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Monte Carlo in Philadelphia

Bacchus101 Jan 28, 2013 03:44 PM

Can someone directed me to where in Philadelphia or its burbs one can find a truly 1st class Monte Carlo? A thread on the big board has me salivating for this classic sandwich.

  1. Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 04:04 PM

    Good information thanks all hounds. There is a wide range of names and definitions of the sandwiches but it does appear that the Cristo and Carlo are based on the French croque-monsieur. I am quite sure I had one of these variations In Quebec at the Chateau Frontenac and in Dusseldorf at lunch near Dusseldorf Alstadt perhaps at the Steinberger Park. Perhaps in Philadelphia it is diner food, that would only be a mild surprise.

    1. p
      PhillyA Jan 29, 2013 03:01 PM

      I cannot find a brunch menu to verify that it is still there, but believe North 3rd has either a Monte Cristo or Monte Carlo at brunch.

      It's been awhile, but in my memory it was good.

      1. Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 09:42 AM

        Thanks Hounds, some good direction for my search! As for the menu from Cochon it does note one frequent variation on the sandwich. Great stuff, tks.

        1. b
          Bigley9 Jan 29, 2013 09:05 AM

          I don't know if there is a difference between the Monte Carlo and the Croque Monsieur but the latter is on the menu at Caribou Cafe and the brunch menu at Race Street Cafe. Also Parc.

          1. Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 08:19 AM

            Thanks for the comments. A Monte Carlo sandwich is what I was hoping to find in Philadelphia somewhere. I was surprised to hear it may be available in a diner, but hey that works for me.

            "Top of any sandwich connoisseur's favorites is this classic delight, a hybrid of French toast with grilled ham and cheese".

            My past experience has been that I have found this in top tier hotels here and abroad which is why I look there. However a diner, dive or where ever a good one is made is just great.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Bacchus101
              cwdonald Jan 29, 2013 08:22 AM

              My apologies. I have always known this as the Monte Cristo.. perhaps it is a regional thing. I second the suggestion in looking at diners and the like.

              1. re: cwdonald
                barryg Jan 29, 2013 09:05 AM

                Me too; I googled it and it sounded like the same sandwich. I remember seeing it on a brunch menu somewhere recently, and I just remembered where: Cochon

                I've never been there for brunch but it's great for dinner so I would think it's worth a try. However I'm not sure they keep their website menus 100% up to date.

                1. re: barryg
                  caganer Jan 29, 2013 10:53 AM

                  I think the Monte Cristo at Cochon might be the best thing on their brunch menu. It's a pretty great sandwich. They also have a good blood-sausage, scrapple and egg english muffin sandwich.

                  1. re: caganer
                    Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 04:08 PM

                    tks it is on the must have list!

                2. re: cwdonald
                  Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 11:57 AM

                  Understandable, yes perhaps a regional difference. Thanks for your reply.

                3. re: Bacchus101
                  sal_acid Jan 29, 2013 09:51 AM

                  My understanding is that a Monte Christo is ham and cheese, battered and grilled. A Monte Carlo differs only in that turkey is added.

                  A Monty Hall is a mystery sandwich behind door # 3.

                  1. re: sal_acid
                    Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 12:05 PM

                    Definitely different names and definitions of these sandwiches some suggest variations of a Monte Carlo, some name the variation something else ie. Monte Christo. Will give Cochon, Caribou and Parc a look, thanks.

                    1. re: Bacchus101
                      barryg Jan 29, 2013 02:40 PM

                      Seems to be universally a Monte Cristo (no H) around these parts, MenuPages brings up a decent list with their "find a food" search: http://philadelphia.menupages.com/res...
                      (search for Monte Carlo brings up non-sandwich items


                      Some places that jump out as worth a try are Cochon, Rex 1516, Sam's Morning Glory, Oregon Diner, and The Corner.

                      I'm curious where this is an item on upscale restaurant menus; as the Menupages list indicates, around these parts it is a almost exclusively a diner staple. Any good diner should be able to make a good one -- the challenge is finding a good diner anymore.

                      Croque monsieurs as I have had them are almost the same, but not served on french toast and the cheese is often on the outside. It's a common item on French bistro menus and are pretty easy to find. I have seen these on more upscale lunch menus so maybe they just like to use the fancier name since Monte Cristo is associated with diner food.

                      1. re: barryg
                        msiangal Jan 29, 2013 05:36 PM

                        Huh...the Monte Cristo's I've had have always been served with raspberry preserves (both in the sandwich and for "dipping"), which would be one clear difference versus the Croque Monsieur! The Monte Cristo is delicious with raspberry preserves, BTW.

                        1. re: msiangal
                          Bacchus101 Jan 30, 2013 04:29 AM

                          Quite right, ms. It is one of the variations of this frequently modified and often renamed sandwich. Fried egg on top, french toast, different cheeses, ham or ham & turkey or chicken. For me I will go for the French Toast version with the preserves for dipping, as you noted.

                          1. re: Bacchus101
                            msiangal Jan 30, 2013 04:38 AM

                            Please do report back on what you find, Bacchus. Now I have a craving for one, too!

                4. Bacchus101 Jan 29, 2013 06:34 AM

                  Checked out some of the menus at the upscale hotels where one might expect to find this classic sandwich with no luck. Perhaps it is a special order item or just not available in Philadelphia.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Bacchus101
                    cwdonald Jan 29, 2013 07:51 AM

                    Are we talking about the Monte Cristo sandwich or the Monte Carlo cocktail? The latter is made with good rye, bitters and benedictine. As such I would consider ordering one at a place with a good rye selection.. perhaps Village Whiskey?

                    1. re: Bacchus101
                      barryg Jan 29, 2013 07:56 AM

                      I always thought the Monte Carlo was a sandwich you get at a diner, not an upscale restaurant.

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