Count your Monte Cristos until you can guess where to find this one
Because tomorrow (Tuesday, November 3) is officially National Sandwich Day, we decided it was a fitting time to address one of the more frequent questions we get here in Fat City: Where does one find the pefect Monte Cristo sandwich?
Too often the sandwich passing itself off as a Monte Cristo turns out to be a panini or some variation on a grilled cheese. But a true Monte Cristo should be cooked chicken or turkey (and often baked ham) and cheese -- usually Swiss -- tucked between two or three slices of good bread, dipped in beaten egg and sauteed in butter until golden brown. It's frequently garnished with a sprinkling of powdered sugar or maybe a side of jam for dipping.
Since there are similarities between the Monte Cristo and the classic Parisian bistro favorite the Croque Monsieur, it's easy to assume that the Monte Cristo is the American version of the French sandwich, which one Web site dates back to 1910. The site says that there's documentation to support the 1910 claim, but that the Monte Cristo was reportedly first served in California in the 1950s. Another Web site claims the sandwich first appeared in California in the 1880s.
But here in 2009, it's hard to find a first-rate Monte Cristo. But we've recently come across a contender: the sandwich pictured above. Do you know the name of the restaurant that serves it?