Where to get a great sandwich remains a burning question in most people’s minds. I attempted to answer the question by visiting two highly touted local places; one, the newest Earl of Sandwich in the revamped Food Court at the Palms Casino, the other, a new German imbiss, or fast food joint, called The Berliner.
There are approximately 21 franchises in the rapidly growing chain Earl of Sandwich. The chain is named for the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, who allegedly invented the sandwich in the year 1762, when he stuck some meat inside two pieces of bread. I’d long wanted to try a sandwich here (our first one is in Planet Hollywood but I was put off by the long lines), though I never got around to it. Now I have.
These perfectly sized, gold foil wrapped sandwiches come on a tasty, chewy rolls, hot, packaged to go, and looking somewhat like neat torpedoes. They don’t take too long to prepare. The staff has the sandwich making thing down to a science. You are handed a small buzzer that will light up when your sandwich is ready. Then it’s time to eat.
I sampled four, and not surprisingly, the Original 1762, a hot roast beef and cheddar sandwich, was the best in show. There was an acceptable amount of lean roast beef, and the cheddar melted into the meat nicely, amplified by a mild creamy horseradish. Second to it was the Caribbean Jerk Chicken, though the meat wasn’t too generously portioned, and corporate should ratchet up the flavors in the jerk sauce. What saves it are the roasted red and yellow banana peppers, a nice touch.
As to the other two, one a special called Chicken Chipotle Avocado, was a snore, and there was hardly any chicken, and the second, The Italian, ham, mortadella, Provolone and capicola, had almost no flavor at all. Next time, I’ll try the Earl’s Club, turkey, bacon and lots of other good looking ingredients-if there is a next time.
Inside the Palms, at the Food Court next to the Brenden Theaters.
Down in Henderson, meanwhile, the sandwich options continue to proliferate what with places like Freddy’s Steakburger and Five Guys having opened in the past two years, a number of Asian banh mi places, and now, The Berliner, a German wurst joint.
The Berliner serves sausages on various types of breads, plus the usual Teutonic stuff that accompanies them, such as a vinegar-y potato salad, a nice warm kraut, cucumber salad, and German style pickles, each priced separately.
This is a cute place, but not super welcoming to sit in, unless you like those high stools, with your feet dangling in the air. There was one table, but the owner was sitting in it, so I stood, while my wife sat. I hate those damned high chairs.
As to the sausages, they are made to order, and procured from a local meat packer, the name of whom was withheld by the owner. “They’re made locally”, was his terse answer to my question. I tasted three types of sausage, The Stinker, a garlic sausage where the meat is topped with caramelized onion, The Knockout, my favorite, a one-third pound all beef knockwurst, and a bratwurst with curry sauce, called The Swimmer.
The last one was unspeakable. I love currywurst in Germany, eaten at places called a schnell imbiss, or fast food stand, in that country. In Germany, the wurst is doused with a yellowish curry sauce, mildly flavored, and delicious. Here, the sausage is inundated with something that the counterman made from what looked like ketchup. He took some curry powder from a bottle, and stirred it in. Fellas, this is not a good idea.
But the whole grain and spicy mustards are delicious, and the side dishes more than tolerable. So if you are in the mood for wurst, The Berliner ain’t the worst option.
At 9400 S. Eastern Ave., Henderson. 431-8778.
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