep fryer. The finished product is a slightly cherry flavored cake donut hole topped with powdered sugar. Delicious.

Now like I said, with so many different types of food available at the fair, it was hard to finally settle on a sandwich to eat, but eventually I decided on a BBQ beef sandwich from one of the wood fire grills located across from the race track.

The sandwich was delicious. The beef was roughly chopped and had an incredibly smoky flavor and had been smoked for so long that it just fell apart in my mouth.

The barbecue sauce that was layered on top of it was tangy, peppery and full of smoky barbecue flavor and was almost overwhelming, but paired with a cool refreshing coke, it was downright enjoyable.

Now the bread was just a standard roll, but let's give it a round of applause, because despite the pound of barbecued meat and gallon of sauces piled on top of it, this thing held together until the end without so much as threatening to fall apart.

All in all, I'd rule this fair visit a true success, and the real winner here is, well...not my stomach or cholesterol levels, but hey, that's why we can't go the fair every weekend.

Or can we....

BBQ Beef Sandwich
*** 1/2 Stars
LA County Fair

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Challenge To The Throne

deliciousness in a red basket

Welcome back this week Dear Readers!

This week I was back on the hunt for the best cheesesteak in Los Angeles and this time I was taken to the top competitor of my favorite cheesesteak in the city.

Heading towards Burbank one evening, I stopped in at Philly's Best on Olive Ave. The inside of the shop is plastered with photos of Philadelphia and plenty of sports paraphernalia including pennants for each of the four major sports teams in town.

But with all of the mementos of my home town, could the sandwich live up to the praise I've heard? Even more, could it live up to the standards I have set from eating at South Street Steaks (only a half mile away) so often?

I ordered the Philly's Best sandwich since that had cheese, mushrooms and sweet peppers piled high on top of the sandwich. My first concern hit me fairly quickly as when I received my sandwich and saw that the cheese was on the bottom.

Not again. Really? Here's another sandwich with a cold hunk of cheese in my mouth on top of hot steak.

But oddly enough, they fully melted the cheese before adding it to the sandwich. They must have cooked the cheese on top of the steak instead of simply adding cold sliced cheese to the roll before steak (looking right at you South Street Experience truck.)

With the cheese melted and the deliciously fresh, flaky and soft inside of a true Amoroso roll, It was time to critique the rest of the sandwich.

The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and popped in my mouth. Mushrooms can be truly difficult to cook right. One second too long and they're soft, mushy waste. But if you get it right, they're firm, juicy and pop when you bite into them. The sweet peppers were good, but didn't add as much flavor as the mushrooms.

Now the steak....the steak was delicious. Full of flavor, not dry, tender, and absolutely delicious.

This sandwich is a close runner to South Street, and truthfully may top that sandwich as the King of LA cheesesteaks for the moment. There is a big difference though between the two shops in that South Street has a lot more tvs for viewing Philly sports games, and tends to play all Phillies and Eagles game, while when I was at Philly's Best, the two tvs were playing Tim Burton's 'Batman' and a college football game.

An easily remedied problem.

If you hit up Philly's Best in Burbank one time, which I highly suggest, also make sure to look for my photo on their wall of Philly friends. I'm sure I'll be up there soon enough with how much I'll be frequenting this spot.

Until next week Readers....

Philly's Best Cheesesteak
**** 1/2 Stars
Philly's Best
1419 W. Olive Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91506

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Taste Of Chicago

Greetings Readers!

You know, I've been to 30 states and 12 countries, but one city that I have never actually stepped foot in is Chicago.

I've passed through the state of Illinois on one of my road trips to the west coast, but never actually was able to stop in this gleaming metropolis, and for that I feel cheated.

Despite this, I still was intrigued upon hearing of a restaurant here in Burbank called Taste Chicago, offering authentic Chicago-style food (and all Cubs and Sox games for you fans). I was even more intrigued to find out that the restaurant was owned by Arlene Mantegna, wife of famous character actor Joe Mantegna.

I didn't get to hear the voice of The Simpsons' Fat Tony while I ate, but I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of food here: Chicago-style deep dish pizzas, Chicago-style hot dogs, and the sandwich that I settled on, the Hot Chicago-Style Italian Beef.

The sandwich was packed with this delicious, thinly sliced, tender and juicy roast beef into a flaky soft Italian roll and then seemingly dunked into a vat of gravy because this sandwich was soaked in it.

My first thought upon seeing that was that there was no way this roll would stay in one piece until the end of this sandwich, but I was proven wrong. Bite after bite, the bread stayed together even though it was practically soaked through. My sandwich tray had a significant collection of the dripping (enough to dip the sandwich back into) and still managed to stay together. Bravo.

