The king of sandwiches; the mighty press. As with many culinary institutions, a fair amount of mythology surrounds the origins of this regal sanga. The particulars of every legend change somewhat but at the core of the saga is an unchanged collection of ingredients that, once combined, captured the heart and soul of a nation.
The quintessential Reuben, according to purists, comes on rye bread and includes some variety of cured beef (pastrami seems to take top pick but corned beef often gets a mention), sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, maybe some pickles, all finished off with a healthy dash of Russian or Thousand Island dressing. Presto.
Due to every component being equipped to last for months on end in a cupboard, the Reuben is clearly a winter sandwich. Who cares if the slugs got to your lettuce, lunch is served! And as we’ve established that winter has well and truly arrived, it’s fitting that we got to scouting out Brisbane’s best cafes with enough Reubens to see you through until September:
Brisbanites love our Wagyu in every form it springs. Leading the charge in the sandwich pilgrimage is Botero’s 12 hour smoked Wagyu brisket Reuben. They finish it off with red sauerkraut and pickles (made in house), and a quick drizzle of Russian dressing, which results a knee-weakening gambol through the store cupboard of a Jewish deli.
This particular iteration with its corned Wagyu beef and Gruyere on sunflower rye has all the makings of an elegant twist on a classic. Pourboy grills that sucker down until the crispy cheesy chunkiness skyrockets and takes your morale with it. Pair that bad boy with one of Pourboy’s legendary espressos for good fun chompy munch times.
The Bagel Boys
Best enjoyed on a sunflower and rye bagel, the Bagel Boys’ contribution to the Reuben scene combines three of New York City’s favourite things: deli meats, bagels, and eating on the go. Their classic pastrami shredded lunch chow is a champion of classic delicatessen feeds and you should all buy one immediately.
Local Mobile Deli
This adorable trundlegrill makes a point of repping in-house talents. They cure, smoke, pickle and ferment pretty much everything on the menu and their world class Reuben is no exception. In reppin’ the grand NYC tradition of Katz’s Delicatessen, the Local Mobile Deli classic sanga is an essential medley of pantry comestibles all lovingly prepared by the hands that grill it.
The super-decked out Reuben at Suburban will have you thinking twice about the burger menu. Superb and substantial, this hefty sanga will knock you sideways with double heapings of sauerkraut and corned beef. Hold me back…
The open-plan sandwich situation at Abode is MONEY. This Reuben isn’t like other Reubens; it’s a cool Reuben and it wants to keep you looking young. Plated like a modern art installation, this bad boy is a vision of Wagyu corned beef and fontina cheese slathered with house-made dill mayo and splayed on toasted rye like a raunchy playboy. Sploosh.
Beer and Reuben is a partnership sainted by the flavour gods of succulence. Make haste to Tippler’s Tap and witness the divine union in its full and fiery glory. Tippler’s Tap also offers their slinging Reuben in miniature slider form for those days when you want to be able to say ‘I had nine Reubens today’.
If you’re going to be famous for something it may as well be something good. Brisbane’s inner city coffee hub has built their cred around being the first name in Reubens the city over, and, like with all good sandwiches, Cawfee’s iteration of the Reuben is heavy on the filling and light on the bread finished off with crisps and a pickle.
No New York-themed eatery could ever conceive of being without first perfecting their Reuben game to a fine art. There are five boroughs, and pretty much all of them can appreciate this crisp and crunchy kosher snacko, so the delightful and considerate persons at this Stones Corner chomping ground have bloody mastered it. Chase it up with a chastisement from a cantankerous old guy in a peak cap for the full NY deli experience.
The Cutting Board
You’re on the go, you’re in demand, you need something quick and easy but not, like, easy. This CBD lunch pavilion is often overlooked due to the surfeit of choice facing lunch punters and the requirement to stop and actually read through an entire menu. Let us cut down your decision time by saying the Cutting Board’s Reuben is a stock-standard brilliant idea for literally every single day.
When the fantabulous crew at Project 41 went innovation stations on a Reuben jaffle it just confirmed our simmering suspicions that a Reuben is perfect in all forms. Those sealed edges and oozy innards are just what were needed to give the classic Reuben a saucy revamp. And served with a side of crisps just in case your cholesterol is a bit low.
Looking for more tasty delights at Brisbane's best cafes? Check out 16 Breakfasts You Must Try In 2016!
Image credit: bigoven.com