The incredible edible Stromboli.
This is the Stromboli sandwich from Mike’s Premiere Grill/Pizza King in Valparaiso. I have to admit, I am in love. The ground seasoned sausage, fresh Gonnella bread toasted to perfection, sweet onions and fresh green peppers. Of course, you can get it any way you want but this is the way I want it. I posted a picture of this sandwich on face book a couple of days ago and have been yearning for one ever since. My every waking thought was about the strom. I went to see some customers and all I could talk about was the strom. Why did I have such a craving? I don’t know, I just wanted it.
Years ago, Mike’s Premiere was Fred’s Really Good Stuff. I spent many evenings working on different menu items before the restaurant opened. I knew a lot of police officers because of our clothing store, so I took advantage of using them as guinea pigs for the menu items. One of my best testers was a officer by the name of Jovan. He would see the lights on at night and he was always hungry. I would be in the kitchen and after a while there was a knock at the door and he would say it was Jovan. He always said he never wanted anything but he never refused any thing in front of him. He came back from vacation in California one time and raved about a sandwich he had out there. We did put it on the menu and named it the Jovan. I can’t even remember what it was and wasn’t a big seller but it made him feel good.
One night I heard the knock on the door and it was Jovan. This time there was no pretense about anything. He said “I am starving; I have not eaten all day”. That actually is a scary thought. Anyway I said I don’t know what we are going to do; I was just about to go home. I had put everything away. I thought he was going to cry. After calming him down , I said, listen I’ll put something together and you can try this. I took some French bread, spread some pizza sauce on it, put pizza sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. Basically pizza on bread. I put it in the oven and sat back. Jovan was beside himself, he couldn’t wait and kept peeking in the oven. Is it done yet? He would ask every 2 minutes. Finally, it was ready. I pulled it out and the steam was just streaming off the sandwich. Jovan sat down and took a bite out of the hottest sandwich I ever saw. I couldn’t believe he did not burn his mouth. He took three more quick bites and did not say a word. Finally he looks at me and says what do you call this? I said , I don’t know, I think it’s a Stromboli. I had heard the name before and even though it was not a Stromboli like the one Mr. Romano invented in Philadelphia in the 1950’s , I figured he wouldn’t know the difference. He said is this going to be on the menu? I hadn’t thought about that but I didn’t want to look stupid so I said of course it is. What did you think I wouldn’t put something this good on the menu?
As it turned out it was the second best selling sandwich we sold over the course of time we were open. I used to think about how lucky I was that Jovan was so hungry that night. I know that I have to end this now because I am so hungry for the Strom that I am going to Mike’s Premiere Grill on Calumet Ave in Valpo so I can satisfy my craving.
Until later ……………………………..Ciao