The Hunt Club -- Hillsdale, MI

A proper Reuben with a proper score. This is from the hunt club considered one of the better restaurants in Hillsdale. We ate around 6 after some hiking around the campus. The sandwich came and I was intrigued to see a triple decker. Far to thick for a dainty mouth but fine for me. 

Notice the side of veggies. I was trying to be somewhat healthy. Each of the three layers seemed to be the same and I was pleasantly surprised to see chunks instead of slices and sauerkraut that appeared to be of higher quality. There was some crispness to it and a courser cut than in most commercial sauerkraut. The bread was a seeded marble rye and seemed to be well prepared. At first it looked like it might be burned but it tasted ok. 

As I have started previously the chunk corned beef has great potential in a sandwich but it makes getting the distribution tricky. This was the case here. The three layers did help to somewhat even out every bit but it just didn't quite muster up. Additionally while intriguing the ingredients themselves we're bland. For once in my life while eating a Reuben I wanted to reach for the salt shaker. 


Cavoni's Pizza and Grinders -- Hillsdale MI

Visiting a friend he suggested we eat here specifically so I could try the Reuben Grinders. Not a true Reuben so no rating but here it goes. 

Zachary asked what I look for in a Reuben, how I rate it. I said the first thing is the bread and how it is grilled nice and crispy. I also said that soggy is the cardinal sin. Like many pizza and sub shops the bread here was baked from their pizza dough which is traditionally aged in a cooler at least overnight. It's a little known (outside of pizza circles) trick that letting the dough rest gives a far superior product. If you want good pizza today, make the dough yesterday. Cavoni's obviously shares the philosophy. 

He asked what else I looked for. I then said balance. All of the ingredients in a Reuben are unsubtle. This is a sandwich where hot sauce could be lost in the flavors. I told him that balancing the intense ingredients is the next key thing. 

Finally I said the quality of the ingredients. I told him about sandwiches that I had had elsewhere where you would expect perfection but they turned out to be mountains of good pastrami hiding scraps of bread and cheese with dressing and sauerkraut hiding somewhere in there. 

What you saw in the pictures was a half sandwich and rather huge. The filling was light at the ends and the bread was excellent although just a white hoagie roll. The other ingredients were good, not great and it came with mozzarella instead of Swiss(admittedly I'm not sure how well Swiss deals with a trip under a salamander so...). As I said above while excellent ingredients impress me and can elevate something to a true masterpiece failure lies in the execution. This was very well done and extremely enjoyable. 


The Weeping Radish -- Grandy, NC

I heard about this restaurant in Diners Drive-ins and Dives http://www.foodnetwork.com/restaurants/nc/jarvisburg/the-weeping-radish-restaurant.html where they featured the Reuben. Guy Fieri raved about the home made meat and sauerkraut. I was down in the area and thought I would check it out. 

Since this is a brewpub I thought I would start out with a flight of beers. They were out of the weissen but replaced it with a lemon shandy. 
When the sandwich came I could tell that it was made with homemade pastrami and sauerkraut, as well as hand sliced bread. It isn't something that you think about with preserved items such as sauerkraut and pastrami where the cabbage is fermented and the meat smoked, but there was a distinct lack of processed chemical taste you often find in these things. 
The ingredients were incredible and on the whole well prepared. The bread was a bit stale at the crust and hadn't been buttered quite enough before grilling. It was crunchy more than crisp. Thankfully it wasn't at all soggy. 
My biggest complaint was that there wasn't enough of the wonderful sauerkraut. 

4.5 out of 5


Rock & Brews - Overland Park, KS

I know better. I should have looked. I usually look. One word, coleslaw. Well this wasn't the first time that I would eat my mistake and it likely won't be the last. Usually though when I eat my mistake it is shortly after cooking it.

Let's get this over with. The menu said coleslaw and I didn't read it. My bad. I don't mind slaw on a sandwich when it is supposed to be there. I love a good Primanti's but this is a reuben. 

The bottom of the sandwich was a bit soggy, usually a sign of not cooking things separately. The slaw was cold as it is wont to be. There was a little cheese not as much as I would prefer but in general it was enough. There was real rye bread that was a bit chewy. 

The pastrami was fantastic though. There was a lot of it but not too much. The flavor was incredible. Salty peppery perfection. 

Overall it was what it was. 3 stars out of 5. 

Village Inn - Omaha, NE

The Villiage Inn is a chain of diners much like Denny's. I had high hopes since I knew the sandwich would be cooked on a flat grill which is one of the secrets to a great grilled sandwich.

I saw that it was going to be marbled rye. While not preferred it sometimes yields acceptable results. 

The sandwich came out with a side of seasoned French Fries. The sandwich seemed thin and the bread had an almost polished feel to it. 

I opened it up and took a look inside. I was surprised at how little was in there. Then again in a restaurant that caters to an aged clientele lighter portions are to be expected. 

The sandwich tasted dry and bland and was fairly disappointing. The best thing that I can say about it was that it wasn't soggy. 

1.5 out of 5


Yorkholo Brewing - Mansfield, PA

Boo panini press, hooray brewpub!

After NSO'ing there first home bout of the Dirt Road Dears(lots of sloppy derby, but everyone was new at some point.) the refs and NSO's adjourned to the Yorkholo Brewing Company where I was looking forward to their Pennsylvania Grand Canyon Vanilla Porter. The beer was as good as I remembered it. After looking at wings and fried pickles I went after the reuben. 

My review may be tainted by the excellent one a few days prior but I will endeavor to be fair. 

The bread might have been white bread or may have been a mild seedless rye. It was cooked on a dry panini press so there was none of the crispy buttery goodness I so love. Instead of crispy grilled bread there was a crunch of smushed dry bread. 

The corned beef was dull, the sauerkraut was there, kinda, I remember some cheese and perhaps dressing. This was a shadow of great sandwich. 

That's being said, it wasn't soggy and there was nothing actively offensive. 2.5 out of 5.

Next time I'll get the burger which looked epic!


Local Whiskey - State College, PA

Local Whiskey is a bar above the Phyrst in State College.  I had been meaning to try it for a while, because in addition to enjoying corned beef, rye bread and sauerkraut, I also enjoy distilled aged spirits and local cuisine.

I flipped through to the whiskey and decided on the "Let your rye fly" flight.

All different.  All yummy.

Looking at the menu I saw a ruben.  This was going to be an excellent lunch.  I ordered it with high hopes.  I tasted the whiskey's but saved my palate for the main course.

All on it's lonesome on the plate

It was huge.  There were no sides except for the pickle but I was full eating it.  It was nicely grilled, not to greasy.  The corned beef was pouring off the sides and obviously high quality.

Peeling it open revealed all sorts of goodness.  This sandwich was one prepared by someone who knew what they were doing with high quality components.  I took a bite into it and was pleased.  The bread was soft but dry, not soggy, the meat was salty and flavorful, the sauerkraut was excellent as well.  It was swimming in incredible gooey swiss cheese.

This is one of the best if not the best that I have had.  I highly recommend it. 5 out 5.