The Monte Cristo at Yale Street Grill

Oh, the Monte Cristo, that white trash staple of a bygone era. Besides being one of my favorites, it was the only reason to go to Bennigan's. House of Pies has one that isn't too bad, but like a lot of food there, it's a little tired and limp. On a recent excursion to Yale Street Grill (2100 Yale St.), I noticed that one of the "new items" at the bottom of the menu was that legendary sandwich, the Monte Cristo.

I love this sandwich. It brings back childhood memories of living in Southern California. My family would go to Benji's, a now-defunct family-style diner, for Monte Cristos.

A ham and cheese sandwich is dipped into an egg batter and fried like french toast, then dipped into either strawberry or raspberry preserves or -- my preferred method -- maple syrup. This is a regional dish that changes with each restaurant.

For $6.95, Yale Street serves a Monte Cristo made with two pieces of French toast stuffed with ham and white American processed cheese that oozes everywhere and sprinkled with powdered sugar. I took pats of jelly from the condiment tray and poured some syrup on for good measure. It was fat and delicious.

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