Sammy’s, when a butcher shop becomes a hot spot restaurant

If you end up on Elysian Fields between I-10 and I-610, there is a local place that is part butcher shop, part catering company and all homespun restaurant. Sammy's has been serving up great grub to folks since it opened in 1993. Sammy and Gina Schloegel turned what used to be Sammy's uncle's butcher shop into a lunch-time powerhouse. People pack the house on a daily basis to get hot plates, daily specials, sandwiches, burgers and of course poboys. One of which is an over-stuffed masterpiece called the "Ray Ray".

The Ray Ray is Sammy's take on a New Orleans style Cordon Blue. Schloegel fries two chicken breast until they're golden brown and then piles ham and swiss cheese on top. They dress this sandwich with lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo to create a sandwich that surely isn't for the faint of heart. This gastronomical gargantuan not only keeps regulars coming back for more, but it also won the top prize at the Oak Street Poboy Festival three years straight. Believe me, this is one serious sandwich. Most folks like to have a side of fries or onion rings (or if you're at Sammy's maybe fried pickles) but that customary side order might be overkill with this poboy.

Another great sandwich at Sammy's is the Pastrami Burger Bomb. Get this, it is a half-pound burger combined with a Reuben and served on a "French" bun. This burger is no joke. The flavors of the pastrami, swiss, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing compliment that beefy burger patty in the most delightful way. The Schloegels are truly masters of excess. Some folks might believe that a loaded burger is enough to quell one's appetite. Others might opt for a Reuben. Not our friends Sammy and Gina. They will only be satisfied with an over the top version of both. Kudos to you fine people.

If something more pedestrian is to your liking, each day Sammy's offers up a page full of hot plates and specials that can please nearly any appetite. These offerings range from meatloaf to fried catfish to beef short ribs. Those specials can be rounded out with a couple of the nearly 20 side items offered up daily. It's no wonder why this place has been on Travel Channel and Food Network.