Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Worker's Take Out

Restaurant: Worker's Take Out
Address: 1317 S 50th St
Website: Worker's Take Out
Genres: Cuban, Deli, Sandwiches
Check Constraints: Nada
Chain: No| More Omaha Locations: No

  • Cuban Pork Roast ($6.50)
When these guys say take out, they mean take out. You get your food in a styrofoam container, and there is no seating. None. The guy working said after we ate out in Moogle's van that we could have sat down in the bar next door, since it was closed, but really, plan to take it and run. It looks pretty much like the little grill below my college dorm, actually. Music on the radio, a TV/DVD player for the employee to watch, and a youngish guy who was probably college age behind the counter working the grill.

I didn't get much, because it was take out and I didn't feel like awkwardly trying to hold a lot of stuff like Cham did. I did try a bit of Cham's hummus, and it was better than most of the other hummus I've had. The sandwich came with an optional pickle spear, which automatically makes me like the place a little more, because it was a decent pickle. The sandwich wasn't great, but was one of those sandwiches where if you change a little bit to suit your taste, it'll be outstanding.

The base of the sandwich is cuban bread, buttered and topped with a bunch of shredded roast pork. The pork is pretty well peppered, just the way I like it, and very good. Top that with provolone, ham, pickles, and mustard, then squash it flat and grill it for a few minutes. My recommendation? Take out the pickles and ham, and just let the roast pork and provolone speak for itself. Totally worth the price on that.

The place itself? Would eat again, now that I know what to expect. If you're gonna send one or two people out for take-out, give this place a shot.


  • Franco ($5.79)
  • Texas Caviar ($2.99)
  • Hummus & Chips ($3.99)
It's hard to look at a menu with some interesting-looking appetizers and then, once you've arrived at the place, realize there's nowhere to put the dang things while you eat, and you have to scale back. As it was I wound up doing a lot of balancing on my knees inside the van, and at one point I flipped the styrofoam container my sandwich was in and it did an awesome 1080-flip directly onto the van's floor. Totally my fault, of course, but ND's advice is good, here. Grab the sandwiches and head back to work (or home).

ND mentioned this in passing but I wanted to point it out more explicitly... there was one (1) person manning the place. From orders to cooking to cashiering, there was only the one guy. And it's not like there were spots for people to hide, either. In one sense, this is good, as he didn't screw up any special orders and remembered what each of us had ordered. On the other hand, it means the process here is rather linear, and if you come in with an order for 15 sandwiches for your office, only one sandwich can be assembled at a time, and only two put on the sandwich press simultaneously. Hopefully there are more people here most of the time, but honestly you shouldn't let this dissuade you. Bring a book, read a chapter or two, then truck the delicious back.

Speaking of the delicious. The hummus here was very heavy on olive oil, a flavor I am immensely fond of, so I could find no fault with it. It made for a smooth hummus, but the other flavors in it shone through quite well. I do have to say that this is the first time I've had hummus with corn chips, but it worked reasonably well. The hummus is lower on salt than it would be if I'd made it myself, but the chips added the last bit of sodium I wanted.
"Texas Caviar" was a new thing on me; it was a construction of beans, onions, sweet bell peppers (the orange and yellow ones), and perhaps a hint of spice in a sweet vinegary sauce. As I read about the dish on the internet I am informed that sweet Texas Caviar is "a New Jersey imitation", and that the "real thing" always includes hominy and black eyed peas, but honestly it was good, for what it was. Not that I'd turn down "authentic" stuff either. The appetizer's served with the corn chips, making for a sweet/salty blend.

The sandwich was good stuff. When you press a sandwich like this it can be hard to discern individual flavors from the mix, which is to be honest part of the point. I received a constant blend throughout the sandwich, with the salami and pepperoni riding herd on the rest of the flavors, but with everything making its own contribution. The bread gets crisped excellently by the press (though it's actually clear that one side of the press is hotter than the other), and the end product would take a Quizno's or Subway sandwich out in the back alley and beat it with a panini press until it admitted that "fresh" is not an FDA-controlled keyword, and that there really is no excuse for horrible sandwich bread.

