The versatile Reuben. You normally don’t think of sandwiches in those terms, but, that’s what the famous Reuben has become. You see it on almost every deli menu. Lately I’ve been seeing some interesting and delicious variations on the traditional version.
Depending on which story you believe, the original Reuben sandwich was created either by Reuben Kulakofsky, a grocer from Omaha Nebraska between 1920 and 1930 or Arnold Reuben of Reuben’s Delicatessen in New York around 1914. I’m sure the debate rages on in deli circles around the globe. I’m choosing not to pick a favorite.
No matter which story you believe to be true, the outcome is still the same. A tasty and satisfying deli treat. The traditional sandwich is made with corned beef, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, topped with Russian or Thousand Island dressing and served on grilled rye bread. Variations abound!
Here’s one that caught my eye at the Oasis Cafe on Osprey Avenue. The Blackened Basa Reuben.
Now, I’m going to admit something right now which will fuel the Reuben debate. I don’t like sauerkraut. And, too make matters worse, I ask for my Reubens sans sauerkraut. I’m sure some of you are probably saying, “well, it’s not really a Reuben then is it?”. In technical sandwich terms it’s probably not, but, I think you should eat what you like versus coloring inside the lines one hundred percent of the time. So, for me, it’s hold the kraut.
My kraut aversion actually works to my advantage in the case of the Blackened Basa Reuben. I think if sauerkraut was added to my sandwich it would have been too much for the delicate taste and texture of the basa. In the “Larry” version, I could effortlessly taste all of the components of the sandwich without one flavor or texture overpowering the dish.
Here’s the anatomy of an Oasis Cafe Blackened Basa Reuben. Start with a couple slices of marble rye. Top with a nice big piece of basa. For the uninitiated, basa is basically a type of Asian catfish. Top with sauerkraut (if that’s your thing). Add Swiss cheese on top AND bottom. Spread on some remoulade sauce and grill. The end result is fantastic. On the advise of my server, Denise, I added a side of Spanish potato salad and my noontime feast was complete.
The Bottom Line. I was a little unsure going into it. I’ve had the traditional Reuben, turkey, pastrami and probably a few other adaptations, but, never one using fish as the basis. Now I’m thinking of all the other seafood possibilities and there are many. The end result is a winner.
Is a Blackened Basa Reuben not your thing? Click here to check out the entire Oasis Cafe menu. If you have a non-traditional Reuben variant that you’d like the world to know about, leave a comment below and tell us about it.