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Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

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July 18, 2008 3:15 PM

Count on it: she wants a Monte Cristo

Posted by Nancy Leson

Kate Malone's got a question:

"Years ago I came to love Monte Cristo sandwiches when they were a lunchtime staple. I am having a difficult time finding them on menus today and am currently in search of the best Monte Cristo sandwich in the Greater Seattle/Bellevue area. Do you or your readers have any recommendations?"

Now, there's an old standby I haven't stood by for a long time. In fact, the last time I ate one was at the Downtown Deli & Cafe in Anchorage some 20-plus years ago, owned by then-mayor and now former governor Tony Knowles. For those of you too young to appreciate the joys of a Monte Cristo (still available at the Downtown Deli if you happen to be making a trip to the Great North anytime soon), allow me to introduce you to what is basically a ham, turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich dipped in batter a la French toast, fried in butter, dusted with confectioner's sugar and served with jam or jelly. Like today's hot-setting sandwiches -- say, the Crispy Drunken Chicken at Baguette Box , or the seared rare ahi tuna sandwich at Matt's in the Market -- the Monte Cristo was considered sandwichified ooh-la-la back in its day.

Trolling the net for some answers, Kate, I came across this helpful thread . Of course, you can always use the classic Monte Cristo recipe and make yourself one at home this weekend.

So, what do you say, Eaters? Had a good Monte Cristo in a local restaurant lately? Kate's counting on you.

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