The Kroft in Anaheim was one of the first places I tried for this blog. That post has since been deleted and I haven’t been back until now. I don’t know why it took so long to come back, because I enjoy the comfort food that The Kroft specializes in. The stakes were higher this time, because I ordered the East Coast Dip; a take on one of my favorite sandwiches in Philadelphia: The Roast Pork roll with broccoli rabe from Tommy Dinic’s.
When people around here think of Philadelphia sandwiches, the cheesesteak comes to mind. It’s only natural, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Rocky is pretty much the only exposure we have. When I finally had the pleasure of visiting the Reading Terminal Market in Philly I soon learned of the sandwich beyond the cheesesteak; The pork roll loved by Philly foodies and suggested to me through Instagram.
So…. How does the West Coast’s “East Coast Dip” compare to Tommy Dinic’s “Pork Roll?”
The Kroft East Coast Dip
The Kroft’s French roll is soft and chewy, perfect for their comfort food driven menu. It adds a little more richness to already rich dishes, but it works well without overtaking the filling. I often wonder how restaurants approach the bread when it comes to “dip” sandwiches, do they actively take into account things like structural integrity and texture?
You have to appreciate a place that puts a lot of time and care into preparing their meats. You’ll likely regret how much you ate after your meal, but it’s a good sign that the chef is doing his/her job very well. The Kroft’s braised pork has a beautifully soft texture, pulled apart, making the perfect environment for melted cheese to find it’s way through the crevices. The sandwiches soft textures was nicely offset by the roasted broccoli rabe, which was integral for balance in both flavor and texture.
When it comes to Jus, I’ve found that beef tends to be more potent. I can’t tell you why that is, but there’s something so much more distinct about a beef jus than a pork one. The dip isn’t really necessary in this sandwich, but it does help break everything down and give your palate some more porky distinction.
I thought I would get a little more spice from the horseradish mayo (which was a selling point for me), but I honest’y didn’t taste any of it. The sandwiches didn’t really need it, but still. It would’ve been nice to be able to distinctly identify it’s contribution the the sandwich as a whole.
On a superficial level, it feels like the portions are small for the price. I certainly thought that when I paid $10 for it. When I got about half way through, I began to get full. I think if I ate a turkey sandwich (like one from subway) this size, I’d be left woefully underwhelmed. I did get an order of garlic fries and a drink, which brought the bill up to just under $20. Pretty pricey all things considered, but I certainly did enjoy lunch.
So how does The Kroft’s dip compare to Tommy Dinic’s? It’s good, but Tommy is the master.
[Click on thumbnail for sample menu]
The Kroft [packing house]
440 S Anaheim Blvd #109, Anaheim, CA 92805
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