Monday, December 12, 2016

Cheeseburger Shorty

     Philadelphia Tavern Food!
     Classic junk food and sandwiches are still the mainstay at most Philadelphia area taverns, brew pubs and bars.  Cheesesteaks, burgers, hoagies, chicken fingers and wings are the top selling menu items in this area, because customers favor food items that they are familiar with.  When something new or something exotic is introduced, the conservative clientele nearly always balks at giving it a try.  
     The recent gastro-pub cuisine trend has also gained a foothold in Philadelphia area townships that have a high median income.  Some of the Philadelphia area gastro-pub cuisine is worth checking out, but the majority of the gastro-pub offerings are criticized as being glorified junk food that is way overpriced.  Philadelphia working class consumers tend to shy away from fancy brew pub food, because they have conservative tastes and they prefer old classic tavern food that offers good dining value.  
     Classism now comes into play in the modern Philadelphia tavern game.  Gastro-pubs tend to attract craft beer snobs and culinary egomaniacs that spend too much time watching food network television.  The conservative working class crowd does not exactly fit in with this scene, so they go to familiar taverns that have old school food and ice cold domestic beer.  As one can see, the social class division line is craft beer, which is pricing itself completely out of the working class market.
     Today's Cheeseburger Shorty definitely is old school Philly tavern food.  There is no guessing game as to what this sandwich is all about, other than the name.  The word "Shorty" refers to a small Hoagie Sandwich.  A classic hoagie sandwich is one foot long and a small six inch hoagie is usually called a shorty by old school tavern cooks.
     A hoagie is usually made with Italian cold cuts and cheese.  A hoagie is garnished with lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles.  The spread is usually mayonnaise, yellow mustard or both.  A hoagie can also be made with grilled chicken, fried chicken or cheeseburger, but this kind of hoagie is usually only offered at a tavern as a special du jour.  Because a split chicken breast or cheeseburger is only enough meat to cover half of a foot long hoagie roll, the sandwich naturally is a shorty by definition. 

     Cheeseburger Shorty:
     This recipe yields 1 small 6" hoagie sandwich.
     Hoagie Rolls are shaped like a foot long sub roll.  A classic Hoagie Roll has a soft crust texture that is slightly chewy.
     Step 1:  Cut a foot long hoagie roll in half.
     Split the roll open lengthwise.
     Step 2:  Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, yellow mustard or both on the roll.
     Step 3:  Garnish the bottom half of the roll with:
     - romaine lettuce
     - thin sliced Bermuda Onion
     - thin sliced tomato
     - garlic dill pickle chips
     Set the Shorty "sandwich set-up" aside. 
     Step 4:  Heat a seasoned cast iron griddle over medium heat. 
     Press 5 ounces of lean ground beef into a burger patty shape that is about 3/8" thick.
     Place the burger patty on the griddle.
     Grill the burger till it is almost cooked to the preferred finish temperature.  (Medium to well done is best.)
     Step 5:  Place 2 thin slices of cheddar cheese on the burger.
     Place a domed pot lid over the burger.
     Wait for the cheese to melt.
     Step 6:  Place the cheeseburger patty on a cutting board.
     Cut the patty in half.
     Place the cheeseburger halves on the Shorty Sandwich.
     Step 7:  Use long frill toothpicks to fasten the top half of the roll.
     Cut the sandwich in half and place it on a plate.
     Serve with a pickle and potato chips of your choice.  
     Viola!  A tasty old school Philly tavern style Cheeseburger Shorty! 

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