To make my sandwich "hot" besides just the temperature, Taste Chicago added a relish of sorts containing giardiniera peppers and other vegetables. This was the perfect flavor contrast and the spicy cut of the relish went up against the mellow flavor of the beef.

All in all, I must say that if the actual city of Chicago can present delicious sandwiches as good as the ones at the Mantegnas Taste Chicago, I will be headed there soon enough...and multiple times.

Until next week, Readers!

**** Stars
Italian Beef Sandwich (Hot)
Taste Chicago
603 N. Hollywood Way
Burbank, CA 91505

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Delicious Combinations

Hey Readers!

You ever sit and think sometimes how certain combinations come into existence?

Peanut Butter and Jelly? Milk and Cereal? Burger and Cheese?

Well this week while taking part in Mystery Beer Night at Good Microbrew, I had the Lagunitas Chicken Sandwich which combines buffalo chicken wings and sandwiches.

The thick chicken breasts were breaded, fried and covered in spicy buffalo wing sauce on a potato roll, topped with bleu cheese dressing.

The chicken was juicy, thickly cut and not too greasy. it also lacked the fried flavor that so often ruins fried chicken.

The buffalo wing sauce was also very spicy, but not too hot, and actually did have excellent flavor. I really do have a problem with making something too incredibly spicy for the heck of it. My tongue can be on fire from a hot sauce, but if it at least tastes good, or adds something to the flavor profile, I'll accept it.

It's when you make something so hot that you can't taste anything for days that makes no sense, and usually disqualifies a dish for me.

The bleu cheese dressing on top of the chicken also added an excellent flavor and heat contrast making this delightful sandwich with a lot of flavor depth.

I've stopped at Good Microbrew before and I've always enjoyed my time there, but this classic sports food, transformed into a sandwich, and with the addition of $3 mystery beers, makes this time so much better. This sandwich truly surpassed the name of its maker.

Until next week...

Lagunitas Chicken Sandwich
*** 1/2 Stars
Good Microbrew
3725 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Visit With Jersey Mike

Welcome back, dear Readers!

This week I took a little trip to Jersey.

Well, maybe just a place called Jersey Mike's whose cheesesteaks the locals have recommended to me numerous times before.

I figured, maybe I should try it and see if these Angelenos have any idea what they're talking about in the realm of cheesesteak science.

Heading out to Burbank, I arrived at Jersey Mike's and was greeted by something odd insider: A sign that said 'Parking For Dodgers Fans Only'.

Excuse me, but I'm fairly certain a sign like that in New Jersey would like end with your body being disposed of in the Pine Barrens (No idea what that is? Click here).

Despite the sight of this sign, I decided to give this authentic cheesesteak a try, and ordered the Big Kahuna, which has grilled onions and peppers, plus mushrooms, jalapenos and extra cheese.

Now as you Readers know by now, I've had some good experiences with cheesesteaks on the left coast, and I was hoping that this one would deliver, but I was sadly disappointed. While it was good, it wasn't great, and didn't stand out from the pack of contenders. The steak, jalapenos and mushrooms were tasty, for sure, but the problem was the cheese. There was just too much of it that it overpowered most of the flavor.

I did like that they heated the sandwich up and then wrapped it in foil before serving it. It sealed the bread up nicely and kept the insides nice and hot.

Overall though, this sandwich was somewhat of a disappointment. The locals here may like it because it's their only exposure to a true Philadelphia sandwich, but I would highly recommend a number of other places that would better serve your tastebuds.

Until next week Readers...

P.s. - What's on your favorite cheesesteak, and where do you get it from?

The Big Kahuna Cheesesteak
*** Stars
Jersey Mike's (various locations)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Night At The Ballpark

You know, Readers, you may be noticing a trend on the blog here.

I've been reviewing a lot of hot dogs/sausages recently, but I swear there is a good reason.

It's summertime.

And for me, summertime means two things: baseball and hot dogs.

Not surprisingly, this entry combines both of them, as I spent my Monday evening watching the Phillies beat the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

A cool summer evening, Roy "Doc" Halladay on the mound, a good rivaly, and lots of excitement. In this atmosphere at Chavez Ravine, the only thing missing is a legendary Dodger Dog, but for this blog, I don't do the mundane or even the "slightly-not-so-good-for-you" sandwiches, as you know.

For you, I optioned for the "Doyer Dog."

This footlong all-beef hot dog is grilled, and covered with chili, nacho cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, and onions.


