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July 20, 2007 / Tony

Lunch at Granite City

I went out to lunch with some co-workers of mine to Granite City.  I ordered the Crispy Ranch Clubhouse Sandwich, one of the weekly chef specials.  Here’s the restaurant’s description of the dish:

A boneless chicken breast marinated with that classic ranch flavor dusted with seasoned flour and golden fried.  Topped with melted Monterey jack cheese and crispy smoked bacon.  Served on a grilled sesame bun with shredded lettuce, sliced tomato and ranch dressing with kettle cooked potato chips and a pickle.

My co-worker ordred the sandwich as is.  This is what it looked like:

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I, having had this dish before, wanted to make some modifications.  First, the hamburger bun had to go.  The chicken on the sandwich is a fairly large, 6 oz. breast which is then lightly pounded.  It simply is too large to be held on a hamburger bun.  Instead, I ordered the sandwich on Ciabatta bread.  This choice offered plenty of surface area to hold my chicken.  Second, I changed the cheese from two slices of Monterery Jack cheese to one of the Jack and one slice of Cheddar.  The cheddar cheese not only added a nice visual appeal to the sandwich but gave it a little flavor boost as well. 

The sandwich was good.  The chicken was tender and had a pleasant tang from the Ranch flavoring.  The smoky bacon added a beautiful deep flavor to the sandwich while the shredded lettuce and tomato lightened it.  The cheeses provided a nice flavor contrast to the chicken and the Ranch dressing provided some needed moisture and highlighted the Ranch flavor in the chicken.  However, as with many chain restaurants, there was just a lack of execution in the details.  The Ciabatta bread was too heavily brushed with a buttery oil mixture and was so lightly grilled that there was no discernable crispness.  The chicken never gave a sense of deep crispiness.  It needed a couple of minutes longer in the fryer .  The bacon was slightly burned on the edges.  And the lettuce and tomato lacked that ethereal quality of freshness that one expects during peak of the summer.  Hence, the sandwich was enjoyed but only just so.  In cooking, as in many other things, the devil is in the details.    This is a picture of my sandwich. 

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Katelyn / Jul 20 2007 12:19 pm

    You’re such a prefectionist, at least the FOH remembered the steak knife…

  2. SORBIFSSUES / Nov 24 2009 6:44 am

    Excellent post, great looking website, added it to my favs.

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