12 December 2007

Turkey Sandwich & Yuengling

Back in 1995, I had a sandwich in Pittsburgh. That doesn't sound too exciting, but I've been thinking about that sandwich for a dozen years and just got around to recreating it. But first, let's talk about Pennsylvania beer. Namely Yuengling, the oldest brewery in America. It was recently introduced to the Memphis market through Budweiser (thanks to Bill H. for the info!). It's having some difficulty gaining new fans in the region because many think that it's Chinese, but local residents of Pennsylvanian heritage (or Steelers fans) have been known to rent vans, drive up to the Quaker State, and drive back with dozens of cases of this brew.

It's not the best beer in the world, but for the price it's amazing. At the store I grabbed a sixer of the Black & Tan, traditionally a layered beverage of Guinness Stout and Harp Lager (or Bass Ale). Here it's a mix of a super dark Porter with a fairly dark Lager. You get the coppery molasses aromas and deep flavor with a lighter, fizzier mouth feel and touches of black coffee on the finish. Frankly my favorite beers are those that don't permit the passage of light through a glass.

Oh, I was talking about a sandwich...

I was there for a conference and at the age of 19 there wasn't a lot that I could do in my free time. I spent two afternoons in the Strip District, which is a collection of small shops and ethnic restaurants. It's one of those awesome streets where you sample dozens of different cuisines in a small area. I love places like that where you can have a two hour long lunch spread out over six different cafes, delis, and bakeries. Though if you brag about having fun in the Strip District, folks look at you like you've spent a lot of time in our own "Mt. Moriah Performing Arts District" before all the strip joints got closed for drugs and prostitution.

Prestogeorge was a little deli located on the Strip, and I don't know if it's still in operation. Looks like they mostly do coffee nowadays. When I was there, it was the first time I'd encountered a deli where you had to fight and argue to get your order. After standing in line politely for 15 minutes like a good Southern boy and getting ignored by a bunch of heathen Yankees, I finally picked up on the game and pushed an old woman out of the way to get to the counter. (To be fair, she'd smacked me with her umbrella to get ahead of me.)

After the most aggressive customer service experience of my life, I finally got my sandwich: a strange yet delicious combination of turkey, alfalfa sprouts, pesto, and gorgonzola.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving I had some friends stopping by for lunch, and I decided that a good way to use up leftovers would be to make this phantom sandwich that had been haunting my palate for over a decade. It wasn't exactly as remembered, but close enough. I found that a layer of cranberry sauce added a nice touch, and here's the construction method I employed:
  • slice of whole grain bread
  • cranberry sauce
  • shredded turkey
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • crumbled gorgonzola
  • pesto
  • slice of whole grain bread

7 comments:

Kohler Collar said...

Yuengling is a regional favorite, but unfortunately one I cannot enjoy because of my corn allergy... this brewery uses corn and sometimes rice in most of their brews. They are seeking to expand, including brewing in locations other than their old, gloomy Pottsville home.

There are better microbrews in the southeastern corner of PA, such as Victory of Downingtown and the excellent Troegs of Harrisburg, as well as Stoudt's of Adamstown. Probably the best concentration of quality microbrews in the country, with Dogfish Head not far away in Delaware.

Funny, Pittsburgh is Iron City and Penn Pilsner country, and Rolling Rock, not such a hot market for Yuengling. And Pittsburghers love their sloppy sandwiches

Big Mike said...

Ben,,

I have got to tell you I am so proud of you! I have been under the weather with a bum knee, and have had to slow a bit, I have been reading a sack full of Wine Blogs. I am very proud to say about 90% have links to your site!! You are a star, and I was clueless!! Keep up the good work, this comment and $3.00 will get you a small coffee at Starbucks!!! I buy anytime you want. Take care please say hello t your folks and have a wonderful Christmas and New Year.

Grace said...

Paul had a couple of Yuenglings in Baltimore last weekend. I didn't try it because you know that my refined palate will only be satisfied with a Coors light.

razmaspaz said...

Yeungling is available at Ruby Tuesday now. At least most of the time. If you haven't been to a Ruby Tuesday recently, they have totally redesigned their menu. Some of the best sit down fast food I've ever had from a chain. They only have the Yeungling in Restaurants that have the "corporate menu". A point of contention for me. I think I'll have to write a post about that.

Allen said...

The East End Grill has Yuengling and it is good. Had guests from Texas 3 weeks ago that were thrilled to it here.

Anonymous said...

Where can you buy the black & tan?

Benito said...

Wow... popular post. I got the Black & Tan at Schnucks, and they had the other varieties as well. I've also seen the beer at the Flying Saucer and various other places around town.