Saturday, January 31, 2015
I'm not going to lie to you: One "BBQ pulled pork" sandwich is pretty close to the next. Aside from that pleasant mustard surprise.* They're all good. This one was no exception. The manchego cheese was an interesting ingredient, if only because it looks so much like a pickle. I liked the manchego cheese. I also probably would have liked a nice pickle.
* I saw Pleasant Mustard Surprise open for the Guess Who in '68 in Kitchener. I was only 6, but it was amazing.
Montaditos down: 50
Montaditos to go: I don't know. What am I, some sort of math genius?????
Next: 51 BBQ pulled pork,manchego cheese, crispy onion and mustard
Friday, January 30, 2015
Montaditos down: 49
Montaditos to go: 51
Next: 50 BBQ pulled pork,manchego cheese, green pepper and ali oli
Thursday, January 29, 2015
But the darn sandwich was pretty good. And then I had an epiphany: chili dog. We put yellow mustard, improbably, on chili dogs. Cheddar cheese, too, at least sometimes, sometimes, for that matter.
Against my better judgment, I really liked this sandwich.
Montaditos down: 48
Montaditos to go: 52
Next: 49 BBQ pulled pork, crispy onion and chipotle alioli
Wednesday, January 28, 2015
And this sandwich, it turns out, is a crowd pleaser. Or at least a me pleaser.
I'm not sure I got any bacon. I think I got aioli, but I didn't taste it. But this sweet barbecue pork together with cream cheese (both making their debuts on this blog, by the way) is a winner. Crowds will be pleased; I'm sure of it.
Montaditos down: 47
Montaditos to go: 53
Next: 48 BBQ pulled pork, cheddar cheese, lettuce and mustard
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I never in a million years would have singled out chicken and brie as a potentially awesome combination. But it was a pretty awesome combination. The chickeny chickeniness of the chicken and that creamy brie. The crispy onion may have helped. The green pepper? Sure, why not.
Oh, did I mention that the Spanish music was back? Did I ever mention that it went away? Sigh. Probably not. At some point after the first week or so, the traditional and appropriate soundtrack at the 100 Montaditos franchise in the Near Southeast/Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront/SoCHill (South of Capitol Hill) district of the District of Columbia switched from the music you'd expect to Miami-nightclub-disco-midnight-Saturday-teenage-dream. Or something. I'm not the world's biggest fan of Spanish music, but that's what I want to hear if I have to hear music at 100 Montaditos. I can hear crap music plenty of other places. (Yes, I am old. And perhaps white.)
Montaditos down: 46
Montaditos to go: 54
Next: BBQ pulled pork, cream cheese, bacon and ali oli
Monday, January 26, 2015
Another solid performance by the chicken. Green pepper, tomato and aioli are nice partners for el pollo.
Montaditos down: 45
Montaditos to go: 55
Next: 46 Chicken, brie cheese, green pepper and crispy onion
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Montaditos down: 44
Montaditos to go: 56
Next: 45 Chicken, green pepper, fresh tomato and ali oli
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Whatevs, 100 Montaditos.
Meanwhile, this chicken is different in both quantity and quality from the chicken I had on montadito No. 42. Much better -- like the grilled stuff you'd find in fajitas -- and much more of it.
This is a weird sandwich, but it's not a bad one.
Montaditos down: 43
Montaditos to go: 57
Next: 44 Chicken, lettuce and chipotle aioli
Friday, January 23, 2015
I didn't get much chicken. And I'm still wondering, as with the hot dog, why chicken would qualify as "premium."
Nonetheless, this 100 Montaditos montadito has its charms. That ingredient combination, with nothing green or red to spoil the fun, approximates the salty, fatty, umami-y childhood pleasure that is Underwood Chicken Spread.
Montaditos down: 42
Montaditos to go: 58
Next: 43 Chicken,manchego cheese, fresh tomato and mustard
Thursday, January 22, 2015
I'm not sure why the move from hamburger to hot dog puts us in the "premium" category, but there you go. We are now in the "premium" section of the menu. As far as I'm concerned we're also still in the "children's section."
Having said that, and having panned the so-called burger, I am here to praise the more-than-so-called hot dog. This is one tasty hot dog, whether it's geared toward children or not. One thumb up! (The other one is holding the hot dog.)
