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May 21, 2000 03:58 PM

monte cristo

  • k

This may seem like a simple request, but in the two years I've been in n.y.I haven't had much luck tracking down a "real" monte cristo sandwich. You know--meat and cheese served club sandwich-style on french toast-like bread, often with mustard inside and powdered sugar ontop, accompanied by a bit of jelly for dipping.

n.y. restaurants/diners like Odessa (and countless others) treat the monte cristo as a breakfast item and serve it open faced with maple syrup. A monte cristo should be a savory item, something that comes with a side order of fries.

I know the idea of the meat, cheese, jelly and fried bread combo is abhorrent to most, but I need my fix. Cast aside your biases and help me out!

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  1. I don't know if I can put my prejudices away for this one. Are you from Ohio? I have lived my whole life in the NY metropolitan area and have never, even once that I can remember, seen anything like what you describe. Chili on spaghetti, cucumbers and tomatoes on hotdogs I can tolerate, maybe, but french toast with meat,cheese and mustard dipped in jelly is just too much of a stretch for me- sorry.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Stefany B.
      Jessica Shatan

      But isn't a cordon bleu sandwich made with french toast, ham and melted cheese?
      Dipping in jelly is a bit odd, but then I always like when jelly gets on my scrambled eggs which is supposed to be savory... some even make jelly omelets.
      All that aside, not sure where you can get this.....!

      1. re: Jessica Shatan

        I've heard of this, but have never eaten one. Isn't it a lot like a croque monsieur -- ham & cheese fried/grilled a la grilled cheese? I think the french toast & jelly aspects were over-emphasized, so i think it's prob. something that tastes good. (Now i have to do monte cristo research!!)

        1. re: cinnamongrill

          The Food Lover's Companion (which I bought from Amazon via this site) says that a Monte Cristo sandwich is chicken or turkey, cheese (not cream; usually swiss), and sometimes ham. Then you do the French toast thing to it: dip in egg and fry in butter.

          1. re: Sharon A

            I just looked up MC on "ask jeeves" and found 3 recipes. One had ham, turkey, & Swiss, one had just turkey & Swiss, and the third (from Disney World) had Swiss & turkey ROLL!! (We all know Disney doesn't make enough $$ to serve real turkey). Krista, the Disney one sounds like what you're talking about. It's deep-fried in 6" of oil, comes with currant jelly sauce and "fruit compote", and is sprinkled with sugar. Have you ever had the MC at DWorld? The other 2 recipes were from Bennigan's (with melon balls, grapes & pine.), so, if there's one in nyc, it seems like that's where you would find a real live Monte Cristo (or should i say "Crisco"?). *** I also looked at a croque monsieur recipe. It's a MC sans the turkey, french-toast treatment, & deep-frying.

            1. re: cinnamongrill/nicksip

              Thanks for digging around. Yes, I am familiar with the "Blue Bayou" monte cristo from Disneyland. Not first hand, but the recipe. That is pretty much the sandwich I'm talking about, but I must admit it's one of the most out of control (health-wise, I guess) recipes for a monte cristo I've ever seen. It's the only one I know of that deep fries them (in 6 inches of oil!) and uses yellow food coloring. But then, no one would ever call a monte cristo health food. Actually, the Bennigan's tip is pretty right on. The monte cristo has chain restaurant written all over it. Houlihan's here I come...

              1. re: krista

                I guess you don't need the recipe i was gonna email you. Have a MC for me (or join us at our Serial Diner meeting tomorrow. See above)!

                1. re: cinnamongrill/nicksip

                  Here's a Monte Cristo (meatless) recipe from Bon Appetit


      2. re: Stefany B.

        Nope, not from Ohio. Portland, OR, where I must admit the monte cristo is equally unpopular. I think this is just another one of those east coast/west coast food differences. Like maple bars. Correct me if I'm wrong, but east coasters will usually give you a confused look if you ask for one. I think part of reason I'm so intrigued by the monte cristo is that no one really seems to know its origin, and I've researched this relatively well (I do food research for a living). This sweet/savory sandwich is a minor mystery to me. I will continue scouring the city.

      3. This ain't no East Coast/West Coast thang. it's a hi brow/low brow thing. I've had Monte Cristo's in some of the less finer establishments in NY State. but, alas not recently in NYC. My suggestion is to head to Howard Johnson's. They've always made em'.