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