This isn’t a review of a restaurant. It’s more of a public service announcement for all the restaurants out there that serve monte cristos. My dad always used to tell me, “If something is worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Actually, I think I got that from a movie. My dad was too busy yelling “Do you think I just fell off the back of a turnip truck?” at me. I still don’t know what that means, but now, thanks to the generous contributions of readers like you, I know what a turnip is. So regardless of where I got that first quote, here’s my point: If you can’t make a dish right, take it off your menu.
Nico’s Cafe – Kanan and Lindero Cyn in Oak Park (next to Starbucks)
First of all, let’s lay down some ground rules on what makes for a good monte cristo.
- It’s fried and crispy on the outside.
- It doesn’t fall apart while you’re eating it.
- The jam is spreadable.
I could make more rules, but these three are the basics. For those of you who need a refresher on what the monte cristo is, see our posts on Jack’s Deli and The Blue Bayou. That will give you a good idea of what the sandwich is all about and if I’ve done a good job, you’ll probably want to eat one after reading.
My friend Melissa and I found out that Nico’s had a monte cristo on the menu and got all excited about going to try it. Unfortunately, it was not a real monte cristo that we were served. Yes, all the ingredients were there. But this impostor gave all other monte cristos a bad name. Continue reading