Sunday, February 3, 2013

Moving on up

     If you are just now stumbling upon this blog, I regret to inform you that there will be no new posts. The main reason being that I no longer live in Syracuse, or New York for that matter. But there is good news, you can find reviews of sandwiches and other foods as well as things I make at home at my other blog, Dan in the Kitchen.

Thanks for reading and I hope you check out my other blog.

God Bless and Happy Eating.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Syracuse Sandwich: Brooklyn Pickle's Cajun Turkey

Who: Brooklyn Pickle What: Cajun Turkey
Where: Burnet Ave, Syracuse Phone: 463-1851 Website: Brooklyn Pickle
Parking: Yes Accepts Credit Cards: Yes Take-Out: Yes Delivery: No
     This is the moment many of my regular readers have patiently been waiting for, for over a year now. I finally had the opportunity to visit what I considered to be the “Mecca” of sandwich places here in Syracuse. Now, re-read that last sentence. If you didn’t catch it, I said considered not consider. Yes Brooklyn Pickle is the first thing that comes to mind when you talk about sandwiches anywhere in Syracuse but after my latest trip, I feel the times could be a changing, at least for me. Christine and I had a Wednesday off together recently and decided to go to BP after our dentist appointments before we hit up Books and Memories on James Street. Knowing I was going to a review, I had to decide what the best selection would be to give BP a fair shot at a delicious rating. Two sandwiches came to mind, the Brooklyn Pickle Special and Cajun turkey on light rye. I decided to go for the latter and added mayo, lettuce, and onions. The Cajun turkey isn’t on their menu but when you go in, there are signs on every window advertising it. I’ve had it many times in the past and enjoyed it every time. I can remember BP as my favorite place to go when were anywhere near Erie Boulevard. Anyway, I grabbed a bottle of water, some baked Lay’s, and a small macaroni salad then headed to the “new” seating area to find a booth. I say new because it’s only been there a few years now.
     I unwrapped my sandwich and immediately discarded my complimentary homemade pickles because they are disgusting. I have always thought this and don’t know anyone who actually enjoys them. I only ordered a half because even at that size, they are much larger than any whole deli sandwich you will get in Syracuse. My sandwich was sloppily put together by a girl who was to busy gossiping with her coworkers than paying attention to what she was doing. But it doesn't matter how it looks so much as it does how it tastes so here we go. The light rye bread was boldly flavored and usually goes very well with the spiciness from the turkey but the turkey was lacking heat this time. This lead me to wonder if they just got an under seasoned batch or something. The lettuce and onion were fresh and crispy but were hidden amongst the mayo that was haphazardly spread onto the bread. With each bite the sandwich wasn't getting any better but neither was it getting any worse. I really wished the turkey was spicier because regular deli style turkey just doesn't do it for me anymore. For a deli sandwich it was good and it could have been better if it was put together with some care, but that didn't happen. Like I said before the times are a changing, while Brooklyn Pickle still packs a powerful punch in the deli sandwich world, they are starting to lose grip in the overall sandwich world. I hope that in time, I still think of Brooklyn Pickle when I hear somebody talk about sandwiches.
Rating: Tasty – Only because I’ve had it before and I blame the girl who made it for ruining it.

Turkey on Sandwich Thins from home

    In an attempt to start eating healthier, I decided to forgo regular white bread for my turkey sandwiches that I had last week and try something new. Arnold’s brand makes something called Sandwich Thins which are essentially thin sandwich rolls. When I mean thin, I’m talking a third of the thickness of one slice of white bread per piece of bun. So one bun is just under a slice of bread in thickness which really cuts down on the fat, carbs, and calories compared to regular bread. They make a variety of flavors including honey wheat which is what I opted for. I piled Wegman’s brand 98% fat free turkey on to the bottom bun and topped it with a light spread of mayo and a slice on Wegman’s brand muenster cheese. All in all the flavors were good as they reminded me of the sub I will get if I have to go to Subway (something I try not to do because I hate them but that’s another story). I did find that I couldn’t use nearly as much meat as I do on a normal sandwich from home because the bun can barely contain more than just a few slices. I guess that’s another perk of buying these healthier pieces of bread. By the end of the week I decided that while I liked the Sandwich Thins, they just weren’t for me. I like my bread and since we only get so many years on this earth, I’m not wasting it eating “diet” bread.