Tubular meat is universal, of course, and even the good old American hot dog works well cross-culturally. I have vague but fond memories of eating le hot dog on my first trip to Paris, back in the 1980s -- they reamed out a baguette with a red-hot poker and stuck in a ... red-hot. A hot dog. Le hot dog. It was bon.
(New to the menu with No. 41: Hot dog. Ketchup. Mustard. The Premium designation.)
Montaditos down: 41
Montaditos to go: 59
Next: 42 Chicken, crispy onion and ali oli
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
It got better on later bites, though, which brings up an interesting point about the structure of these 100 Montaditos montaditos. That's not a big hinge of bread, and so sometimes some of the ingredients get stuck in the crook. In this case, the extremely bland gray burger was all I got on the first bite, but the sandwich worked better when I could get all the ingredients together. Not great, but better.
Still, there's really no call for a hamburger montadito. Let's move on.
Montaditos down: 40
Montaditos to go: 60
Next: Hot dot, ketchup and mustard
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Now to the first of the two burgers. Man, that is one ugly gray nugget of beef. And the taste is pretty similar to the look. Now, if they had called this meatloaf instead of a burger, I'd buy it. And it would probably taste better. So that's the trick here: Think "burger" and you'll be disappointed. Think "meatloaf" and, well, if you like meatloaf, you might be in luck.
This, by the way, is the first appearance on the menu of chipotle aioli, or "chipotleaioli." (Why it's not "chipotle ali oil," I don't know.) The bites with this new condiment were my favorite bits of this meatloaf, er, burger.
Montaditos down: 39
Montaditos to go: 61
Next: 40 Burger, bacon, lettuce, fresh tomato and mayo
Monday, January 19, 2015
But the proportions got better after the leathery ham forced me to bite off a big chunk of it right away. It's hard to argue with serrano and mozzarella. That green pepper, raw bell pepper in previous appearances, seemed cooked this time. If you told me it was a piece of Anaheim chile, I wouldn't necessarily argue.
Montaditos down: 38
Montaditos to go: 62
Next: 39 Burger, cheddar cheese, bacon, crispy onion and chipotle alioli
Sunday, January 18, 2015
If anything, I thought the absence of tomato would make mozzarella and pesto even less appealing, but this montadito managed to win me over. If pesto is less than the some of its parts, the sandwich as a whole was the opposite. It had an agreeable sweetness to it. I probably won't order it again, as my refrain goes, but it won my respect.
Montaditos down: 37
Montaditos to go: 63
Next: 38 Mozzarella, serrano ham and green pepper
Saturday, January 17, 2015
I love basil. I could sit in your garden and eat it leaf by leaf. Olive oil? I could drink the good stuff. Glug, glug. Garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese? Check, check, check.
But I don't like pesto. Not very much, at least. How can that be? Shrug. To me, it's a jarring flavor, and usually I'm all about the jarring flavors. This one is less than the sum of its parts.
So keep that confession in mind as I tell you I didn't like this sandwich. The bread was fine. The mozzarella needed salt. The tomato needed salt. The pesto was pesto. Have I told you how I feel about pesto?
Montaditos down: 36
Montaditos to go: 64
Next: 37 Mozzarella, pesto, piquillo pepper and arugula
Friday, January 16, 2015
But it actually kind of works. Honey mustard softens the pungency of the blue cheese, and blue cheese keeps honey mustard from being cloying. Crispy onion and arugula are rarely bad ideas. I probably wouldn't order this one again, but it was a pleasant surprise.
Montaditos down: 35
Montaditos to go: 65
Next: 36 Mozzarella, fresh tomato and pesto
Thursday, January 15, 2015
The first bite of this picky-eaters-need-not-apply 100 Montaditos sandwich started out interesting but things got very salty very fast.
I'm thinking blue cheese and anchovies should generally be kept apart, and both -- especially anchovies -- work better in supporting roles.
Montaditos down: 34
Montaditos to go: 66
Next: 35 Blue cheese, arugula, crispy onion and honey mustard
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Meanwhile, I have to say that 100 Montaditos didn't wimp out on the arugula this time. I can respect that.
