Monday, July 19, 2010

Islay's BBQ Ham Sammies

So the guys at work give me a hard time because I often complain about Pittsburgh. Don't get me wrong, I love living here, but it's definitely my #2 choice. I grew up in the Boston area and then lived near San Diego for quite a few years. By far Boston is my favorite! San Diego is a good place to vacation. But if you love rain and snow and changing of the seasons, it's definitely not someplace you want to live.

Most of my complaining is missing regional foods. I miss all the food in Boston. Pizza, Italian food, Seafood, even the Chinese food is different... try getting chicken fingers anywhere in Pittsburgh. I know you're thinking you can... but that's because you don't know what they're like from a Chinese restaurant in Boston... deep fried in that fluffy batter... so good... even cold outta the fridge the next day... oops... I'm getting off track here... and of course I miss the Mexican food of SoCal!

Anyway... I always say if I left Pittsburgh, there's no food I'd really miss. I would miss MadMex's Insane San Francisco Wings... and Mike & Tony's gyros... but really... that's about it for food.

They wanted me to try something uniquely Pittsburgh and suggested the Isaly's BBQ Chipped Chopped Ham Sandwich.

I decided it was time to give it a try.

First to get a little more info about it, I consulted my friend the internet.

There I discovered that Isaly's Chipped Chopped Ham is "hammier". Yup... that's right "hammier". I'm not sure what it's supposed to be more hammier than. It's definitely hammier than ice cream or roast beef or broccoli... but if it's supposed to be hammier than other ham... well... I don't get it.


You're supposed to heat the Chipped Chopped Ham with Isaly's BBQ sauce. I found the BBQ at the deli of my local Giant Eagle. I had planned to get Original flavor and Spicy flavor. Unfortunately they only had original. So original it was!


I smelled the BBQ sauce when I opened it... and instantly it reminded me of Spaghetti-O's sauce, which I think is revolting. I was describing the smell to Jon, saying it smelled like sweet tomato sauce... he picked up the other jar and started to read the ingredients... The first two ingredients... Tomato Puree & High Fructose Corn Syrup... to be followed by more corn syrup a couple ingredients down. Well... at least it smells like what's in it!

I took a little taste... and it was WAY too sweet for my liking. I was thinking this might turn out to be a pizza night... even though the best pizza is at Wakefield House of Pizza on Tuttle St in Wakefield... unless you want Sicilian.. then you have to go to Morena's on Broadway in Wakefield... oh... sorry... getting side-tracked by the foods that I miss again!!

So I tossed the Isaly's Chipped Chopped Ham into a skillet. Then added the sauce. The salty ham did improve the taste of the BBQ sauce, but not really enough that I'd actually want to eat it. So then I poured in a big dollop of Jack Daniel's Honey Smokehouse BBQ sauce in an attempt to make it more edible.


That made it much better!

Yay! Dinner, while not authentically Pittsburgh, was at least not a fail.

It turned out to be pretty yummy.

So there's still not really much food I'd miss if I left here. Even though this turned out yummy, it's unlikely I'd make it again. I prefer my ham smoked and slathered with mustard!


Nelly said...

Great post! I totally agree about missing local food, when I lived in London for six months I missed the food up north so much!

Although I must say that BBQ sauce sounds a little sweet and sickly, I prefer a little spice too.

Nels x

Patti T. said...

I never used the Isaly's sauce, but just use whatever my favorite barbecue sauce of the moment is. I have not had this in a LONG time. It sure wouldn't heat up the kitchen much, gotta keep this one in mind. Thanks for bringing it up Spryte.

Danielle said...

Back in the day, most of the mexican restaurants out here were small, mom and pop type places which were the BEST! Now, they're few and far between...and have been replaced by chains (El Torrito, Alcapulco) you're not missing all that much anymore LOL

Hammyer....thats what ham salad sandwiches need to be! I bet I'd like them better with a good bbq sauce instead of mayo. :)

Pam said...

Wow! What a great looking sandwich that I have to try! Thanks for the recipe!

Bob said...

Yeah, Boston rules. Heh. I have several siblings who have moved around the country and they all miss it here.

Hm, an interesting sandwich. I don't care for super sweet sauce myself and one that smells like spaghettios really doesn't sound appealing. Not that I wouldn't try it mind you and probably enjoy it.

girlichef said...

Man, I probably woulda just forgot that sauce altogether & just used the jack sauce...but I must admit, the end result looks mighty tasty. Hammier....HA!