Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Welcome back Dear Readers!

I hope the week since we last met has treated you well.

I know the sandwich gods were looking down on me this week as I've found some excellent entries to tell you about in the weeks to come.

But for now, let's travel back in time to my Jury Duty this month, when I was lucky enough to try a famous restaurant twice in the same week.

This time I tackled the Braised Short Rib sandwich at Gram and Papa's

I've already described in detail the decor of Gram and Papa's in my post two weeks ago (The Verdict Is...Dangerous! 1/12/2011), and this aspect alone makes this an excellent spot to lunch with friends.

But now that I wasn't taking in my surroundings and could solely concentrate on the sandwich at hand, would it still hold up to the gold standard of the Chicken Salad Sandwich?

I mean, we are talking about a Braised Short Rib sandwich here.

Then again, short ribs layered on Cheerios sounds appealing to me. How could we go wrong here?

The thing is that G&P's has another home run on their hands with this sandwich, even for people who aren't as taken in with short ribs as I am.

The ribs themselves are delicious. Tender, slightly smoked, and incredibly juicy, you don't ever want to stop chewing because every bite adds another dose of flavor to the mix.

The ribs are covered in a smoky provolone. It's perfectly melted between the the roughly chopped chunks of meat and adds an excellent flavor contrast to the ribs.

Finishing off this sandwich is a delicious dipped brioche roll. With a lightly glazed and golden exterior, and a fluffy and buttery inside, this bread is an excellent match with the sandwich and just falls apart when you bite into it because it's so soft.

It's rare that I've written about two different sandwiches from the same restaurant but Gram and Papa's deserves it.

As to which is better, The Chicken Salad Sandwich or the Braised Short Ribs Sandwich, I'd say it's close but I'd make the Chicken Salad Sandwich the winner.

But in the end, we're all winners when we get to eat these two DANGERous entries.

Until next week, Readers!

Braised Short Rib Sandwich
**** Stars
Gram and Papa's
227 E. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Good or Great?

Welcome Back, Dear Readers!

Have you been good sandwich researchers this week and found your own taste of heaven?

I continued my lifelong journey in search of THE DANGER SANDWICH by finally visiting a local favorite in Silverlake this past weekend. A little place called Good Microbrew and Grill.

It's hard to miss Good as you drive down Sunset Blvd towards Dodger Stadium and Downtown, almost as hard as it is to hear anything bad about the food.

So deciding to do research on their sandwiches, I headed there on a busy Saturday night.

Being a microbrewery, I thought I would pick a beer to drink while deciding on a sandwich to sample. This place has an amazing beer selection. One house brand microbrew that I tried was called Mathilde, and I would come back to Good just to have this beer again, I Highly recommend it. If you like some hard to find beers, you have a second reason to visit.

The selection of sandwiches and burgers at Good will have you second-guessing every decision you make. If you're like me, you'll finalize the decision only when the waiter asks you for your order.

I finally decided on the Pressed Sandwich: a grilled chicken sandwich, with Brie cheese, caramelized onions, and sauteed mushrooms all stuffed into a french roll.

The french roll had a flaky crust on the outside, but the inside wasn't as light and fluffy as I would have expected. The bread wasn't stale, but it didn't seem totally fresh either.

The chicken was excellent. Lightly grilled and incredibly tender on the inside. Every bite of it was juicy and flavorful with the slightest taste of blackened chicken in every bite. Truly the star of this sandwich.

The Brie was deliciously soft and savory and contrasted exceptionally well with the sweet and soft caramelized onions.

The mushrooms were especially impressive. If you've ever tried to sautee mushrooms, you may find that they can quickly overcook and become too soft or mushy. It takes a skillful hand to cook them enough to truly bring out their flavor, and still make them pop when you bite down on them. The Pressed Sandwich accomplishes both.

Overall, I would say this sandwich is definitely worth your time. And from my experience, and that of others, I don't think it would be presumptuous to change the name of Good to Great.

And on that note dear Readers, I ask you: what is the best sandwich you've had lately?

Until next week!

Pressed Sandwich
**** Stars
Good Microbrew and Grill
3725 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Verdict Is...Dangerous!

Good Morning, Dear Readers!

Last week I was called in for jury duty, and I was picked in the first round.

As a person who doesn't like to waste opportunities when it comes to sandwiching, I decided to hit up some Downtown LA sandwich shops while doing my civic duty.

The one place I've wanted to visit downtown since reading Los Angeles magazine's top 17 sandwiches of LA was Gram and Papa's on 9th street in the fashion district.

The article raved about the Chicken Salad sandwich and I was determined to have it in order to complete the list.

