Last night, at the glorious round-up of Haitian food, I contemplated doing like Muman, and crack open a fish head to eat the gray matter inside. While I hesitated, the Fedora'd one reminded me that I vowed to eat more offal this year [sidenote, is oxtails considered offal?]. Offal yes, fish brains no. I have decided, however, to challenge some of my other dining assumptions. I decided to try AP Deli today.
I came to AP at a lucky time this afternoon. As I walked up, a truck from D&S Meat was being unloaded. I saw the corned beefs packed into large cardboard drums. The drums stated, "distributed by AP Deli" wih an address around 107th and Michigan. So, it does not appear that AP uses another brand of corned beef like Vienna or Sinai 48. It's all theirs.
I ordered my sandwich and recieved my sandwich almost instantaneously, like at the Varsity Drive-In in Atlanta. Having been offered no choices, I quizzed the counter person of what I got. OK, I was scared when I found out my sandwich was coming on white bread. The whole walk home, I fretted that there was also mayo on the thing.
Luckily, when I got home, it was doused with mustard, no mayo. The white bread was actually not a distracting feature of the sandwich. A tremendous amount of sodium and sodium derived chemicals, that dominated the flavor base was distracting. I got the feeling I will be very thirsty as the day wears on.
The other thing that preturbed me as I made my way home was the cost of the enterprise. My sandwich cost over $6 (with tax). In fact I could have switched my white bread to kaiser roll, but I did not feel like paying the extra 60 cents. Granted, that's a bit less than Manny's, but it still seemed high. A side of cole slaw would have added another $2.50. Still, they pack the meat between the bread, provide a too sweet kosher pickle, and perhaps the real treat of the day, several sport peppers, mitigating slightly, the cost.
As Wil noted, they slice the meat really thin. A lot of the meat slices disintergrated into shreds. Tom Fitzmorris, a New Orleans food writer, maintains that thin sliced meats taste better. I do not agree with that. I think the nearly shaved meat lacked a certain heft.
I still believe a lot of how we taste corned beef has to do with the way we experience it. A Manny's sandwich tastes better because it is at Manny's. What about corned beef obtained in an unexpected locale? I did not retch, nor did I dislike the experience, but neither did I especially like the corned beef. Just too salty and a too much tasting of the preserve.
Thanks anyway for getting me off my butt and trying something new. Know, what about Beefee?