Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Beef Dip Beef

I fell in love with a sandwich, but then one day it just wasn't the same. As much as I tend to avoid the big chain restaurants when I can, I couldn't help but love Milestones' Prime Rib Beef Dip when I first had it. The first couple of times that I had this dish, at two different locations (Burnaby and Coquitlam, I think), it knocked my socks off. The beef dip was huge, with a perfectly crisp/not too crusty toasted baguette, thinly-sliced deep-fried onion slices piled onto nice tender, shaved beef, and a wonderful thick and tasty gravy to dip rather than just a jus. Plus, it was served with a wonderful mound of great curly fries, all on a ridiculously large platter. But this infatuation abruptly ended recently, when I had the sandwich again at Park Royal in West Van. Somebody in the kitchen must have been a bit off that day, because the gravy was not beefy (undersalted, and not very flavourful), the beef was quite dry, and even crispy at the edges (probably from sitting under the heat lamp), the fries were overdone so that they were dry and hollow inside and too crunchy on the outside, and the sandwich was so big, and stuffed with so many of the fried onions, it was too awkward to eat, and there was a smaller pile of fries than normal. I'm thinking that one of the reasons the sandwich was so good the first couple of times is that the beef was medium rare to medium well, which would make a huge difference in taste and texture. I can't remember exactly, but it sure wasn't dry and well-done like it was this time. I didn't bother to complain, though had our waitress done a quality check (and asked how the food was), I would have been honest. It wasn't really worth bringing up, because everything was all edible, and I did eat the meal, and I only knew how good it could be because I had had the sandwich a couple of times before. Maybe I should have said something to the staff, but I didn't, and I was fine with that. But the problem now is that my affection for the sandwich has been irrevocably damaged. I know that I won't go plunging into ordering it again the next time. I'll just be a tad wary. But on the bright side, it does make me appreciate the importance of the cook's skills, even in chain restaurants, and how easy it is to make a completely different meal with exactly the same procedure and ingredients. I also now have a better appreciation of how difficult it must be to maintain consistancy day in and day out across several locations. Here's hoping the substandard sandwich was just a flukey one-time event, and that my next Milestones' beef dip is just like my very first time.

Oh, alright, I'll 'fess up - the real motivation for posting this story was the opportunity to use the palindrome title. I mean, how often is that going to happen? There's a challenge for you all. Can you think of any other palindromes phrases that would appear as a title in a food blog?


Dumpling_Girl said...

Wine Whine

urban[e]nomad said...


Evil olive.

Snack cans.

Spoon snoops.

No, sir! Proper prep or prison!

Go hang a salami...I'm a lasagna hog!

I saw desserts: I'd no lemons, alas, no melon. Distressed was I.

or, my personal fave,

Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod!

(useful if you're binging on fish and chips...)

Unfortunately I can't claim credit or cite sources for any of these.

Dumpling_Girl said...

Thanks, urb! Those are great! My favourite is Evil Olive. You gotta watch out for those...

too_much_thinking said...

Me thinks the whining is clearly a metaphor relationships about men. I mean, just look at the post after post of "falling in love" with the food item of the week. And then the falling out of. I mean this kind of serial-food-loving is just getting out of control! (Just bugging you - I do exactly the same thing, but it takes me longer to fall out of love.)

Dumpling_Girl said...

Oh, what is this thing you call a "metaphor"?

too_much_thinking said...

Sometimes, a sandwich is just a sandwich... when you start developing these expectations and feelings for this sandwich, it will not necessarily reciprocate your feelings. And when the expectations are not met, the house of fluffy ideals come tumbling down, leaving disappointment and confused feelings.

Yes, that Milestone's a weird place for me - I've always find it mediocre but I go there so infrequently that I forget that it is mediocre.