The only problem is that I was never able to get downtown during G&P's hours, but now that I had an hour and a half break from court to walk 3 miles round trip, I set off.

From the outside, Gram and Papa's doesn't stand out much, and if you're not looking for it, may pass it by at first, but the inside is a different story.

A cozy little restaurant with plenty of tables that fills up quickly, Gram and Papa's is an inviting place to have lunch with friends or co-workers. Brick walls, dim lighting, and large print photos of actors that adorn the walls (the absolute coolest one being Dennis Hopper staring directly at camera), this place has atmosphere that just makes you feel cool by eating there.

Before I start with this review, I should note that I've never been a huge fan of chicken salad sandwiches, but I wanted to remain open-minded after hearing so many great reviews about Gram and Papas' and their delicious sandwiches.

My sandwich was quickly made and I grabbed a spot in a corner and unwrapped it. The brown pretzel bun stared back at me, promising DANGERous sandwich glory, would it hold up?

The first bite of this sandwich, I can't even describe. The pretzel bun was soft, with a smooth outside, that just melted in my mouth.

The chicken was roughly cut into generously sized chunks. They were tender, juicy, and full of flavor. It may be the best chicken I've ever had on a sandwich.

My one problem with chicken salad has always been the amount of mayonnaise used. This sandwich mixes the right amount in with the chicken. It moistenes the sandwich, adds a tasty flavor to the chicken, but does so without making it too moist or even overpowering the other flavors in the sandwich.

The lettuce was crisp and fresh, and the tomatoes were juicy and flavorful, without having any of the meal-y texture that I find so often in sandwiches that use tomatoes. These red gems made me almost rethink my stance on tomatoes in sandwiches.

And last, but certainly not least, what else did I find? Yes, sliced almonds.

This was a special extra that made the sandwich. The almonds added to the crunchy texture of the sandwich (along with the lettuce) and provided a slightly nutty flavor that stood out while still complementing the rest of the sandwich. Well played.

The verdict is in on this sandwich, and the defendant is...delicious.

Gram and Papa's may be out of the way for Angelenos that don't live or work downtown, but of all of the sandwich shops I've visited, this is definitely one that should be a destination spot for all true sandwichologists.

Until next week DANGER fans...

Chicken Salad Sandwich
**** 1/2 Stars
Gram and Papa's
227 E. 9th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Reading Terminal Sandwich Roundup

Welcome back dear seekers of DANGER!

This week's entry wraps up my trip to my hometown of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia has far too many spectacular eateries to visit in one week, so I will have to visit even more on my next trip home. Sadly I was not able to review any cheesesteaks from my favorite places or even try the cult famous Schmidtter (next time, sandwich!).

Regardless, I chose to tackle a sandwich that was recommended by about 15 people before I even showed up: DiNic's Roast Pork Sandwich.

I can't remember the last time I was at the Reading Terminal Market, but it's been at least a decade. And for whatever reason, it seemed even more packed than I remember it being years ago.

After wading through people to find DiNic's amid the Christmas Chaos, I was surprised to find a line so long that I waited in line for nearly half an hour. Would it be worth the wait?

I ordered the roast pork on an italian roll with sweet peppers and provolone. The roll was fresh, soft, and delicious with an amazing golden color. When I bit into the sandwich, the roll had just the right amount of give so that it wasn't too mushy or tough. Just right for this sandwich.

The provolone cheese was placed on the roll itself, underneath the pork. Normally, I prefer it to be on top of the sandwich, so that the cheese can melt down into the sandwich, but the pork was just hot enough when added to create a gooey layer of cheese along the roll.

The pork is roasted in a gravy throughout the day, and was very tender from the hours of marinating and cooking. As tender and juicy as the roast pork was, I expected a slightly stronger taste. Something that screamed "I'm marinated for hours and full of flavor" but my expectations were not met.

Did the pork taste well? Yes. Was it as overflowing with flavor as I would have liked it? Not quite.

The strong taste of the provolone and the roasted sweet peppers produced a smoky and then sweet taste to the sandwich, but definitely overpowered the taste of the pork. If I hadn't taken a slice off of the sandwich, I wouldn't have been able to sample the true roast pork flavor. It was great, I just wish it had been more prominent.

Overall, I enjoyed the Roast Pork Sandwich at DiNic's. I think it's worth a try, and I'd definitely give it another shot because maybe I just came on an off day. I'm just not so sure I'd wait another half hour for the sandwich next time.

Roast Pork Sandwich
*** 1/2 Stars
DiNic's Oven Roasted Beef and Pork
Reading Terminal Market
51 North 12th Street, Philadelphia, PA