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Four Stars: Rethinking the Reuben – US Food Trends

14 March 2008

Move over, Philly-style cheesesteaks. The Reuben has become chefs' latest inspiration for all manner of menu creations.

This article first appeared in the 1 February 2008 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).

R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. To find out more about R&I,visit its website here >>

By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor

Reuben Hot Dog (pictured above)
Amazing Hot Dog, Verona, N.J. In this version, quarter-pound, all-beef hot dogs replace corned beef (and appear again in the form of fried shavings atop the sandwich). The soft potato bun isn't the same as traditional rye, but Swiss cheese, Russian dressing, sauerkraut and caraway seeds contribute a classic flavor profile.

Reuben Croquettes

Reuben Croquettes
Reuben Croquettes

Fat Cat, Chicago. At this neighborhood bar and grill, Chef Sean Pharr transforms the sandwich favorite into a crisp-fried bar snack. Shredded corned beef and sauerkraut are folded into melted Swiss cheese and milk; the mixture is then cooled, formed into balls and rolled in rye breadcrumbs before being fried. A Thousand Island dip kicks up the quirky approach.

Healthy Reuben Sandwich

Healthy Reuben Sandwich
Healthy Reuben Sandwich

Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Va. At this Aramark account, turkey pastrami takes the place of traditional corned beef in a colorful, panini-style sandwich brightened with sliced tomato and yellow bell peppers. Thousand Island dressing is spread over marble-rye bread topped with Swiss cheese and crunchy apple-jicama slaw.

Venison Reuben

Venison Reuben
Venison Reuben

Catalan Food & Wine, Houston. Grass-fed, hormone-free venison, coated in Creole mustard and roasted medium-rare, supplies a richly flavored foundation for Chef Chris Shepherd's dressed-up approach. The thinly sliced meat is piled atop toasted dark rye with Juustoleipa, a creamy Finnish cheese, and fennel slaw stands in for sauerkraut.

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