Syracuse Sandwich: Wendy's Asiago Chicken Club

Who: Wendy's What: Spicy Chicken Sandwich
Where: Circle Drive, Cicero Phone: 458-1722 Website: Wendy's
Parking: Yes Accepts Credit Cards: Yes Take-Out: Yes Delivery: No
     If you read this blog often, you’ll know that we will usually go to McDonald’s if we’re getting fast food. However, I like to switch it up and go to Wendy’s every once in a while because I love their Spicy Chicken Sandwich, which I’ve reviewed. So when Wendy’s came out with the Asiago Chicken Club, I knew I had to try it. Upon arriving at the drive thru, I noticed you can get the sandwich with the grilled, home-style, or spicy chicken. Naturally I went with the Spicy Chicken because as I have argued in the past, it is the only thing to buy from Wendy’s other than the Frosty. Along with a Mr. Pibb Xtra, a rare find in Syracuse, and some of their new sea salt fresh cut fries, I raced home with my sandwich eager to try what could be brilliance on Wendy’s part.
     Served on Wendy’s signature potato bread buns, a spicy chicken fillet is topped with strips of applewood-smoked bacon, a slice of Asiago cheese, ranch dressing, lettuce, and sliced tomatoes. I knew before biting into this possibly great sandwich that it was going to be at least a tasty one. My first bite was a big one just to make sure I got a little of everything. As expected, it tasted good but it wasn't wowing me even with all the extras compared to the regular spicy chicken sandwich. Sure, the chicken fillet was juicy and had plenty of heat and all of the ingredients worked together but I felt disappointed. I think it’s because I built it up too much in my head beforehand. The bacon was salty, the ranch was tangy, and the fresh taste of the veggies took the edge off of the saltiness from the chicken and bacon. The cheese was the most puzzling piece of this sandwich puzzle. I love Asiago cheese and it usually packs a full flavored nutty taste but because of the small, thin piece that was on my sandwich, I barely got any of that great flavor. I finished the sandwich in little time so obviously I enjoyed it to some extent but I wished it had been better.
Rating: Tasty – Even with extras, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich tastes great.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

One year anniversary!!!!

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of this blog but I wanted to wait until today so I could post some stats about the blog that I felt were important. It has been a long and tasty year and there are so many places I have yet to get to but hopefully this year I will get to them. So without further ado, here are the year end stats:

Number of reviewed sandwiches: 64
Most viewed blog post: Panera Bread's Cuban Chicken Panini
Most viewed sandwich from home: Turkey Pastrami
Month with most page views: January 2011 - 248
Overall Page views since creation: 1,075

Finally, this is the most interesting stat of all:

Page views by country:
United States

I expected the most page views to be from the U.S. but I did not see over 200 coming from any other country. I'm not sure how other countries are finding this blog but I hope they enjoy it. With the total page views being 1,075, that averages to just under 90 per month. I'm hoping to increase that number to over 100 views per month for this year. I guess I have a lot more sandwiches to eat. Thank you all for reading and I hope you continue to read each and every post. God bless and happy eating.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Syracuse Sandwich: Ale 'N' Angus's BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwich

