BBQ Reuben at the Roadhouse

A new sandwich classic in the making.

By Ari Weinzweig

Every once in a while, I have this feeling about a new product. It goes something like, “This is gonna be big! It’s a signature item in the making!” This new sandwich is in that category. I rarely eat a full lunch, but when I tasted the BBQ Reuben on the first day it rolled out, I went back more than once for another bite. And then another still. It is that good.

About the BBQ pulled pork.

The meat of this particular matter is the pulled pork that has, itself, been a signature item at the Roadhouse for so many years now. Ever since Ed Mitchell came up from North Carolina in 2003 to teach us how to do it, we’ve been smoking some pretty darned good eastern North-Carolina-style pulled pork. We start with whole hogs—free running old breeds, raised to the Niman Ranch protocols for sustainability and animal welfare—slowly smoked on the pit at the Roadhouse for about fifteen hours. While North Carolinians would generally smoke over hickory, here we use oak, the tree that was part of what earned Ann Arbor its name (later nicknamed into Tree Town) all the way back when the town was founded in 1825.

Why the rest of this sandwich is so good!

The other key feature on the sandwich is a blue-cheese-and-applewood-smoked-bacon coleslaw that Roadhouse head chef Bob Bennett came up with a few weeks ago. It’s awesome on its own and, added to the sandwich, this new slaw adds crunch, depth, and integrity. It’s an inspired contrast to the tenderness of the slowly smoked pork. Piled on slices of Roadhouse bread from the Bakehouse that are generously spread with Russian Dressing and topped with a couple slices of that great aged Baby Swiss cheese we get from Chalet Coop in Monroe, Wisconsin (the oldest cheese coop in the Dairy State—it was founded by five farmers in 1885, five years after Leda Rafanelli was born in Italy!). If you’re looking for something special to liven up your lunch, swing by this week to order one—or two—of these great new sandwiches! Seriously good stuff!