Thursday, December 8, 2016
No, not our boat. The weather. Looking at national weather this morning, much of the country is feeling the effects of a very large winter weather system. Yes, even down to the Tropical Tip. No, we won't get the snow and freezing temperatures, but our daytime highs will be 25 to 30º cooler than yesterday, and the wind is out of the north with a fury... currently, gusting above 30 mph, with a temperature of 68º (at 7:00 am) that will be dropping through the day.
Looks like it will be an indoor kinda day. Maybe a "Tastee sandwiches and chili" kinda day. Because, as we all know: when the going gets tough, the tough eat comfort food.
What are Tastee sandwiches, you ask? Obviously, you are not from the Sioux City area, but thanks for asking. Iowa people understand "loosemeat sandwiches," a term that seems to gross out people from most other parts of the country. These types of sandwiches are known by various names in different locations: taverns, steamburgers, Wimpies, sloppy joes, Maid-Rites, slushburgers... but, if you are from Iowa, they are loosemeats. Ground beef with other ingredients added in the cooking, served on a bun.
The difference between a Tastee sandwich (made at the Tastee Inn & Out drive-ins) and other loosemeat sandwiches: the "secret" ingredients. Like the Colonel's "9 secret herbs and spices," or the Coke ingredients, the Tastee had their recipe. Many people tried to duplicate it. Some tried to buy it from the Tastee. A lot of people ate a lot of loosemeat sandwiches while trying to decipher the actual recipe. There has been recipe trading and sampling in the search. When people move away from Sioux City, they miss (and crave) a Tastee loosemeat sandwich.
The history goes back even further than the Tastee Inn & Out: back in 1924, a cook at the Ye Olde Tavern made one of these concoctions, naming it a "tavern" after the name of the restaurant. Two years later, a Muscatine, Iowa butcher came up some something similar, naming his a Maid-Rite. Thus began the battle of the loosemeat sandwich.
But, from my childhood, it was all about the Tastee Inn & Out. They had two locations in Sioux City, one on Court Street, the other on Gordon Drive (the Gordon Drive location is still in operation). Nothing else was as good as a real Tastee sandwich. While many have declared that they have come up with the recipe, I believe I know the real ingredient, beyond the diced onions, garlic powder, etc, etc: I think the Tastee came up with an addictive substance, perhaps a precursor to crack cocaine... it brings customers back.
With the impending two to three day norther moving in, Joan said that maybe she'd make her version of Tastee sandwiches (and onion chips and dip) today... now, that's all I can think about!
The Dream and the Reality...
You know how you crave something, but it doesn't turn out quite like your taste buds remembered? Yeah, that wasn't the case here - the Tastee sandwiches were just as tasty as I remembered. Plus, she made chili to go with it. Just the thing on this cold, blustery day.
I asked Joan if she wanted to go to the movies this afternoon... "I'm not going back out in that nasty weather."
I'm good with that. We can stay home and eat another loosemeat sandwich! ;-)