All of which should be taken as a recommendation for this place. One of the only ways it'd get better is if they delivered.

  • Cuban Pork Roast ($6.50)
  • Hummus and Chips ($3.99)
  • Butterscotch Shake ($2.99)
Man, Maple did all that crowing about Butterscotch shakes, and then doesn't write anything about it. So sad. It wasn't a strong butterscotch flavor, but it was noticeable. Not too thick to deal with with a straw, which is what they gave me, so hooray for that. I'm not sure it was good enough that I'd get it often (3 bucks? Aiyah.) but it ain't bad if you're in a shakey mood.

The hummus was indeed fairly smooth, and I agree that the chip choice was a little weird. I would have probably preferred more interesting chips, but the hummus is supposed to be the star, and it's good as it was. The 'Texas Caviar' was also a flavor I really liked. I'd probably take it over the hummus if I go again, so it's my dip recommendation for the place. The menu does not note that the caviar comes with chips and IS a dip, so now you know.

They make an excellent Cuban here. Not super-messy (as one would hope), and a good blend of flavors. These are good sized sandwiches too, in my opinion. Since ND got the same dish there, I don't have much to add to his notes, although I wasn't bothered by the pickle, and the ham did not completely dominate in the flavors for me. That said, I'm sorely tempted to try out the Reuben next time, because I need to figure out this Reuben thing.

Everyone's covered the layout of the place fairly well, but I don't believe anyone mentioned that this week, the guy was out of hot dogs, which is a shame because I know we wanted to try them. They say they've got Chicago dogs, and Cham's never too full to turn down an available Chicago dog. I believe he said his shipments come in on Monday, so perhaps it would be good to plan ahead if you want a meat tube. But you'll find a good meal even without.

  • Spicy Tuna Melt with Pepper Jack on Wheat ($4.29)
  • Coleslaw ($1.09)
We ate in the van partly because it took quite a while to get to all of us and partly because I was worried that the food would get cold on the way back. I'm pretty sure I didn't have to worry about that. The sandwich nearly burned me. You could pick the bread and cheese for this sandwich, and I picked pepper jack on wheat. Once I got past singing my mouth (I have a bad habit of just eating through the heat when I'm hungry), the sandwich did have some spice heat to it. I'm not sure if it was all the pepper jack or not. The sandwich may have been left on the grill a bit longer than the others because it was nearly blackened but thankfully not burnt. It actually made for a home-made feel. There was plenty of tuna and cheese as well. Some sandwich places seem to skimp on the tuna these days. I thought it was a good sandwich for a pretty good price. The coleslaw was ok, but not impressive. It was slightly peppery, but generally bland. I would probably get something else as a side next time.

  • Cuban Reuben ($5.49)
As everybody else has intimated, this was the kind of place you'd expect to be in the back of a mobile vending truck. It was a very straightforward operation with just the one guy, a sandwich press, some meat and bread, and sauerkraut and such on warmers.

This wasn't your standard reuben. It was salami, ham, swiss, pickles, sauerkraut, and special sauce on a good-sized, hot-pressed roll. Of the flavors, the pickles were unfortunately the strongest. The ham still managed to make an appearance, but the sauerkraut and special sauce (I'm guessing it was Thousand Island. It's always Thousand Island.) didn't show through very well. I'm generally a fan of pickles, but I'd recommend passing on the pickles on this one.

The sandwich was assembled then put in a flat hot-press, so a good crisp was added to the top and bottom, but the bread itself wasn't toasted or made hard. This also, as Cham said, melded the flavors (which may have been part of why the pickels came through so strong).

I look forward to going back, but I'll probably try the Cuban Pork Roast that the others got.