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Many of you, I suspect, will be too busy with Thanksgiving preparations today to jump into the car and fetch lunch. But for those who still need a mid-day break while pushing around papers and hiding your facebook page from the boss, I have something you might like: a make-our-own Reuben at Jackson’s Roasting and Carving Co. in Arlington, where they cure their own brisket.
The woman behind the counter at Jackson’s tells me that people call her the Green Giant, and once you spend just a few minutes with her, you can understand why. She’s a towering young woman with a passion for local, sustainable ingredients. She can tell you the source of just about everything at Jackson’s, from ‘kraut to cheese, and she’s just an employee, not the owner Stefanie Reiser, who named the place after her Jack Russell terrier. You could say I’m a sucker for these kind of women.
I’m also a sucker for the way that the Green Giant makes a Reuben. She tells me the brisket, these thick slices of rosy red meat, has been braised in beer earlier in the morning. She places a generous pile of the corned beef onto my rye bread and tops it with sauerkraut (not made in-house, but it may be in the future, she says) and Thousand Island dressing. The Green Giant then grills the thing on a panini press to add those dark ruts that I so love on a sandwich.
My Reuben is so warm and gooey and meaty. I’m quite pleased with how tender the brisket is. My only real quibble is with the ‘kraut, which is quite sour; it tends to dominate the other flavors, but some quick surgery on the sammie, a little sauer-ectomy, and everything is just fine.
Jackson’s Roasting and Carving Co., 933 N. Quincy St., Arlington. (703) 312-1073.