This hot dog was the brainchild of someone who obviously loves ballpark food. This is the epitome of stomach destroying food that makes ballparks so special. Where else could you eat something like this and be able to write it off?

Eating this hot dog is an absolute mess. I had to avoid spilling one of its many condiments on my Chase Utley jersey throughout the challenge of eating it. I mean, first of all, how do you even start? It's not the easiest sandwich to handle.

That being said, this monstrosity of a sandwich is one that should be enjoyed not only by those visiting Dodger Stadium, but also anyone hosting a barbecue for the summer. So the next time you're at the supermarket, make sure you stock up on these extra ingredients, and enjoy your very own Doyer Dog in the comforts of your own home as the baseball season starts to heat up

Until next week, Readers...

Update: I also attended Tuesday night's game and again danced with the Doyer Dog. My stomach may not appreciate it, so I hope that you all understand that I put myself at great risk to bring you the best in sandwich reviews.

Also, shout out to Robert Grossman for hooking us up with tickets on Monday night. Thanks!

Doyer Dog
*** 1/2 Stars
Dodger Stadium
Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Brewery Is The Place For Me

Dearest Sandwich Lovers:

There's something you may not know about me, over the past year and a half, I have become more and more interested and skilled in homebrewing.

That's right, I'll spend afternoons brewing in my kitchen as the scent of cooking grains fills the kitchen. Then I'll wait the four weeks it takes for the brew to be fully fermented and carbonated. Really nothing is better than drinking your own home made beer.

Keeping this in mind, I have been expanding my beer tasting to lesser known beers and locally produced craft brews. This desire to find better tasting beer has lead me to search out small breweries in the Los Angeles area. Recently I found the Bonaventure Brewing Co. and that's where this week's adventure begins.

Located in the historic Bonaventure Westin Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, the BBC is a great little restaurant offering pub food and that up to 4 different craft beers, and a rotating fifth option.

For the beers I switched between an incredible Strawberry Blonde (with fresh and powerful strawberry flavor) and a standard Hefeweisse. Both of them were fresh, crisp and refreshing. The blonde was probably the best I've had in quite awhile.

But we're not here to just talk beer, this blog is all about sandwiches, and for this week's sandwich I had the Ahi Burger with wasabi mayo, arugula,tomatoes and onion rings on a wheat bun.

The burger itself was incredible. The Ahi patty was about an inch thick even after cooking and was full of flavor, without being too fishy. It was tender, juicy, and fell apart with every bite.

The wasabi mayo left a very light spicy wasabi flavor without being too hot or overpowering. The onion rings and arugula combined to add a crunchy contrast to the soft fish patty. the onion rings also weren't overfried or too over-powering in flavor. The wheat bun was fresh, and held together until the end.

But, did I say tomatoes? Isn't that a huge negative with sandwiches so far?

Usually, yes, but these tomatoes were not mealy at all. I even added them myself to the sandwich and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Overall, a most excellent sandwich.

So my dear readers, if you are in Los Angeles, I can highly recommend the Bonaventure Brewing Co. with their delicious hand crafted beer and delicious sandwiches.

But even if you're not in LA, I must recommend that you search out your own local microbrewery and support your local beermasters. And while you're at it, enjoy a great opub styled sandwich too.

Until next week...

Ahi Tuna Burger
**** 1/2 Stars
Bonaventure Brewing Co.
404 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Bonaventure Brewing Co.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Where's The Beef?

Greetings fellow sandwich lovers!

I've come to realize that sometimes, what we're looking for can be right under our noses. On the other hand, what we may find there might not be exactly what we want.

Let me explain...

I work in Studio City, arguable the best part of the Valley, and in this little neighborhood there is a well spoken of Argentinian restaurant known as LaLa's.

Now for the record, I love Argentinian food. Adore it. It's amazing. I love it so much in fact that every time I drive up to Santa Barbara I stop at this amazing Argentine restaurant (Cafe Buenos Aires on State St. for those of you interested).

So after being in Studio City for years, I decided that now was the time to order a sandwich from LaLa's. The first point to mention here is the amount of food that is given with the order1: 1.) the sandwich was very sizable; 2.) the fries were more than a large order from any major chain (and much more delicious); and 3.) a few slices of bread with delicious chimichurri sauce.

I swear if it were healthy to drink chimichurri sauce, I'd probably do it.

For this adventure, I ordered the Lomito sandwich. Finely sliced Angus beef, lettuce, tomatoes and Argentine sauce, I was hoping to be greeted with excellence, instead I was sadly disappointed.

