Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day #56, #25 Chicks Dig Scrawny Pale Guys

This sandwich comes with loads of flavor and a very intriguing name. It was named after a past employee named Joe, who worked on the line. He was pale, scrawny, and thought chicks dug him. He desperately wanted a sandwich named after him. After a year or so of working on the line, and many attempts at getting a sandwich on the menu he came up with this winner.

The sandwich is made on a Zingerman's onion roll. It was Nueske's pepper smoked ha,. Nueske's applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, red onions, honeycup mustard, and honeycup mustard. I'm a huge fan of the honeycup mustard, it's by far the best honey mustard that I have ever had. It's sweet, kind of tangy, with a bite to it. It goes great on this sandwich with the bacon and barbecue sauce.

There is a warning with this sandwich- it's really messy because of the sauces and the amount of ham...mine was falling all over the place. Which is generally fine, but i would not suggest eating this sandwich in your car.

It was a little ironic...when I was eating this sandwich Lane, one of our servers, told me that it was his favorite. I had to laugh and enjoy this comment because Lane is also a pale, scrawny guy; although I don't know how much the chicks dig him. It's a funny name for a sandwich and I love the personality that these creations bring to the Laundry.

Overall, I think it's a great sandwich. Lots and lots of flavor going on, and to most that is a good thing. I especially enjoyed barbecue and honey mustard together...I'll definitely have to try that again!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day #55, #22 Leah's New Job

Today I enjoyed the #22, Leah's new job. Mark Hamel remembered the name of this sandwich coming from a young woman named Leah that used to work here. She was a vegetarian, and he named this sandwich after her when she left the Laundry for a position in her field of study.

The sandwich is made on grilled french farm bread, with Zingerman's natural cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, Switzerland Swiss cheese, and a spicy cranberry spread. If you haven't had Zingerman's cream cheese, it's a must-try. It won the 2006 American Cheese Society Award. It's a lot different from the cream cheese we are accustomed to because it is made using old-techniques such as no gums, and long setting times that are intended to bring out the full flavor of the milk. It's texture is soft, fluffy and rich, with a creamy citrus flavor.

The combination of the flavor from the cream cheese and spicy cranberry spread is awesome. The cranberry spread is made in-house from cranberries, orange juice, and cloves. I thought it would be overly spicy, but the cloves gave it just the right amount of flavor.

Overall, I thought this was much more interesting to eat that it actually sounds on the menu. It is a vegetarian sandwich, but if you aren't a vegetarian it might be excellent with some roasted or smoked turkey. It was great to have the french farm grilled, I always think that adds more flavor to the sandwich. I thought this sandwich to be really enjoyable and very easy to eat!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day #54, Brown Rice Ziti with San Marzano Tomatoes

Today's dinner was an interesting one. It was the brown rice ziti with San Marzano tomatoes. This pasta is gluten and vegan free, and locally made in Canton, MI by Mamma Mucci's pasta company. That alone makes this dish worth trying.

The vegan and gluten friendly noodles are topped with fennel, spinach, and San Marzano tomatoes. It doesn't say it in the menu, but the sauce also includes green olives. San Marzano tomatoes are a variety of plum tomatoes, and are considered by many Chef's to be the best sauce tomatoes in the world. The commercial production of the San Marzano variety is most closely associated with Italy, seeds for the variety are available worldwide.

I'm really happy that we added a gluten-free item to our menu. Guests often ask about items being gluten free, and it's so rare to have a pasta dish that they can eat. However, here's a warning: gluten free noodles do not taste the same as regular noodles made with flour. The flavor is the same, but the texture is different- kind of rubbery and a little chewy. If you are expecting them to be the same, they won't be...but even though it's a different texture it is still enjoyable. The fennel is really something different in the dish. At first I wasn't even sure what it was, because I don't think that I have had fennel before. When I was reading about fennel, I thought it was incredibly interesting that it is the main ingredient in absinthe. I thought it to have almost a slightly pickled flavor, although it was not pickled as it is used in this dish.

