Classic Diner Roast Beef Meal

Reader Erik pinged me this morning about my not covering the Chateau Louise here in Luna Pier. Doode, half the current kitchen staff was hired out of our living room … And then he wrote:

Erik: Now you need to write up Red Wells. 🙂

me: ‘Red Wells’? Sound like a skin condition …

Erik: Oh man, you’ve never been to “Red Wells’ Famous Roast Beef Sandwich Shop? One of my coworkers tipped me to it (he’s from Toledo). It’s the last (that I know of) old time Midwestern cafeteria style roast beef restaurants. It’s really pretty good in a funky way. It’s on Sylvania Ave maybe 10-15 blocks west of Mancy’s. I grew up in SW MI and there was a similar place called ABZ in South Bend. Sliced hot roast beef on bread with gravy, mashed potatoes, and other sides. Disgustingly good. 🙂

me: Great … now I’m going to have to make roast beef for dinner … your fault …

See, when I was growing up I’d had this beastie countless times in various diners across Michigan. The more this Erik character talked about this thing, the more I had to have it for dinner this evening.

So we did.

I headed out and found a couple nice thick roasts. The oven was set to 250 degrees F. Some roast garlic olive oil from the Frog Leg Inn went into the roasting pan and the roasts went on top of the oil. I sprinkled the meat with Kosher salt, some good pepper, granulated garlic and added some big chunks of onion. I then covered this with aluminum foil, put it in the oven … and waited five hours.

Sixteen-year-old Adam made up some of his quite-nice Garlic Mashed Potatoes and then we made a simple beef gravy of a 50/50 mix of chicken stock and the juices from the roasts, and a little corn starch mixed with water. The bread is just a piece of Texas toast. The sliced roast beef piles on the bread, the potatoes pile on the roast beef, and the whole of it is topped with gravy.

Mary said her first bite immediately tasted like she’d want seconds. Once she finished what’s shown in that first photo, not only was she too full for seconds but she dropped off to sleep shortly afterward.

Good eatin’? You bet your sweet bippy.

Thanks, Erik, for an excellent idea for dinner.


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  1. Dave, I thought somewhere along the line we were blogging about our waist size.

    Then you go and post that photo of a Classic Diner Roast Beef Meal.

    And, yes, it makes me drool just looking at it — and it makes me want to make one — and then I can add ANOTHER inch to my fabled waistline — and then, yes, I will be able to blame it on YOU.

    Obviously, I need to go find a nice vegetarian blog to follow . . . NAH!

  2. Oh. My. Heavens. That looks (and sounds) absolutely dee-lish! When can you and Adam visit MY kitchen!!! A local cafe does a hot beef sandwich that is quite good – hhhmmm, may be time for a lunch trip!

  3. A reader left me a link to your Mac & Cheese Loaf post, so I thought you might be interested in this:

  4. Jean, gotta get all the good stuff you can get!

    Kelly, I looked at the pic of the mac-n-cheese loaf you tried. That stuff even looks horrible as it sounds!

  5. Amish noodles?

    Living in Amish country, I’m curious. I’ve never seen them selling noodles at their farmers markets. Lots of amazing baked goods though.

  6. Kelly, they’re from Das Dutchman Essenhaus, an Amish inn & restaurant in Indiana. Kroger sells the noodles here in the Toledo area.

  7. Dave ~ What did I tell you about dangling delicious food pictures in front of a hungry pregnant woman?!? LOL That looks fabulous! I guess I know what I’m having for dinner tonight! 🙂

  8. Shawna, for you, I apologize for leaving out the pickles and ice cream. 😉

  9. No pickles needed….but you COULD poor some melted cheese on that ice cream! Mmmmmmmm! Good eats!

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