Montaditos down: 33
Montaditos to go: 67
Next: 34 Blue cheese, anchovies, lettuce and fresh tomato
Tuesday, January 13, 2015
Then again, it's worth noting that BLUE CHEESE is the boldfaced, all-capped part of this sandwich, and it lives up to its billing. I see garlic pork loin, but mostly I taste BLUE CHEESE.
The subtlety of your garlic pork loin might be better served by one of your less-assertive cheeses.
Montaditos down: 32
Montaditos to go: 68
Next: 33 Blue cheese, bacon and arugula
Monday, January 12, 2015
Now, this is what I'm talking about. Two flawed ingredients add up to something ... not flawed. If I'm going to eat 100 Montaditos' take on Philly steak, I want it with blue cheese. If I'm going to eat blue cheese, I want it with beef of some sort. 100 Montaditos' take on Philly steak is beef of some sort. Insert that cool little "therefore" symbol from the proofs in logic class.
Montaditos down: 31
Montaditos to go: 69
Next: Blue cheese, garlic pork loin and piquillo pepper
Sunday, January 11, 2015
A wise amateur culinary historian named Joe H. wrote a message-board post some years back explaining the difference between the Philly cheesesteak and the popular-in-D.C. "steak and cheese." Before I read that post, I had rolled my eyes at the offer of "lettuce, tomato and mayo?" with such a sandwich. I was in Philly mode, and I wanted fried onions, hot peppers and maybe ketchup with that hot sandwich, not hamburger condiments.
So 100 Montaditos' No. 30 starts to sound like a steak-and-cheese, but once I get my mind set for those, I'm wanting mayo. Where's my mayonnaise? Without it, the effect is more along the lines of a very bland, boring cheeseburger.
Montaditos down: 30
Montaditos to go: 70
Next: 31 Philly steak, blue cheese, green pepper and ali oil
Saturday, January 10, 2015
The piquillo pepper is the star of this sandwich, which is odd, given that it hasn't stepped to the forefront in any of its previous appearances, and given that we're talking beef and cheddar here. (It's also not visible in the photo.)
But that's what I'm tasting first and foremost, and that's not such a bad thing.
Montaditos down: 29
Montaditos to go: 71
Next: 30 Philly steak, cheddar cheese, fresh tomato and lettuce
Friday, January 9, 2015
Now, I've never been a fan of brie, even in more brie-appropriate dishes. By which I mean pretty much all other dishes. So I'm prepared for a gustatory disaster in addition to the philosophical one.
But, you know, this isn't bad. The brie is full of creamy goodness -- maybe my brie experiences date back to my sort-of-picky-eater days. If I can't have Whiz or provolone or American cheese, I'll take it over the previous sandwich's cheddar. And the arugula helps alleviate that something's-missing feeling.
Still, that meat. Maybe call it something else? I'm thinking it's not even an actual cut of beef -- it seems more like the shaped-slurry kind of product you find at Arby's and in gyros. I don't hate it, but I am tempted to put quotation marks around "Philly" and "steak."
Montaditos down: 28
Montaditos to go: 72
Next: 29 Philly steak, cheddar cheese, piquillo pepper and crispy onion
Thursday, January 8, 2015
The meat doesn't taste so bad -- it's not too chewy, and there's a nice black-pepper tang -- but it looks awful and the cut is all wrong. These are thick chunks of gray meat, not paper-thin slices that you watch turn from red to brown on a flat-top griddle.
The cheese is a decent cheddar (making its menu debut), but again it's not anything close to the Cheez Whiz or provolone or American that you'd be offered in Philadelphia.
And the bare-bones beef-plus-cheese combination is missing something. It tastes like something an annoyingly picky eater might order.
"That's it, sir, beef and cheese? No mayo?"
"Eew -- I hate mayonnaise."
"No hot peppers?"
"Eew. Tongue go burnie-burnie!"
"No sweet peppers?"
"Not even lettuce and tomato?"
"Vegetables? What are you, my mom?"
Montaditos down: 27
Montaditos to go: 73
Next: 28 Philly steak, brie cheese and arugula
Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Montaditos down: 26
Montaditos to go: 74
Next: 27 Philly steak and cheddar cheese