By CHARLES FERRUZZA
I know I'm risking public scorn by admitting this, but I just don't think the "Awesome Reuben" sandwich served at the New York Bakery and Delicatessen is very awesome. I like this venue a lot and it serves a nice thick corned beef sandwich, but in my opinion, a Reuben it ain't. The New York Bakery's Reuben sandwich is served cold, which isn't heresy (the Food Lover's Companion says it can be served "either cold or sauteed"), but I prefer the sandwich to be grilled so the bread is crisp, buttery and toasty.
I've eaten Reuben sandwiches in dozens of restaurants in the city and had many second-rate versions of the famous sandwich invented (depending on which version you want to believe) either in 1914 at New York City's Reuben's Delicatessen or in 1955 by an Omaha grocer named Reuben Kulakofsky . One surprisingly good version is served at, of all places, the kid-oriented dinosaur festival known as the T. Rex Cafe in the Legends complex in Wyandotte County.
And then I discovered J.B. Bremser's Oak 63 Bistro.
Who would have thought that chef J.B. Bremser's Southern French Bistro (that's what's painted on the plate glass window) would serve such a terrific version of an American sandwich? Bremser changes his lunch menu frequently, sometimes daily, and he knows how to stack a superb Reuben, with lots of Kansas City-made Boyle's corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Bremser's house-made Russian dressing.
And gorgeously grilled. Served with real Parisian-style pommes frites.