An old-school lunchtime staple, ham-and-cheese sandwiches stir new interest as operators elevate the familiar union with knockout ingredients.
This article first appeared in the November 2006 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
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By Allison Perlik, Senior Editor
Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Panini (above)
University of South Florida (Aramark). This Italian-themed limited-time offer, designed to drive traffic and add menu excitement, plays up the red-hot popularity of toasted sandwiches. Pressed between thick slices of crispy bread, sheets of prosciutto are accented by tangy goat cheese, tomatoes, arugula and sage-cannellini bean spread.
La Madeleine Bakery Cafe Bistro, multiple locations. The French duet of ham and Swiss cheese anchors this recipe, menued with a side for $6.99 at the Dallas-based chain. For an extra dose of its mildly nutty flavor, Swiss cheese is sprinkled over the whole-grain wheat bread, and, in a break from tradition, the sandwiches are baked in convection ovens instead of fried.
Original Slim Jim
Shoney's, multiple locations. The sandwich lineup at the 286-unit, Nashville, Tenn.-based family-dining chain offers an homage to traditional top sellers from BLTs to patty melts. In its straightforward take on the classic combination, sliced ham and melted Swiss cheese are tucked into a grilled hoagie bun with lettuce, tomatoes, pickle and "special sauce."
Duck "Ham" and Camembert
Charles Court at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo. Creamy Camembert cheese blankets duck breast brined, cured and smoked in house in Chef John Brand's high-end approach. The shaved meat is fanned over crostini (made from malted waffle batter mixed with quatre épices, an aromatic spice blend) adorned with pumpkin butter and pea-shoot salad.