I am smitten.

Oh Reuben. How I love thee.

With you, man has mastered the sandwich. You make the turkey club cower for mercy. The patty melt averts its eyes. Even the mighty monte cristo walks away in shame.

I will find you, Reuben, where you most expect me to: any fine establishment, or shithole, at which you are prepared. The best amongst you will be documented here, for all to share in your majesty.

Let those who have gone before me lead the way. And I, Reuben R. Reuben, will share tales of your glory.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Final Frontier, mach 1

It was inevitable. Eventually, I, RRR, was bound to attempt Reubenology with my own stubby Jewish fingers. Fate brought me to the home of Reubenite Hutch, an Irishman, in the week of St. Patrick's Day festivities, in a house laden with leftover, freshly prepared corned beef. Our mission became clear.

Some things are fait acccompli. You put a Jew and an Irishman in a room together, and eventually, you have a Reuben. If we had a homosexual with us, we would have ended up with a Broadway musical.

There is deep symbiosis amongst our people, as the corned beef bonds run deep. Look it up here. Me and Reubenite Hutch's theoretical ancestors once bonded as we were.

As I watched him slice much goodness, we ran down the list of necessary ingredients. Rye, check. Kraut, check. Swiss, check. But Reubenite Hutch had mistakenly bought Country French dressing. Preposterous. I beat him several times about the face and neck, then hit the grocery store to get 1000 Island.

An aside here. Reubenite Hutch dared me to wear his daughter's clip-on earrings to the store. I did. Thankfully, no pictures exist. This being Los Angeles, I went virtually unnoticed and un-commented upon. There was an old man in a Red Sox hat checking out at Register 4, and I will forever regret not starting a conversation with him about Josh Beckett, then enjoying his double take.

The corned beef was sliced thickly, and then strewn across the bread with much love.
This is one of the essential differences between the home Reuben and any other; the lack of an industrial slicer. Instead of bunched and folded thin slices, you get manly hunks, requiring incisor control. If you're not up to it, consult an orthodontist.

Replicating a lesson learned at Canter's, we drained our Kraut thoroughly. A much less messy sammy than a leaking Kraut would have wrought. Insert your own Dirk Nowitzki joke here.

The Swiss was hand-torn and shapen to fit the sammy...went with just single slice thickness here in mach 1.
1000 Island lovingly slathered on the left, Hutch's stone ground mustard on the right.

I frankly do not approve of the mustard's involvement, and had to fight the urge to again beat him about the face and neck, but I learned a valuable lesson my friends. To thine own Reuben self be true. A Reuben in the hand is worth two in the bush. Two Reuben's diverged in a yellow wood....I chose the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

Admittedly, I've now lost my way. The valuable lesson is somewhere in there I think.

The George Foreman grill was now utilized. Say what you want about Foreman the blowhard, Foreman the Ali impersonator, Foreman the shill for damn near anything, but this bitch can make a grill. Fatless prep. Truth be told, I wish we would have buttered the bread, or perhaps even toasted then buttered then grilled, but hey, it was mach 1. Back off.

The plated results photo.

The mildly phallic close-up.

The impossibly sexy full frontal super close-up.

Burgeoning Reubenite Imogen, the Ginster, clearly approved.

Overall, a solid effort on mach 1, and an afternoon inspiringly spent.

Top o' the mornin' to ya. Does Manischevitz make a stout?

Friday, March 13, 2009

The invention of the century

Last century it was the ballpoint pen, or perhaps the bread slicer.

The 1800's brought the cotton gin.

Now we here at The Reuben Blog bring you the printing press of our times, the invention of the century so far.

The Reuben omelet.

Here she is: the Reuben omelet, as invented by expert Reubenite Lewis at Canter's in West Hollywood, CA.

Eggs, corned beef, sauerkraut, with 1000 Island dressing on the side.

It's carbless.

It's delicious.

It's ingenious.

Reuben varietals, like Merlot, are apparently boundless. Who knew?

Canter's, West Hollywood, CA

Finally, Reuben Rubinstein Reuben has made it to one of the more hallowed jew meccas of La La land. I came to support my people, and to Reuben with friends.

RRR's troika of peeps sat there and planned Pesach goodness for the coming weeks, plotting what will be undoubtedly the best seder man has ever witnessed. Yes, The Last Supper, I'm looking in your direction.

So the atmosphere was thick with Naches my friends, and the Canter's Reuben did not disappoint.

I was most impressed with the mechanics of it. The bread was so wonderfully firm and solid, supporting the inner girth comfortably. The corned beef was not greasy or fatty, staying solidly in place instead of sliding to and fro like so many inferior models. The sauerkraut, as expert Reubenite Lewis pointed out, had been drained of needless excess liquid.

All hail the drained Kraut!
Shame on those of you who take that as a bad sexual Himmler joke...I speak only of vittles!

Canter's gets bonus point for atmosphere....it is enormous, with entire realms of framed reviews and photos lingering on walls you'd never see without effort. And next door, is The Kibbutz Room, one of mankind's only Jewish bars. Gather soon, we must, for scotch, pickles, and guilt.

Canter's catapults towards the top 5!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Gibson's, Chicago, IL

I myself can seldom afford the mighty Gibson's. But, when the Reuben revolution is complete and I am named King of Reubania, I expect to eat there fairly often...maybe once or twice a month.

Trusted Reubenite Brian J. Stevens offers the following report, and appears angling for my job. Bastard.

Today, I tried the Gibson's Reuben. For those of you unfamiliar with Gibson's, it is arguably (clearly) the best steakhouse in Chicago. This is saying something, because there are some great steakhouses here. Today, however, we couldn't care less about steak. We are here to try the Reuben.

One of the first things I noticed was the beautiful grill marks on the natural seedless rye bread.. This is an indicator of two things. 1. Love went into making this sandwich.
2. This Reuben was toasted and grilled. This chef knows the importance of proper Reuben technique.

Dave, the bartender informed me that they brine the Corned Beef in-house, and slow cook it for many untold hours. The result is a very tasty and tender corned beef which is very thin-sliced. Mixed with the Thousand Island (my personal choice for a proper Reuben) and the obligatory swiss cheese, this Reuben fit the bill.

If you haven't tried the french fries at Gibson's, I highly recommend them. In fact, the only negative that I can find with the Gibson's Reuben, is that they serve it with "shoestring potatoes." DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! I would sign a petition to remove them from the menu given the opportunity. They are not only difficult to eat, but they are very unsatisfying when compared to the world-class french fries that can be yours for the asking.

If you are looking for an interesting suggestion for what to drink, today I opted for the juxtaposition of a Hendrick's Gin martini. Not your typical beer to accompany the Reuben. Try it. You might agree. (editor's note: a little gay)

Lastly, I leave you with this photo, and defy you to tell me what in this meal would have warranted ruining with ketchup? If you say fries, you are not worthy of these french fries.

Reuben R. Reuben here again.
Best Reubenite report to date? Perhaps. The gauntlet has been thrown down. Game on.

Hot Doug's, Chicago, IL

Hot Doug's calls itself The Sausage and Encased Meat Emporium.

It's a Chicago landmark. That said, they now have rankled my essence. How dare they mess with greatness!

From trusted Reubenite S. King, esquire, comes the following picture of an epicurean atrocity!

It's called a Teuben. He says it's a Corned Beef Sausage, Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, and Russian Dressing.

Alright, actually, that sounds amazing. I take back my anger, and feverishly await my next midwest excursion.
In the meantime, Hot Doug, if that really is your name, please fax me a sandwich. Reuben R. Reuben must feed.

Can you make a grilled rye bun?