You might notice that on my travel blog, I rarely comment on food or restaurants. This is contrary to what you find in most travel writings or travel magazines. Today, I am making an exception. Today, I want to tell you about my late morning brunch…fried green tomatoes with an open faced pulled beef sandwich. Gourmet!
Grocery stores do not regularly stock green tomatoes. I use to snag them from my Dad’s garden causing him to loudly complain that if I didn’t keep my hands off his tomatoes, I’d wear out my welcome. Now, when we travel, if I spy tomato plants, I check the crop. I’ve been known to ask neighbors of friends who we visit for a few succulent green ones. I’ve never been refused. In fact, many folks are happy to have me pick the green ones especially when a frost is due. Here in McAllen, Texas, I have actually found a place where you can buy green tomatoes.
Bell’s Farm to Market is located on South Ware Road, one block north of the McAllen Convention Center. On my first visit, I found half-dozen lots in cardboard produce boxes for sale. I have been there several times and the tomatoes are eaten before they ever start to get a pink tinge of color.
Knowing how much I like green tomatoes, Ed wanted to have a bag as a surprise when I returned from Pennsylvania. He found none on the Market tables. He asked the proprietor for some. “I’ll give you a bag and you can go pick what you want,” the man said pointing to the 3-acre field next to the market. And, so he picked me a bag.
I am enjoying those green tomatoes today. I sliced them to quarter –inch thickness getting about five slices per tomato. I dusted them with whole wheat flour. And, I laid them in a single layer of hot olive oil in the frying pan. When the seeds bubbled and the flour turned golden brown on the frying side, I flipped them to crisp fry the other side.
The pulled beef was a left-over from a crock pot meal earlier in the week. This recipe for Italian Beef Sandwiches is on p. 168 of Simple Slow Cooker Recipes. I microwaved the beef and topped it with grated Parmesan cheese. I spooned the beef onto a toasted Kaiser bun.
To me, this is a good meal. I think restaurant food is over-rated and the experience of dining out is often disappointing. In my RV, the kitchen is always open and the service is with a smile.
In all my years of traveling and eating 2 – 3 meals on the road
entertaining clients, I have found one restaurant
that served fried green tomatoes –
Ritter’s Diner on Baum Boulevard in Pittsburgh, PA.
March 15, 2008