Overall I really enjoyed eating this dish. I was happy to be able to try both the famous San Marzano tomatoes and gluten free pasta all in one dish. It was creative, and a great option for vegetarians, vegans, or those that are affected by gluten. Being none of the above, I still enjoyed the dish and would order it again. It was different that the food I am used to trying, and it really made me expand my thinking about vegan's not that bad..actually, it's pretty good! Give it a try, I think that it will surprise you as well!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Day #53, #21 Jacques Brel is Alive and Living in Fenton

Today I'm enjoying the very popular #21 for lunch. The name comes from an actual person named Jacques Brel. He was the French equivalent to Frank Sinatra, and although he was Belgian, he was wildly popular in French speaking countries. He was famous for singing about the ridiculousness of the aristocratic class. Jacques died young of cancer, and in the 70’s there was a play on Broadway called “Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Paris”. Mark used to play the CD in the Laundry all the time (as well as Jacques Brel’s original songs). In homage to Jacques Mark named the #21 “Jacques Brel is alive and well and living in Fenton”.

I think the history behind the sandwich is enough to make it interesting...but I guess I have to tell you whats actually on it. The #21 is made with Nueske's pit smoked pepper ham, bacon, smoked turkey, Switzerland Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise on fresh Zingerman's Challah bread. It was designed to be the "club style" sandwich on the menu, and is one of our most popular.

I loved that this sandwich came on fresh Challah bread because it is always soft and has great flavor. The variety of meat on this sandwich was great-I can see why clubs are popular nationwide. Overall, I really liked this sandwich, and I think it is something that I would order again. I guess now I see why it is so popular with our guests!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day #52, #20 Chief Ruler

Today I continued with the sandwich menu for dinner. Next up was the #20, Chief Ruler. It was named after a woman named Kim Powell that worked at the Laundry years ago. She was a line cook, and was needless to say very bossy. Her nickname became Chief Ruler, and she created this quite interesting sandwich.

This sandwich is made with chicken breast, muenster cheese, tomato, and applewood smoked bacon, with ranch dressing on grilled Zingerman's pumpernickel bread. I personally thought the ranch is what really makes this sandwich different, and it goes a long great with the chicken and bacon. Having this sandwich made on pumpernickel bread also gives it a really unique look, and I like that.

I like any of our sandwiches with chicken breast, so I thought I would probably like this one, although its another that I had never tried. I think the pumpernickel intimidated me at the time but it doesn't anymore after I have had a few sandwiches made on it.

I think this sandwich has an interesting, yet good combination. I like how the flavors come together, and overall I think the sandwich is pretty unique. I'm glad I tried it, because it might just be one that I would order again!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day #51, Savory Waffle

Today's breakfast was the Savory Waffle. Yes, I skipped over the Farewell Rudy again, but I promise it was not intentional! I am quite happy to say that I enjoyed my breakfast (for the most part) today. A savory waffle is a waffle topped with French ham, Gruyere cheese, scrambled eggs, and a Dijon mustard sauce.

I thought this was such and interesting way to serve a waffle. I would never think to put eggs, ham and cheese on my waffle, let alone the Dijon sauce. It was a good combination though, the waffle has a hint of sweetness that went along well with the saltiness of the French ham. The Dijon sauce was not what I thought it would be, and it was much better than I had expected. It is a cream sauce, and it didn't have the overwhelming flavor that I thought it would.

In all honesty, I ate a quarter of this waffle. I liked it, but it was much too large, and heavy, for me to eat any more than that! It would be a great breakfast to share with someone, between two people all of it might be eaten.

I liked this waffle a lot more than I thought I would. I think I would like it a lot more with smoked turkey rather than ham, since that is my favorite. Maybe I'll run that as a breakfast special sometime!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day #50, #21-Croque Monsieur

Today I had the #19- Croque Monsieur for dinner. It is made with Jambon de Paris French ham, and Swiss Gruyere cheese, with a sour cream and Gruyere cheese sauce, on grilled Challah bread.
The name, Croque Monsieur, means "Mr. Crunch" in French, and this is the only truly "french" sandwich on our menu. It's a very popular sandwich in France, and ours is very comparable, only much larger than those served in France.

Gruyere cheese is a hard, yellow cheese, made from cow's milk, and named after the Gruyere's in Switzerland. The cheese is sweet, but slightly salty, and it's flavor varies with ageing.

