Friday, May 4, 2012

Liberty Kitchen in the Heights: Rodeo Clown Reuben Sandwich

Frontage on the Corner of
Studewood & 11th Street
After having visited Lance Fegen's BRC Gastropub not too long ago, I found myself visiting another one of his places, Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar, due to the Tillamook Love Loaf  Tour for the only non-burger entry in the Houston Burger week, the oddly named Rodeo Clown Reuben, or as the hostess called it "The Big Sloppy Sandwich".  It was indeed big, but I was able to eat it without it being as sloppy as the Tillamook Ice House Burger was at Beaver's.  No complaining or bellyaching here folks--every last one of those sandwiches and burgers I tried this week was very delicious--whether it was neatly or sloppily eaten. 

I will add that both of Lance Fegen's entries had a great variety of flavours combined, and though each sandwich contained a hot dog, they each used a different kind of hot dog that was cooked differently.  Kudos to Lance Fegen for using variety within different categories of meat to add to these sandwiches.  I will also add that I will be coming back to both BRC and Liberty Kitchen to try their other fare.  I also have his Glass Wall in the Heights on my short list as well.  Okay enough of this!!!  And so without further ado here is your...

Rodeo Clown Reuben Blueprint: 
Spiced Brisket
Chicken fried steak
Hot dog
Tillamook sharp cheddar & pepper jack
Sweet jalapeños, Malt slaw
Thousand Island Dressing & chile con Queso
On dark pumpernickel bread 

Chef Lance Fegen seems to be a fan of butterflied hotdogs on sandwiches.  I'm not complaining.  Though I seem to remember Alfalfa from the Little Rascals putting a hot dog on a big old sandwich too.  This Rodeo Clown is a monster sandwich of champions.  All at once it is beefy, meaty, sweet, sour, creamy, cheesy, salty, and full of crunchy yet juicy goodness. The dark pumpernickel & malt slaw are bitter and salty, and they offset the sweetness of the brisket & the hot dog quite nicely. The chicken fried steak adds more crunch along with that of the bread. The Tillamook cheese works with it all but doesn't get in in the way of the other flavours either.  And the in house made 1000 Island dressing is creamy, pickly and tangy to tie it all together. The best of the Tillamook sandwich/burger bunch I had this week!

Lunch Counter/Bar at Liberty Kitchen

Of note is the atmosphere of Liberty Kitchen: it is like a stainless steel art deco diner meets a 21st Century reclaimed wood urban chic bistro.   All types of customers here--hipsters, yuppies, tattooed old school Heights residents mixed with new school gentrifiers, bikers (motor and pedal), and a few corporate nudniks. Liberty Kitchen has a VERY lively staff, and Chef/Sous Chef was always visible at the bar/counter.  Leading from the front always gets props from me. 

Foodie Professor's Report Card for Liberty Kitchen:
Rodeo Clown Reuben: A+
Only halfway through!!! 
Speed: A+
Friendliness: A+
Atmosphere: A+
Cleanliness: A

Overall Grade: A+

And Remember:
Eat Happy!
Zao an, y'all!

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