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Posts Tagged ‘Hoseshow Sandwich’

The Horseshoe Sandwich, Springfield IL (Sandwich Week)

Posted by cmh gourmand on August 8, 2017

Springfield, Illinois is nationally known as the home of Abe Lincoln. Although virtually unknown outside a one hour driving radius of the Illinois capital, locals are almost as proud of their other hometown hero – the Horseshoe sandwich. The Horseshoe is the house sandwich of Springfield with many restaurants offering some version of what is often referred to as a “heart attack on a plate”.

Local lore generally places the birth of the Horseshoe at the Leland Hotel (closed in the 1970’s) in 1928. A few sources name other spots, among them the (Wayne’s) Red Coach Inn, as the originator. The original horseshoe was an open faced sandwich consisting of two slices of thick, toasted bread with ham placed on top of each piece, a pile of fries with the whole heap drenched in cheese sauce. The sauce is typically a closely guarded secret and varies from place to place but most published recipes use a variation of Welsh rarebit sauce. Typical ingredients in the sauce include beer, egg yolks, butter, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese and a combination of spices. Horseshoe history decrees that the original sandwich used ham steak, which looked like a horseshoe after it was cooked. The French fries are supposed to represent horseshoe nails. The plate is an anvil and slices of bead represent hoofs. Today, there are many variations in the meat part of the sandwich and a few restaurants even pony up an occasional vegetarian version. If you want to be more health conscious order a ponyshoe, which is half of a horseshoe.

D’arcy’s Pint
661 W. Stanford Ave.
Springfield, IL
217-492-8800
(Closed on Sunday)

D’arcy’s Pint is consistently the local favorite for Horseshoes. This family friendly Irish themed bar / restaurant has only been around since 1998 and moved to it’s new, bigger location in May of 2005. D’Arcy’s serves up over a dozen varieties of shoes. The base sandwich is two pieces of Texas Toast; with meat placed on each slice served with either a traditional or spicy white cheese sauce and what seems like a pound of crinkle cut fries. Meat choices include corned beef, walleye, Italian sausage, and breaded pork tenderloin. The customer favorite is the Buffalo Chicken Horseshoe which is served with a side of hot sauce and blue cheese dressing. If someone in your party is afraid of ordering a pint (horsehoe) or half-pint (pony shoe), the menu also features traditional Irish favorites, bar food, and other famous sandwiches including breaded pork tenderloins, Muffalettas, New York style corned beef and Reubens.

Norb Andy’s Tabarin (actual spelling)
518 East Capitol Ave.
Springfield, Illinois 62701-1814
Phone: (217) 523-7777

There is a lot of history at Norb Andy’s. The building has been around since 1837 and it is on the national register of historic places. The name of this tavern is derived from the name of the man that owned it from 1937 to 1979 – Norbert Anderson. Norb Andy’s is a dark, cozy bar with nautical themed décor that is within easy walking distance of the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum and most downtown sights. If you get lucky, you might even get a parking spot at one of the meters out front. Norb’s has eight varieties of “shoes” including Italian Beef and Seafood (shrimp and crab). Most customers order the horseshoe with hamburger patties, which is the baseline horseshoe in town. An insider tip from the bar staff – the bathroom is up front. Virtually everyone wanders off looking for it in the rear of Norb Andy’s only to find a small dining nook with a few tables and several portraits of famous ships of the 18th century.

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