Who: Ale 'N' Angus What: BBQ Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
Where: Harrison Street, Syracuse Phone: 
426-9672 Website: Ale 'N' Angus
Parking: Street Accepts Credit Cards: Yes Take-Out: Yes Delivery: No   
     In my Christmas stocking, I received two tickets to this past Saturday’s Crunch game. Since I was getting out of work an hour early, Christine and I had time to grab dinner out instead of eating over priced food at the War Memorial. The first place that came to mind was the Ale N’ Angus Pub because it’s kitty corner to the war memorial and we had great food the last time we were there. Learning from our last trip, I made a reservation just to make sure we could get a table. I’m glad I did because they were packed as they usually are before all Crunch games. Christine went with the chicken fingers and I was tempted to get the fish and chips for my meal but when the waitress mentioned the special was a bbq pork tenderloin sandwich, I just had to partake. The sandwich comes with the choice of one side so I opted for their homemade potato chips, a choice I would later regret because they we’re bland as all get out.
     I had taken a picture but it came out so dark because of the lighting that I figured it was a waste to post it. I didn’t want to use my flash since we were sitting in the middle of the cramped dining room. When the waitress dropped off our food I was kind of bothered to see nothing but barbequed meat and bread sitting in front of me. Now I’ve had plenty of pulled pork sandwiches that consisted of nothing but meat and sauce but I was kind of hoping that it would be dressed up in some way with some onions or slaw. Plus this wasn’t a cheap cut of meat I was eating, its pork tenderloin! I guess it was my fault for not asking if anything came on it but I expected they’d kick it up a notch since they were using an expensive cut of meat. The French bread tasted just as good as it did with the prime rib cheese steak that I had just a month or so before. The bbq pork tenderloin on the other hand was lacking in more ways than one. First off, the barbeque sauce while there was the perfect amount of it, had little flavor. It offered the moisture needed to go with the bread but didn’t have any zip to it at all. Secondly, the pork wasn’t sliced nor pulled but almost chopped or crumbled. Pork tenderloin crumbles into small pieces when it’s over cooked. So when I saw the small pieces I thought it might be kind of dry and it was. What disappointed me the most was the execution or lack there of, if the pork was cooked correctly I could have gotten over the bbq sauce or even if the bbq sauce was amazing it could have masked the over cooked pork. But two wrongs don’t make a right and since there were no other ingredients to fall back on, this sandwich fell flat on its face. The rating I’m about to give is only because I think this was a matter of execution, on a slower night it may have tasted better.
Rating: Satisfying – I finished it so there’s something to be said for that.

Syracuse Sandwich: Earthtones Coffee House's Turkey Bacon Ranch Panini

Who: Earthtones Coffee House What: Turkey Bacon Ranch Panini
Where: Route 31, Cicero Phone: 699-8919‎ Website: Earthtones Coffee House
Parking: Shared Lots Accepts Credit Cards: Yes Take-Out: Yes Delivery: No
     I wasn’t feeling the soup that I brought for lunch last Thursday so I decided I would go pick something up for lunch. Other than fast food there aren’t a lot of places to grab lunch near my work. I didn’t want pizza or Chinese, a sandwich sounded good but Spera’s was just too busy for me to wait with the rest of the lunch crowd. I was in luck though because just a few months ago a new coffee house opened up in what used to be Cicero Dollar in the same plaza as Subway, China Chen, and a National Guard recruiting office. A coworker of mine stopped in and grabbed a menu a week or so back and I knew they had paninis so to Earthtones Coffee House I went. The parking lot has been full since they opened so I knew they must be doing something right. When I walked in I was able to order right away but this didn’t surprise me since it was moving in on 2 o’clock. The place is very spacious and has about twenty or so tables to sit at with a few leather chairs as well to sit in. I ordered a full turkey bacon ranch panini with mayo and onions on white bread. It was made right in front of me and the ingredients looked very fresh. While I waited, I looked at their display case filled with delicious looking pastries as well as their wall of whole coffee beans you can buy by the bag. The total rang up at $7.51, for just the sandwich, had I not had chips and a drink back at the office it would have cost me about $10 total to add those in. On my way back to work I thought to myself, “seems a little pricy for just the sandwich but I don’t mind supporting a small business if they’re good”.
     Because of the angle the sandwich looks kind of small in the picture but it was huge. The three dill pickle slices came on the side for no extra charge which I thought was a nice touch. Now before I go any further I must say that I’m not a huge panini fan because when I have gotten them they taste almost micro waved. This wasn’t the case this time and I’m not sure if it’s how they cooked it but I noticed the criss-cross pattern was different than the traditional straight grill lines. I like lettuce on my sandwiches but not on paninis because warm lettuce is gross. The gentlemen taking my order suggested spinach as a substitute but I decided to omit any greens entirely. Once I started eating, I was glad I left off anything that could get slimy once heated up. Across the whole panini, about eight piece of turkey were used along with about three full slices of crispy bacon. Ranch dressing was spread along the top slice of bread while mayo was spread along the bottom slice. Chopped white onion pieces were sprinkled on top of the turkey and bacon. Upon the first bite, everything just worked. The saltiness of the bacon, the snappy bite of the onion, the moist clean taste of the turkey and the creaminess of the ranch and mayo all combined into a hearty flavored sandwich that was complimented perfectly by the toasted texture and taste from the white bread. I was able to finish it all but not without feeling like I ate too much. While I wouldn’t go their daily, it seems like a great place to stop by every once in a while.
Rating: Delicious – This place has it going on, I just hope they can keep it up.