Thinking Beyond Burgers

Beef sandwiches’ menu appeal doesn’t rely on a patty.

Published in FSD Update

While hamburgers appear on most menus, they’re only one in a wide variety of beef sandwiches.

Jason Koprivich, executive chef and director at Westminster-Thurber, a community within Ohio Presbyterian Retirement Services, in Columbus, describes his shaved prime rib sandwich as a casual but top-quality, upscale item. The prime rib is shaved thin, topped with balsamic marinated Roma tomatoes, a mix of mesclun lettuce, Boursin cheese and spicy grilled red onions. The signature sandwich is served with either warm German dill potato salad, a fresh fruit parfait or housemade pub chips.

Chef Tony Black, the manager of food services at Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, says his students love a wrap that includes two types of beef: sliced brisket circling a smoked sausage, with shredded cheddar cheese and barbecue sauce, rolled in a jalapeño wrap. “We use Sweet Baby Ray’s sauce, and our brisket is fresh, not frozen,” says Black, who smokes meats from scratch for 14 to 21 hours. “We have a secret seasoning mix, and we also inject the meat to keep it tender and moist.”

Bill Whitcomb Jr., of Whitsons Culinary Group, says, “Our steak sandwiches are very big sellers in our B&I division. The Caribbean Grilled Steak is great because it has all that spice you want and it’s not overpowered by smoke or excess sauce. The New York Garlic Pretzel Steak Delight, with fresh mushrooms, shallots and mozzarella, is just awesome on garlic pretzel bread. Both use a cheese to blend flavors.” 

Whitcomb says that both sandwiches use inexpensive cuts of meat. “Flank is known for making good grilled steak, and hanger is just like skirt, very tender.” To compete with local food trucks and carts, he says, “We market these as package deals. Sandwiches are paired with drinks, potato salad or coleslaw and desserts.

“We try to source as local as possible for us and for the farmers,” Whitcomb adds. “Many of the cuts that come in need to be trimmed down. We choose to use those cuts because they are cheaper per pound and the excess trim can be utilized in stocks and soups. We want to get the most bang per dollar.”

Signature sandwiches

The Denver Broncos, who have used the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, as a training camp, inspired a student favorite, the Southwest Grilled Beef Sandwich. “It’s hearty and sort of like a grilled cheese sandwich on overdrive,” says Hal Brown, director of dining services. The sandwich is made of sliced roast beef and roasted red peppers and green chilies, flavored with puréed chipotle peppers in adobo and mayonnaise, topped with slices of pepper jack cheese and served hot and golden brown on Texas toast. 

“We do a carved flank steak sandwich, which is promoted as a special on Saturday nights,” says Jason Kearns, university chef. “We marinate the meat overnight in an Italian vinaigrette and grill it medium to medium-well. It smells amazing, and people can watch us slicing it, so that sells it. We add red onion, tomato and lettuce, on a hoagie bun, and [students] have a choice of a barbecue sauce or creamy horseradish.” 

James Richard, associate director of residential dining at Penn State, in University Park, Pa., says that his retail clientele love the cheese steak for which his state is famous. “And in our residential cycle menu, our French dip sandwich is very popular,” Richard says. “It’s a top round that we roast and then slice in front of the guests and chip it off, giving that appealing appearance of deli fresh roast beef. We bake our rolls fresh in house and offer the sandwich with fresh horseradish, flavored mustards and a cheddar beer spread. On the side, we offer onion straws—we marinate strips of red onion in horseradish, flour and fry them.” 

More From FoodService Director

Menu Development
quicken loans arena

The primary elections have ended, and all political eyes are turned to the 2016 Republican and Democratic national conventions. Tens of thousands of politicos, delegates, reporters and visitors will flock to Cleveland and Philadelphia, respectively, in July—and someone has to feed them all.

Below, FoodService Director takes a sneak peek behind the scenes at Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena, which seats more than 20,000 people. The logistics for the Republican National Convention have been coming together for more than a year, says Audrey Scagnelli, national press secretary for the...

Sponsored Content
vegetables with dip foodservice healthy menu

From Mrs. Dash Foodservice.

There was a time when healthy food meant counting calories, omitting carbs, giving up sugar and going fat-free—in other words, it was all about deprivation.

But not anymore. Today’s definition of healthy means an overall focus on nutrition and wellness that doesn’t mean giving up enjoyment. It’s all about balance: good fats, healthy carbs, better sweeteners, wholesome ingredients and satisfying flavor enhancements. It means food that customers can feel good about, at the same time that they’re enjoying the dining experience.

According to...

Industry News & Opinion

Aramark today announced a partnership with celebrity chef and TV personality Cat Cora that will put a new concept from the Top Chef star in Aramark’s North American business-and-industry accounts.

The new fast-casual concept, called Olilo by Cat Cora, promises a healthy, made-your-way menu, according to the global foodservice provider.

“By bringing together Chef Cora's award-winning brand and healthy cooking advocacy and Aramark's commitment to enriching and nourishing the lives of the thousands of consumers we serve every day, we have an opportunity to elevate the on-site...

Industry News & Opinion

Members of Congress and several advocacy groups gathered on Capitol Hill on Wednesday to highlight the potential loss of millions in state funding because of a Child Nutrition Reauthorization block grant introduced last month, and to call upon legislators to squash the bill.

The Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act of 2016 houses a statute that would provide three unannounced pilot states with block grant funding. Participating states would be exempt from federal nutrition regulations and would no longer qualify for the 6-cent reimbursement per lunch garnered by certified...

FSD Resources