I had never heard of this type of Swiss cheese until I came to work at the Laundry. I've never been that big of a fan of Swiss-style cheese, however, I can usually handle Gruyere.

Although I never eat ham, this sandwich actually smelled surprisingly good! I found out today that ham is actually something that I almost-like, and can definitely handle. The ham and gruyere combination goes great on grilled Challah. I really like this bread grilled anyway, and it's a favorite of mine because it is so soft.

If you are going to eat at the Laundry, I think this sandwich is a must try, especially because it is a truly French-style sandwich. It was really different from any other sandwich that I have tried so far!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day #49, Roasted Rack of New Zealand Lamb

Today's dinner was the roasted rack of New Zealand Lamb. I shared this entree with one of our servers, Vicki, and she was incredibly excited because it is her favorite dish. The lamb rack is topped with a blackberry demi-glace, and served with chipotle-laced sweet potatoes and vegetable du jour.

Lamb is another meat that I can now say that I have tried. Two in one week, imagine that. It wasn't really what I expected, kind of chewy with a gamey flavor. It was too far out from the chicken breast that I normally enjoy, but I didn't think it to be terrible...I guess just really different for me. I always hear a lot of compliments about the lamb, and it really seems as though guests (and people who don't compare lamb to chicken) really like it.

My favorite part of this dish was the chipotle laced sweet potatoes. They were sweet still of course, and not overly spicy, but there was a hint of chipotle. I don't like spicy food all that much and I thought them to be very delicious. My vegetable of the day (green beans and carrots) was good, as always.

I thought the most interesting part of this entree was the blackberry demi-glace. It's definitely something you don't see everyday, unless you work here. I loved how the dish was also garnished with blackberries, it was such a nice touch.

Overall, I'm glad that I now know what a rack of lamb tastes like. I probably won't order it again anytime in the near future, but I might be open to it later in life when my taste buds are more evolved!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day #48, Veal Milanese

Ohhh how I was dreading this one. Although I have never tried veal before, I was sure that I wouldn't like it.

Our Veal Milanese is breaded veal scallopini topped with a compound butter with basil and capers. It's served with an orzo pasta tossed with roasted pistachios and kalamata olives.

Veal Milanese is named for the northern Italian city it was created in, Milan, in Italy's Lombardy province. It is known as a simple yet impressive way to prepare a veal chop.

I was surprised by the flavor of the veal. I don't really know what I was expecting it to taste like, but somehow I thought it would be absolutely horrible (Sorry Jody). However, after the first bite, I realized that veal was nothing to really be afraid of. It was tender, and didn't have an overwhelming flavor. The butter compound melted into the veal giving it more flavor as well. If you order this dish, don't expect for the there to be some kind of sauce on the veal- the butter compound melts into the breading on the veal, and you can barely tell it was there.

I didn't care for the orzo, but that's just because I don't like olives...and that flavor carried throughout all of the pasta.

Overall, not my favorite dish, but I can see why others like it. It was a great experience for me to try veal for the first time, and I'm glad that I did. I need to call my mom and tell her that I ate veal!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day #47, Belgian Waffle

Today I was all set to order the Farewell Rudy, Hello Rhodella. However, we only had a few orders left, so I skipped over it again and went on to the Belgian Waffle. Our Waffles have always smelled terrific in the kitchen, but it's another thing that I've never tried. The Belgian waffle is topped with sugar strawberries and fresh, hand-whipped cream.

It's not something that I would ever order for myself for breakfast, but since I had to blog about it I thought I might as well enjoy it. And enjoy it I did. The waffle was my favorite part, but of course the strawberries and whipped cream were like icing on the cake.

A Belgian Waffle is usually identified by larger size, lighter batter, and a higher grid pattern that forms deep pockets. The Belgian waffle was first introduced by Maurice Vermersch of Brussels, Belgium. He decided to change the name from the Brussels Waffle to the Belgian Waffle based upon the poor geographical skills of Americans.

