Bellefonte Country Club -- Bellefonte KY

My cousin's passing brought me back to the center of the known universe Ashland, KY.  There are so many weird vortices that circle place.  After the funeral we all adjourned to the Bellefonte Country Club for lunch.  Siblings, first cousins, second cousins and even third cousins sat around and chatted and drew in coloring books and watched football.  The weirdness of the place extended to Penn State fans cheering on Ohio State and Kentucky (my cousin's team) upsetting Louisville.

In my experience upscale restaurants don't do great reubens.  It a basic primal thing that can fail from overthinking.  It benefits from a really great well seasoned grill.  They being said this we pretty good.  It was a little light on the dressing and the bread wasn't as grilled as I like it but the ingredients were high quality and well balanced.  The bread was great, a nice thickness, not at all soggy.  It wasn't as crispy as I like and the pastrami was a bit on the weak side.

The swiss was good, and I was quite happy with the bit that dripped onto my fries.  Likewise the sauerkraut was excellent.

All in all a good sandwich.  3.5 out of 5.


Subway - State College PA

I have read that there are four times as many Subway restaurants than McDonald's that means that when Subway announced the reuben sub that I had four times as many places to try it as I had to get a Big Mac.  That left me trying to figure out which of the ones nearby I should try.  I decided on the one in the Walmart.  Then I had to decide which Walmart...

The "Sandwich Artist" at the shop was kinda cool.  He asked me if I had had one before and I said not there but I regularly ate them elsewhere.  He said that until this came out had had never had rye bread or sauerkraut and now he was eating three or four times a day.

Part of the Subway mystique is being able to adjust the sandwich my liking but I decided to let it ride.  Take it as presented.  I will admit to having the person add a bit more sauerkraut, but that was only because I was asked.  I might consider adding hot peppers and bacon in the future.

Now the sandwich suffered a bit in the 15 minute ride to work while sitting in a plastic bag.  This might have led to some of sogginess and chewiness in the bread so that is being forgiven.

I knew going into this that the sandwich wouldn't be grilled but they did put it in their toaster which crisped and warming things a bit.  This wasn't really a hot sandwich, more lukewarm (even at it's hottest)

Now for the ingredients.  The bread was okay, not spectacular.  I guess part of that was the transportation and part of it was attempting a mass market appeal.  The corned beef was bland.  The sauerkraut was a bit on the sweet side and the dressing was dressing.  Honestly I don't think I have even had bad Russian dressing and perhaps only once had good.  One sandwich artist stopped the one who was applying the dressing from applying more and that was a good thing since it was a little over the top.

Overall the sandwich wasn't bad.  I'll assume a lot of the deficiencies were from transport and boost the score up to 3 out 5


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