The bread was good, the lettuce was crisp, even the tomatoes were enjoyable (and if you know me, that's rare for me to say). So what was the problem?

The beef.

Was it tasty? Yes it was. It was full of flavor and juicy. The problem was the chewiness. For something that seemed so well cooked, I expected a bit more of it to fall apart in my mouth, instead, there were times where I was pulling the sandwich away to separate it from what I had already tried to bite off.

This didn't happen every time, but enough to disappoint me.

I had tasted greatness, only to have it violently ripped away between two halves of gnashing, moderately pearly white teeth (coffee's doing wonders for that).

So would I be dissuaded from visiting LaLa's again? No, probably not.

Just next time, I won't be ordering the beef.

Until next week, readers!

*** Stars
Lomito Sandwich
LaLa's Grill
Studio City and Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summertime In The City

Greetings Dear Readers!

This destination for this week's adventure began a few days ago when I read an article about hip new restaurants in downtown Los Angeles, and was again brought to my attention the following day in a conversation about downtown eateries.

For those of you who do not live in LA, the downtown area can be a ghost town on weekends, as the business people have left for other areas of the city, and there aren't as many bars, restaurants or hot spots to hit up.

That is beginning to change though, and Wurstküche is one of the newest hot spots.

Tucked away into the arts district on a fairly empty street, Wurstküche serves up a wide range of sausage sandwiches, Belgian fries, and has an incredible selection of German and Belgian beers on tap. What a meal to have in the middle of the summer!

This is the place that dreams are made of...but could it hold up on sampling their offerings?

I stared at the menu for quite a while and finally settled on the Sante Fe Jack Cheese and Jalapeno Smoked Turkey sausage sandwich. Add some Belgian fries to that and a Floris apple ale and you have an incredible lunch.

The sandwich itself was awesome. The sausage had a good 'pop' to it and had an amazing kick to it with the roasted jalapeno. The roll it was wrapped in was fresh, soft, and thoroughly delicious. The only complaint is that I wish the roll wasn't so big, or the sausage were slightly larger so there wasn't so much excess bread. The sauerkraut and sweet peppers I had it topped off with were crisp, fresh and full of contrasting sour/sweet flavor.

The Belgian fries were thick cut, crunchy on the outside and hot and fluffy on the inside. These fries were amazing and even got topped off with some coarse sea salt. These are a must-order anytime you go there.

And lastly, the Floris Apple Ale. An ale with the taste of apples? Are you kidding? Delicious. Light, crisp, refreshing and apple-y. I would have ordered five of these things if I had the time.

Overall, this experience at Wurstküche was unbelievable (and only got better after crossing the street to Angel City Brewing Co. for a pint). For all you LA-ers i know downtown can sometimes feel like a trek, but this is one expedition worthy of the drive.

Sante Fe Jack Cheese and Jalapeno Sausage Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
800 E. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sun, Shore and Sandwiches

Greetings, Dear Readers!

This week I've moved east from Philadelphia to Wildwood, NJ and the wonderful Jersey shore.

No, don't run off just yet! There's no GTL or "battling the beats", just a nice little write up of some delicious eats.

Yeah, I just did that.

One night, while hanging out with the entire extended family in Wildwood, I sat down to eat a cheese steak from Tony Luke's.

This sandwich shop, while also being stationed in Philadelphia, is well known for its signature sandwiches and I'm going to let you in on a little secret here: I've never had a sandwich from Tony Luke's.

I know, some of you may wonder how that's even possible, but now I know what's I've been missing all along.

The sandwich was packed with delicious steak, provolone cheese, and grilled onions and peppers. Despite how much was layered between the bread, the roll did an amazing job at keeping everything together, with a minimal amount of sogginess. The again, I really didn't give the sandwich enough time to fall apart after I opened it.

The meat was delicious, well cooked, and tender. The onions and peppers were well cooked too, not soggy, and still with a little pop left to them. The ony thing that caught me off guard was the use of red peppers instead of green peppers, which lent a slightly different taste to the sandwich.

The cheese was also very noticeable on this sandwich because there was so much piled on. In some bites it was almost overpowering and definitely caused my tongue to get stuck sometimes. Regardless, provolone trumps wiz any day and it still made this sandwich a real winner.

One day, I'll have to rank all of the cheesesteaks I've eaten in a blog entry, but for now, you should know that Tony Luke's is definitely a worthwhile destination.

And so ends my trip back home to Philadelphia. Much fun was had by all, and many sandwiches were eaten by me. Many thanks to my family for always making trips back east exceptional.

Until next week, Readers...

Tony Luke's Cheesesteak
**** Stars
Various Locations