EW: Beck’s Cajun Cafe’s “Trainwreck Po’ Boy”
If you hadn’t noticed from every one of my previous posts, I’m not exactly a vegetarian. In fact, I’m nearly a meat-atarian. I have nothing against vegetarians… I just like my sandwiches to have a little more substance than just veggies and bread. That’s boring. So, vegetarians, bear with me as I blaze through yet another meat-filled sandwich, this one more than others.
There’s a place in Philadelphia called the Reading Terminal Market. For those of you familiar with Pittsburgh’s Strip District, it’s basically like taking the entire area and condensing it and then putting it under a roof… except even bigger. There are all kinds of ethnicities, food types, food stuffs and walks of life. It’s really a sight to behold. The second time I ventured to the RTM, I came across a place featuring Muffalettas the size of my head and scents that couldn’t conceivably come from this earth.
It’s a small, New Orleans-style cajun restaurant called Beck’s Cajun Cafe, and it instantly became one of my favorite places to eat in the entire world. The authenticity this place provides is staggering, from their abundant use of andouille sausage to their immaculate po-boys. And that’s where this behemoth comes in.
The Trainwreck Po’ Boy is one of the most awe-inspiring sandwiches I’ve ever seen, much less tasted. Really, it’s a work of meat-art, made up of “andouille sausage, steak, salami, cheese, and onion.” Yes, you read that correctly. THREE kinds of delicious meats that on their own would be enough for a great ‘wich. Well, Beck’s decided to put the trio on, and good lord does it work.
This, like the Shrimp Cutlet from Cabana’s I had a little while back, is a sandwich that exists as one entity. There are separate flavors, sure, but the filler in this ‘wich becomes one giant essence of yum. At first, you simply taste the flavor of meat mixed with cheese and the crunch of grilled onions. But as you continue to eat, they each show their distinct colors.
The andouille provides a pop and a delicious New Orleans-spiced flavor. (I’m not sure if a state can have a state meat, like a state bird or flower, but if one could, New Orleans’ state meat should be andouille sausage). The steak has a chew to it that gives the sandwich more texture, always a good thing, and it’s the leanest of the three used here. The salami provides its salty yet subtle flavor to two meats that were more spice than salt, making a perfect trio. Then, the provolone works itself into every nook and cranny of the meat and bread to create a melty coating on everything. And, as if this ‘wich needed any more spice or character, the onions give it a little crunch and even more kick in the spice department.
Combining three powerhouse meats like andouille, salami and steak is like the Miami Heat (minus all the negatives) of sandwiches. It seems too good to be true, but then it actually happens, and it’s really, really, really good. I mean, unbelievably good. The way the three work together is something I could’ve only dreamed of, until Beck’s made my dream come true.