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Jul 26, 2006 02:38 PM

Fried Bologna Sandwich Or Other Unusual Midwestern Specialty

Seems there's a good bit of creative cooking going on in the heartland. Are there any places in the DC area that cater to midwestern transplants? What other specialties might be worth seeking out?

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  1. Bring on the fried sauerkraut balls!

    Toledo Lounge used to sell a fried onion loaf, but nobody bought it so they pulled it off the menu. It didn't help that it sucked either.

    I think Red Hot & Blue still sells theirs, but it was waaaay too greasy last time I had one.

    1. Corkie's in McLean has breaded pork tenderloins - I think the only in the area - but I haven't made it there yet.

      Any other specific items you're looking for?

      1. I've never been to the midwest, so I wouldn't know what to ask for. I have read about these breaded pork tenderloins before from this site:

        This corkie's place looks like a real winner. Is parking a problem during lunchtime?

        2 Replies
        1. re: NoVaDog

          Corkie's is in a strip mall on Old Dominion Drive. Parking is never a problem. The tenderloin isn't as good as in Indiana (where I grew up), but it does somewhat satisfy the craving. But when I've had it there, it has been hand cut, breaded, and fried, rather than frozen and dropped in the deep frier.

          BTW, do not believe that site. NEVER have melted cheese on a tenderloin.

          Another thing I had in the midwest was fried catfish. The fish is scored and fried whole on the bone, so you pick up the fish as if it was an ear of corn and eat the pieces. I haven't found that here, but Flavors in Falls Church does a very good version of fried catfish. For that matter, it is getting difficult to find in Indiana, as I've found out trying to identify a place to have it this coming weekend while there.

          The other Indiana favorite foods are fresh corn,steamed, with butter, and tomatoes, peeled(NOT in hot water)and sliced. This is served as an entire meal, with no meat accompanying it. So for that, hit the farmers' market.

          Other Indiana country favorites are fried chicken and dried beans cooked with ham (not necessarily together).

          The best thing in Minnesota is fried walleye, which I have not found here anywhere. Don't let the upscale folks from the Cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) tell you differently, but a country Minnesotan favorite is (still) hot dish, which is eaten at home and consists of a starch (e.g., packaged noodles or rice), cooked and combined with a vegetable (e.g., canned green beans, corn, etc.)and meat or fish (e.g., leftover chicken, canned tuna, etc.), typically cut with something like canned soup, mayonaisse, or the like. I don't think you'll find that here in a restaurant.

          1. re: bacchante

            I am a born and bred Southerner and though it hurts to say it, the BEST fried chicken I have EVER had was in Indiana, when they come out to parties or community gatherings and cook them in the steel drums. Good God!

        2. If you consider Louisville part of the mid-west (it is in fact), then you might be interested to know that Billy Martin's in G'town does a very credible hot brown.

          Fried bologna is my favorite sandwich, tho it's hard to find bologna any more that isn't so full of sweetners that it immediately blackens in the pan--not good. Does anybody know where to get bologna in DC that's made the old-fashioned way?

          Those catfish on the bone that bacchante was talking about are called "fiddlers" in the part of Indiana I'm from. The best single thing around there, tho, is turtle soup, and if anybody knows where that can be had around here please let me know. Jane and Michael Stern used to call my part of Indiana the "turtle soup belt."

          I'll be back there the weekend after next. This is an interesting thread. I'll keep my eyes open for possibilities.

          2 Replies
          1. re: johnb

            I'm from Missouri and am frankly a little afraid of the concept of fried bologna. And I'm not sure exactly what you're looking for, but have you tried either the Italian Store or (I know it's not Italian) the German Gourmet (Just thinking by chance they might have bologna).

            1. re: johnb

              I've tried a few different bolognas in search of that perfect sandwich and so far the best has been a German bologna at Russian Gourmet on Slater's Lane. They have three types, the one I liked was irregular shaped (as opposed to tubular) and had a brownish skin (rather than red). The staff said it was the better of the lot. If you give it a try, I'd like to here whether this one is the "holy grail."

            2. I've been to the Italian store many times. Good sandwiches. Why do you say it's not Italian (obviously it's American, Virginian, whatever, but that's not the point.)

              Where is the German Gourmet?

              1 Reply
              1. re: johnb

                That reference of not being italian was for the German Gourmet.