I thought that having this waffle was really a treat for breakfast. It reminded me of my childhood when I used to love strawberries and whipped cream on my waffles. I'm glad I had the chance to reminisce about my childhood with this breakfast!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day #46, Breakfast Pizza

I worked a morning today, and even though I didn't have a lot of time to eat I was able to order and try the breakfast pizza! I realized after ordering the pizza that I had skipped over the "Farewell Rudy, Hello Rhodella" on the breakfast menu. I promise I will get to that one the next time I eat breakfast here, which is probably next week.

Anyway, our breakfast pizza is made with scrambled eggs, green peppers, red onions, mushrooms, sausage, applewood smoke bacon, Grafton Vermont cheddar, and tomatoes on pizza crust. It's the same pizza crust that we use on our appetizer pizzas, and for Karl's Pizza Nights.

It's soft, chewy, and not at all greasy. It's a nice change from the kind of pizza we usually order at home (Jets), which is really greasy.

I thought I could handle the breakfast pizza, and if i didn't like it...well it would be easy to pick apart. I was surprised that I didn't have to pick anything off to enjoy this breakfast. I don't usually like green peppers or onions at all but they blended in nicely and added to the flavor. The sausage was cut into slices, so it was easy for me to handle...and we all know that by now i have gotten past my bacon phobia. :)

This is a really popular breakfast item, but I have never ordered it before, which most would find as a surprise since I am such a huge pizza fan. I would definitely order this for breakfast again sometime in the future. It was tasty, and very filling...even though I only had half the pizza! I am once again not only surprised, but very glad I tried it. I found something new that I like for breakfast!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day #45, #18 Grilled Fromage

The # 18, or Grilled Fromage is made with Grafton Vermont cheddar cheese, and applewood smoked bacon on Grilled Zingerman's cinnamon raisin bread.
This sandwich came on the menu as just a very unique type of grilled cheese. The word "Fromage" means cheese in French, hence the name "Grilled Fromage".

I was pretty nervous about trying this sandwich, so I've avoided eating it and I'm sorry! I'm a cheese lover, so it wasn't that, and I also can now enjoy a slice of bacon, so it wasn't that either. The big thing that made me scared of this sandwich was...the raisins! I've had the bread before, and I couldn't get past the raisins, although it is a very high quality bread.

I was so surprised with this sandwich, and I really mean that. I took a big bite out of it, and chewed it expecting a full on raisin flavor. However, this time, the other flavors of the bacon and cheddar made the raisins less noticeable, and what I really got from the sandwich was something of a sweet/salty/savory flavor. It was so much different from my idea of what I thought it would be like. This is one of those sandwiches that I blog about and think, "yeah, I can eat anything!"

I understand why this is such a popular sandwich now, if I can see the appeal than others most definitely do as well. It really is a different kind of grilled cheese!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day #44, Sparty's Super Siesta Salad

I've been in the mood for salad lately, and this one was the next on the list. I've had it before, and I know I like it, although I usually substitute the guacamole for avocado.

Our Sparty's Salad (as we lovingly call it) is a layered salad with fresh house made guacamole, black bean tortilla chips, romaine lettuce, shredded Grafton Vermont cheddar cheese, scallions, and green peas tossed in ranch dressing. It doesn't automatically come with chicken breast, but there is an option on the menu for it, so of course I ordered it.

The black bean tortilla chips we use are from a company called Garden of Eatin', and they really add a lot of flavor to the salad. They are all natural, made with no preservatives, and made with only organic corn harvest by their sustainable partners.

We recently got a complaint on our facebook page about the salad being too bland, but I really don't think that it is bland at all. It's a huge salad, as you can see from the photo, and that is only a small! This salad is my second favorite salad on the menu (second to the Caesar salad, of course). It you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it. The romaine in this salad is chopped, which not only gives it a very interesting look, but it's also really easy to eat.

If you are having a party or small gathering, it is also a really cool salad to have made for you in a glass bowl, so all the layers to it can be easily seen. We've had customers order it like that before, and I'm always really proud of the outcome.

I really like this salad, and not just because I'm a Michigan State Alumni. My personal opinion of this salad is that it is a must-try for anyone who eats a lot of salad and wants to try something different. That's what the French Laundry is all about after all. Give it a try, and be sure to let me know if you love it as much as I do!