Blogging and Business Lunch

What a beautiful Florida afternoon to enjoy lunch outside!  Most of the time when I’m writing about food in the market I’m sitting at my desk , a pen in one hand a fork in the other & a camera by my side. The food & drinks have always been good but often what really makes a meal truly great is the company that you’re sharing it with. Around the corner at the Willow Tree we call it Gemuetlichkeit, which is a sense of well-being and happiness that comes from enjoying the company of friends and family while savoring good food and drink.

I often ask my coworkers to sample our ‘exotic’ German delights and I’m usually rebuffed (I just don’t understand their aversion to a ball of fried herring marinated in vinegar?!?) Yesterday while I was out in store looking over some of our new items one of our beloved regulars came in and we picked up a jar of red pepper strips & started talking with Chef Josh about what items on the shelf would be great to add onto our deli sandwiches.

We all started kicking around ideas and Chef Josh took over and said that he’d have something special just for us made with items from our store. Theo thought it was a fantastic idea, so today I’ve been watching the clock in anticipation for what was going to be presented.  Working in the food service industry it’s not often that I get to eat lunch at ‘lunch time’, so I think I’ve got a good reason to be excited about taking a short break to enjoy the weather, a good meal with  great people.

Tom arrived just after Noon, I picked up a nice cold bottle of Ginger Beer and we went outside to sit in the shade of our sidewalk tables. I don’t think the afternoon could have been any nicer to enjoy the weather and a good lunch.  It was hot out today but sitting in the shade of our table’s umbrella with a cold drink…it was just down right pleasant. The Ginger Beer was not over sweet, and a smooth flavor that fell between Root Beer & Ginger Ale.

I had a few minutes to just chat with Tom about what he liked most about the deli. He described how limited the options were in the area for a quick lunch that wasn’t a sit down establishment. We both talked about the positive & negative aspects of how we slice our sandwich meats to order. While it takes a few extra minutes the freshness and quality is worth it.  He particularly enjoys the products we make in house, during the week he rotates between our Herb Roasted Turkey, Garlic Pork Loin & Chicken Salad. However his favorite fallback is Pastrami on either our homemade German Farmers Bread or Pumpernickel with Swiss cheese, onions & pickles.

Theo came out to join us and we all sat back and talked about good food and what Chef Josh was preparing, then as if right on cue Chef Josh came out with plates in hand.

We had a Smoked Pork Loin, with sautéed mushrooms, red peppers & onions, melted Mediterranean Gouda on our fresh brotchen with a red pepper & garlic aoli, and a side of tomato cucumber salad.

The sandwich was hearty, filling and almost caused me a sensory overload. The smoked pork loin was tender and juicy. Chef Josh has proven many times that he is a pro when in it comes to smoking meats. The red peppers, onions & mushrooms were sautéed long enough to let the flavors out and get the consistency just right. The red pepper and garlic aoli….oh just where can I start to express the raptures of a great aoli. Chef Josh set aside some of the red pepper strips from the jar just for this, he admits that it’s not a proper aoli because he cheated today using a tube of our Thomy Mayo. I know the leftovers were polished off by the staff afterwards. I know there wasn’t any evidence of it left on my plate I saved a few bites of me bread to clean it up.  Tom likes our new brotchen because it the fresh ones we make now have a better crust.

A perfect companion for the meal was the tomato cucumber salad. Tom expressed it exactly, how on a hot day like today the cold salad was absolutely refreshing and next to the somewhat heavy sandwich. Josh used our Haus dressing which has this wonderfully strong dill flavor.

I was completely contented and a bit sad when it was gone, even Theo sounded a little down when he said “guess it’s time to get back to work” so back to the office I came with some good pictures a page full of quick observational scribbles.

For all our foodie friends Chef Josh gave wrote down the recipe for your enjoyment.

Pork Loin
Garlic
Spanish onion
Cucumber
BENDE Red Pepper Strips
Mushrooms
Tomato
Salt & Pepper
THOMY Mayo
Pumpernickel Bread
Mediterranean Gouda
WTC Haus Dressing

1. For garlic pork loin marinate in 1/2 cup olive oil and 6 roughly chopped cloves of garlic for at least 1 hour
2. For pickled red peppers onions and mushrooms take 1 jar of Bende Red Pepper strips and reserve 1/4 jar for aoli
While marinating pork make pickled veg take 1/2 of Spanish onion and julienne into 1/8″ strips
Slice mushrooms into 1/8″ slices in a mixing bowl combine Red Peppers and juice with onions and mushrooms, mix and let rest 30 mins
3. For tomato cucumber salad cut tomatos into hlf inch cubes. Place in mixing bowl.
Cut cucumber into 1/4 inch strips length wise, and then juliene 1/2 onions in 1/4 in strips place in bowl
mix in 8oz of haus dressing and chill for 20 min
4. Salt and pepper smoke on smoker at 225 for 10min let rest for 5min, slice in 1/2″ slices
5. For aoli combine 6 garlic cloves & the 1/4th jar of reserved red peppers, 1 Thomy Mayo tube in a food processor or blender until finely pureed and mixed through, salt and pepper to taste
6. Strain and sauté veg; Sauté to heat, not to cook.
7. Assembly of sandwich
Assemble on small sheet pan.
Take pumpernickel bun cut in half and toast on 1 side. Spread aoli on both sides of bread. Place 1/2 of 1 whole sliced tenderloin on the bottom half of bread
Place hot sautéed pickled veg on top of pork, place 1 slice of Mediterranean Gouda on top. Broil for 1 min to melt cheese
Place top bread on and cut in half on diagonal and serve with chilled tomato cucumber salad

We had enough to serve 5

1 hour prep

40 mins cooking

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Phil Hale said,

    Some things can only evoke a single word….YUM!

    • 2

      Phil Hale said,

      Some things can only evoke a single word….YUM! Can we mere mortals get this sandwich/salad at WT or at the Deli?


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