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'Wich of the Week: Monte Cristo

'Wich of the Week: Monte Cristo

If there were any doubts about my intense love for sandwiches, this post should put them to rest, because I consumed this Monte Cristo at Canter's Deli in Los Angeles a mere three hours after eating an enormous French Dip at Philippe's. Hey, I was only in town for a few days, and there were many iconic sandwiches to be consumed!

Like the French Dip, the Monte Cristo was invented in Southern California. Traditionally, a Monte Cristo is made with bread dipped in egg — essentially, French toast — and filled with ham, turkey, and swiss cheese. The sweet, salty delight is then topped with powdered sugar and strawberry preserves. For more history and a recipe for the Monte Cristo,

No one is quite sure where the name came from. Originally called a French sandwich, the Monte Cristo was renamed in Southern California in the 1950s, possibly as a nod to the French adventure novel and film The Count of Monte Cristo. The Monte Cristo hit the big time in 1966, when it was featured on the menu at the Disneyland's Blue Bayou restaurant.

Rather than visit Disneyland just to eat a Monte Cristo (even I'm not that crazy), I headed to Canter's, a Jewish deli that's been serving sandwiches in LA since 1931. Its Monte Cristo was a perfect, classic version, oozing with cheese between creamy slices of bread. To make your own at home, check out the recipe below.

Monte Cristo Sandwich

Monte Cristo Sandwich


Monte Cristo Sandwich


  1. 3 slices white bread
  2. Mayonnaise, as needed
  3. 2 slices swiss cheese
  4. 2 slices turkey
  5. 3 large eggs, beaten
  6. 1/4 cup milk
  7. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  8. 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  9. Strawberry jam
  10. Powdered sugar


Makes 1 sandwich.

  1. On a work surface, lay out 2 slices of bread and spread with mayonnaise. Top each slice with the 1 slice of swiss and 1 slice of turkey each. Put the third slice of bread on top of one stack, and flip the remaining stack on top, cheese-side down, to make a triple-decker sandwich.
  2. Using a knife, cut the crusts off the sandwich (this helps to pinch and seal the ends). Wrap the sandwich tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours. (Wrapping the sandwich in plastic wrap compacts it and prevents the egg batter from seeping in.)
  3. Combine the eggs and milk in a bowl. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Unwrap the sandwich and dip it in the egg batter, to coat evenly. Gently place it in the skillet, and fry, turning once, until golden brown and hot, about 5 minutes total.
  4. Cut the Monte Cristo in half, transfer it to a plate, dust with powdered sugar, and spoon some jam over each half. Serve immediately.
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cherrypie61 cherrypie61 7 years
Bennigan´s one is good actually.
TrickyTara627 TrickyTara627 8 years
my favorite! blue bayou acctually batters and deep fries theirs which makes it even more amazing!!! i used to work there and i still drool thinking about those cristos
milosmommy milosmommy 8 years
fantastic! I haven't had one in years. I think I last had it at Bennigan's in fact. Don't knock it until you try it.
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
looseseal- The sandwich I always associated with Elvis was a fried peanut butter, bacon, and banana sandwich. But I'm sure he loved a Monte Cristo as well.
rducky123 rducky123 8 years
I've had the one at the Blue Bayou at Disneyland and it is SO worth it!!
looseseal looseseal 8 years
I heard Elvis liked (or "likes" if you're into the conspiracy theories) Monte Cristos. Don't know if that's true or an urban legend. This 'wich is a coronary bypass waiting to happen. Why are all the things that are so good so bad for you?
lilhueihuei lilhueihuei 8 years
they have a pretty good one at Mama's in North Beach. when you describe the individual ingredients it does sound kind of gross, but the french toast part just tastes like regular bread (not sweet since there's no syrup, which i think ppl associate with french toast).
foxytnns foxytnns 8 years
mmmm monte cristo's and Canter's! Canter's is one of my fav restaurants...I'll have to try this there!
Community-Manager Community-Manager 8 years
Yum! Yum! Yum! That looks so delicious! Sweet and savor, my favorite!
nancita nancita 8 years
Actually the Bennigan's one is pretty good too.
terryt18 terryt18 8 years
Y'all crazy. This sandwich is delicioso!!
GibsonGIrl GibsonGIrl 8 years
I've only had one once because they're so rich, but I must admit, it was a delicious treat. I'm a big lover of mixing savory and sweet and when you think about this isn't really any stranger than turkey with cranberry sauce or honey baked ham or something.
mjane79 mjane79 8 years
Mmmmm, my favorite sandwich. I had it at a place in Michigan that used cherry preserves on it. THAT was really good.
eightieslingo eightieslingo 8 years
Oh man I loooove the Monte Cristo sandwich! I usually have it with raspberry jam, though. BUT, it is really rich, I usually split it with someone.
Atiyah Atiyah 8 years
This is my favorite. YUMMYYYY
mtothawhat mtothawhat 8 years
Agreed oliveye. I got a stomach ache when we got home!
oliveye oliveye 8 years
I ordered this for the first time at the House of Pies in Houston. I barely finished a 1/4 before I thought I was going to have a heart attack. That sandwich is TMTH.
Just-Oh Just-Oh 8 years
So jealous of your trip to Philippe's! Philippe's French Dip is one of the things I miss most about living in downtown Los Angeles. The Monte Cristo wouldn't be my first choice at Canter's, but it is a guilty, guilty pleasure.
techkim techkim 8 years
Fabulous! I got a great one from Cheesecake factory for Brunch. I do a french toast first then put the meat and cheese together and throw it under the george forman. YUM
shoneyjoe shoneyjoe 8 years
go meat!
devils devils 8 years
That looks soooooooooooooo good.
Kaciegrrl Kaciegrrl 8 years
I've never had one but this looks delish. I know Bennigan's has one, but I'm sure it's but a pale imitation of this, Yum!
bbmahal637 bbmahal637 8 years
SOOOOO GOOOOD. Bennigan's makes a good one too.
Babycakes1234 Babycakes1234 8 years
Don't knock it if you haven't had it. May sound strange but it's a classic for a good reason. It's like the best breakfast sandwich ever but you can have it any time of day. Really fattening and really tasty.
angelina8023 angelina8023 8 years
This is probably the grossest sandwich on earth! No thanks.
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