Fort Worth Restaurants - Sandwich Shops
For some people, the plain old all-American ham and cheese sandwich just wasn’t enough. No, the mainstay of many a lunch was a little too plain-Jane for some folks and they just had to hotrod it. And thus, lo and behold, the Monte Cristo Sandwich was born.
What’s a Monte Cristo Sandwich, you ask? Good question.
There are actually a few versions of the Monte Cristo. As a general term, it refers to a ham and cheese that’s been dipped in egg batter and fried, a variant of the French croque-monsieur. When you parse the French of that name, it comes out as “crunch-mister.” Your guess is as good as anyone else’s on that one. When served with a fried egg or poached egg, the croque-monsieur is a croque-madame. In fact, some older cookbooks refer to the Monte Cristo as a French Sandwich or French Toasted Cheese. The cheese is almost always Swiss or Gruyere, incidentally.
Other spins on the Monte Cristo include serving it as an open face sandwich with the bread made into French toast or battered and fried, with the ham and Swiss cheese piled onto the bread and heated in a broiler (some call for turkey along with the ham). Sometimes the sandwich is served with fruit preserves, powdered sugar, maple syrup or sweet mustard sauce. The “Cumberland Head style” Monte Cristo is served with a generous dollop of Thousand Island dressing on top (no accounting for taste, and your mileage may vary). Some would argue that a Monte Cristo with a glop of yogurt and preserves on top is also an acquired taste.
The bottom line on the Monte Cristo Sandwich? It’s a tarted-up ham and cheese that would still be a great comfort food lunch along with a bowl of vegetable soup. Your cardiologist will most likely not approve. Your taste buds, however, will.