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The Count of Monte Cristos


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This morning during my daily chat with my boss, she happened to reminisce about a place that used to be near the White House which had great Monte Cristos. She's from Las Vegas where apparently that sandwich is as ubiquitous as the hot dog in Chicago. Anyway she lamented that no one in this town makes good Monte Cristos. I told her that the Childe Harold IMHO made a quite decent version, so we went there for lunch today.

Boy did I find out that I am wrong, wrong and clueless as to what a real Monte Cristo is. At the Childe they batter the bread in a french toast kind of batter, then assemble the sandwich (ham, turkey and cheese) and then grill or bake the sandwich. I have since learned that a "real" Monte Cristo is assembled, then dipped in batter and then deep fried. It is also served with Rasberry jam (I have my CH MCs with mustard).

So to redeem my kiss-up act, can anyone let me know if there is anyplace in the District that does the real MC? I will spend the rest of this afternoon kicking-down to compensate for my failure.

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I was going to suggest Luna Grill as well.  I had one there not to long ago that was pretty good.

Here's hpw their menu reads:

monte cristo 7.95

ham, turkey & swiss on batter dipped sourdough

This is the only really disappointing thing I have had at the Luna in Shirlington. I found the bread too dry and flavorless.

I would third the Bennigan's recommendation, as embarrassed as I am to type those words.

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This is the only really disappointing thing I have had at the Luna in Shirlington.  I found the bread too dry and flavorless. 

I would third the Bennigan's recommendation, as embarrassed as I am to type those words.

Never, ever, never apologize for what you like. De gustibus non est disputandum means exactly that. There is no accounting for taste.

Now excuse me while I go back to my peanut butter, sharp cheddar and Miracle Whip® sandwich.

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Hey everyone -- thanks for helping straighten out this issue. Looks like a concensus formed around Bennigans for the sure thing. I must say that I would never set foot in the one at 7 Corners after the steak I foolishly had there the only time I ventured in. I've e-mailed this entire thread to my boss and she is laughing her ass off. Thanks much!

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FunnyJohn said:
Hey everyone -- thanks for helping straighten out this issue.  Looks like a concensus formed around Bennigans for the sure thing.  I must say that I would never set foot in the one at 7 Corners after the steak I foolishly had there the only time I ventured in. 

I'll be fellated by a T-Rex before setting foot in a Bennigan's.

Then again, maybe not...

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Not exactly a monte cristo, but the croque-monsieur at Beck is pretty swell.

LOL I just happened upon this hilarious thread and I have to concur with the consensus. There are exactly two places where I have had great monte cristos: The late lamented Great American Melting Pot (AKA Gampy's) in Baltimore, and Bennigan's.

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The jam thing gives me the willies. I looked up the Bennigan's online menu and this is listed just below the Monte Cristo:

TURKEY O'TOOLE™

Juicy turkey breast sliced thin, melted Swiss cheese and our Smoky Honey Dijon dressing. Served hot on a Bennigan’s pretzel roll.

Awesome. :(

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Here,here. That is the first place I've ever had a Monte Cristo, and ended up being my standard there. My sister will be sad, since I think this was where her first date with her husband was. :lol:

Fear not: Lost Dog Cafe has a new menu, and now features the Pound Hound ($6.95) - a de facto Monte Cristo with three layers of french toast, turkey breast, hickory ham, melted Swiss cheese, and strawberry preserves on the side.

Cheers,

Rocks.

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Canyou imagine a more disgusting thought, a battered and deep fried sandwich?

Since I considered "Fried" as one of the major food groups, I see nothing disgusting about it. I have to admit that it was one of my guilty pleasures, but I cannot remember the last time I partook in it.

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Fear not: Lost Dog Cafe has a new menu, and now features the Pound Hound ($6.95) - a de facto Monte Cristo with three layers of french toast, turkey breast, hickory ham, melted Swiss cheese, and strawberry preserves on the side.

Cheers,

Rocks.

Actually, Lost Dog has always had this sandwich (at least as long as I have been going there), and it's really not very good. Soggy and lacking in flavor outside of the strawberries, from my experience. It doesn't hold a candle to the version at Bennigan's, if you can believe that.

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Having not set foot in a bennigans since... hrmm, homecoming of 1991, I have never had one of their vaunted and lamented monto cristos... but I will have the incarnation at The Diner every couple of months. So good. So bad for me.

(crap. I just remembered. I think someone took me to lunch at Bennigans in August of 1994. *shudder* not like starving students can be choosers, though. At least it was free calories.)

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Canyou imagine a more disgusting thought, a battered and deep fried sandwich?

Doesn't disgust me at all. Someone at the Texas State Fair within the past couple of years (the mega state fairs are the breeding grounds for new deep frying techniques) was offering deep fried Coke. As in Coca-Cola. You read that right. He figured out how to fry Coke foam. Makes a monte cristo sound downright gourmet.

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Bennigan's is disgusting.

But those damn fried Monte Cristo sandwiches they serve are friggin delicious. I am sorry, it's just true. Haven't had one in years, but they were the go-to late night snack at the Springfield Mall Bennigan's after sneaking into a rated R movie back high school. And the jelly they serve it with it RULES. I know--it sounds nauseating. For some reason, it isn't.

Or--it wasn't: see Business Week story about Bennigan's going (ahem) belly-up

Where will our children's children get their deep fried sammies?? Where?!?

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There are 2 irish pubs steps away from each other on the hill, I can't remember their names but as you're facing them, the one on the left used to have a great monte cristo.

That would be The Dubliner and Irish Times. The one on the left is the Dubliner.

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