Every second and fourth Wednesday night of the month, legendary bartender/chef/restaurant insider Dave Mau hosts Dinner with Dave at Memphis at the Santora, where he treats drinkers to a free meal and live music as the evening progresses. To remind ustedes of this great night, Dave treats us every Wednesday morning that he's on to a random OC food or drink musing of his choice. Enjoy!!
I agree with my fellow
staffers here at The Weekly and consider downtown Fullerton on the weekends
pretty much the worst thing ever. I also stand by my previous statement that
Fullerton "has allowed their downtown to turn into a drunken orgy of Sodom and
Gomorrah-esque proportions" (can I quote myself?).
I do have a soft spot for a
couple of the shops. There's still something about Stubrik's that draws me to
the wooden booths in the back – and it's not because wifey and I had our first
dates there. That baseball cut top sirloin reminds me of the old Sid's in
Newport and their food is just about as salty. In addition, I'm embarrassed to admit how much I like
Heroes, although I still lament the loss of the old, quieter, smaller building.
I do, however, laud the fact that (while peeking through the glass front
windows to see how the build out was going) I saw a not-to-be-disclosed
employee having sex with an unknown woman on top of the bar late one night
before they opened the new location. No joke. That is called a pre-opening
christening. I'm sure they wiped the bar down after but if you ask real nice
I'll show you the spot sometime.
Their food may not be the
best in the world but their beer selection is darnn good and they have some
great burgers, a couple of good sandwiches as well. And I'm just white trash
enough to appreciate a nice coating of peanut shells on the floor. But the
mountains of fries you get there are worth the trip if you can get past some of
their clientele. No thunder sticks in the bar, please.
French fries are my
weakness, which means I'm pretty easy to please and I know about almost everything made with them, so I was amazed to come across
an unknown culinary aberration on my trip to the Midwest over the holidays. My
cousin, Seth, and I were in the front yard, during a family gathering, with the fellas having a few brews
while everyone else was inside "visiting" when I heard them mention getting
something to eat called a "shoe" (short for horseshoe). "What the hell is a
shoe?" I chimed in. You would have thought I had barfed in their beers by the
expression on their faces; they are as common out there as an In-and-Out burger
here. So much for their all-knowing, full of crap food writer relative from
California. I'm still wondering why nobody in the OC has built one here, especially in the sports bar food heavy environs of F-Town.
A horseshoe (the smaller
version is called a pony shoe) is an open-faced sandwich made with various
meats, piled high with fries on top of the whole deal and topped with a
homemade cheese sauce. The original horseshoe, created in the late 1920s by
chef Joe Schweska at the local Leland Hotel, was served on a raging hot metal
plate (known as the anvil). Two thick slices of bread were grilled and added to
the plate. Then a thick slice of ham, shaped like a horseshoe, was slammed on
top of that. Welsh rarebit cheese sauce made of white sharp cheddar was poured
on top and then, just before serving, fresh-made french fries were added as the
(nails) in the horseshoe. The secret to this singular Springfield sandwich is
the delicious cheese beer sauce – it's badass and I'll post the recipe below.
Out of obligation I had to
try a shoe after our snowy day trip to see the Land of Lincoln. Post
sightseeing (and keeping a keen eye out for Daniel Day Lewis) we ducked into
D'Arcy's Pint for a quick tester. The shop itself is kind of halfway between
between Ye Olde Ship and an Applebee's, not all that original but probably a
big deal in town. I had one that was a mixture of ground beef, bacon and
grilled onions on top of Texas toast with the fries and sauce setup. It was
challenging serving-size wise, even by my standards, but it was great. The
sauce itself was a little lackluster but I heard the shop has a white cheese
version that is better, more like the original, but you gotta' ask for it.
There are a couple other joints out there that apparently have a great horseshoe
as well. Fat Willy's and The Gabby Goat are the ones I've heard the most about.
The moral to the story?
Always keep your eyes and ears open when away from the OC. Even the places that
are perceived to be culinary wastelands have their own rustic, local specialties.
And what's not to like about cheese fries, right?
Now if someone here would just try and pull a horseshoe off, I'm sure it would be a hit. Do I
dare Heroes to build one? Well, they certainly have enough fries.
Here's that recipe-
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup beer
2 tbl butter
3 cups shredded
sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp dry
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh
ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
small bowl, combine egg yolks and beer until mixed. Set aside.In a
double boiler, melt butter and cheddar cheese. Add Worcestershire sauce, dry
mustard, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper; whisk until well mixed.
mixture a little at a time, stirring constantly. Simmer and stir until
it thickens and begins to bubble around the edges.
Remove from heat
and keep warm until use. And use it you will!