Quintessential Bar Food (Remember those College Days?)

In every college town, there is the quintessential “juke joint.”  At my college that would be the world famous Eskimo Joe’s.  I’m anxious to see if anyone  but an alum of Oklahoma State would recognize this “world famous”  status.  (And, let me just say that I was a Joe’s patron before the fancy domes and such.  I remember the beer garden.)

Is Joe’s more well-known for its T-shirts or food?  My vote is for the food.  Besides great burgers (“Little Joe’s”) and cheese fries, they are famous for the “Fowl Thing.”  This wonderful sandwich features a grilled chicken breast topped with a grilled pineapple slice topped with Swiss cheese and then the usual toppings (lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles.)

My next door neighbor in college made her interpretation of these for me “back in the day.”  I base my recipe off hers.

Last night I was at a loss of what to do for dinner.  I found an entire bag of chicken tenders (totally non-local but convenient) so we decided to grill us up some “Fowl Things.”

An entire bag of grilled chicken tenders. I see lots of sandwiches in our future!

From the pantry, you will need pineapple rings (totally non-local unless you are in Hawaii) and Swiss cheese (totally non-local unless you are in the Alps) plus some toppings (that hopefully will be local).

Alas, the only thing local about this sandwich! 🙂

I whipped up some homemade teriyaki sauce to marinate the chicken and for a glaze.

Homemade Teriyaki Sauce with Crystallized Ginger

1/4 c.soy sauce
1 c.water
1/3 c. pineapple juice
1 T. crystallized ginger, minced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. honey
1 T.  corn starch

Put this all in a blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into a small sauce pan.  Heat to boil whisking constantly.  Simmer until slightly thick.

I marinated the chicken tenders for about 20 minutes.  (Before marinating the chicken, I reserved about 1/4 cup of the teriyaki sauce to dip the pineapple rings in.)  Then we fired up the grill and grilled them to perfection.

After rolls are toasted, layer on chicken and a pinapple ring dipped in the reserved marinade.

Add Swiss cheese and place under broiler to melt.

Add a slice of tomato and lettuce leaf basil. You can also add onions and pickles if you wish.

Fowl Things (my version)

2 Kaiser rolls, split
2 T. mayonnaise
6-8 grilled and marinated chicken tenders
2 pineapple rings
1/4 c. teriyaki sauce
2 slices Swiss Cheese
2 slices tomato
Lettuce leaf basil

To assemble these beauties, spread mayo on Kaiser rolls and toast in oven broiler.

Dip the pineapple rings in the teriyaki sauce.  You may also glaze the chicken breasts with this same sauce if desired.  Arrange 3-4 chicken tenders on bottom roll, top with a pineapple ring and a slice of Swiss cheese.  Repeat for next sandwich.  Place under broiler until cheese melts.  Remove from oven and place tomato slice and basil on top of cheese.  Top with the other halves of the Kaiser rolls.

Yields:  2 sandwiches.

The finished product.

I like to use mayonnaise to slather the rolls with before toasting under the broiler.   I use this instead of butter or oil.  This actually cuts down on the calories a bit because we aren’t slathering more on as a condiment.  (I know,  I know,  leaving out the mayo would cut the calories even more! 🙂 )

My intent is to use the rest of the grilled chicken in stir fries or salads for the rest of the week.  Hopefully my surplus of grilled chicken will save me time and energy this week.

I would also love to hear about your college food memories.  Please feel free to comment!

9 comments to Quintessential Bar Food (Remember those College Days?)

  • Ann

    Oh, Delish! Hubby and I went to OKC last year (actually we did a 5 week cross-country pleasure trip) and it was my favorite city! I wish I knew about Eskimo Joes…I would have stopped by! Maybe next time…it won’t be the last time we visit such a fair city!

  • Sean Maher

    Thanks for the recipe we wanted to make Fowl Things for a family get together and we are all OSU alums. I remember when it was kind of a biker bar, it was the 21 years old to drink that got them bigger in the food business. My sister got the recipe for Hideaway pizza sauce now that is some good eats, and could be done with local stuff.

    • OK, I remember the beer gardens before the glassed in monstrosities. 🙂 I would love to swap out that Hideaway recipe with you!

  • Karen

    Ooooo I would love to have Hideaway’s pizza sauce recipe!! Please share!!! 🙂 I do have Joe’s beer batter recipe that I got from a friend that worked in the kitchen back when we were in college at OSU……I thought he had given us the Fowl Thing recipe too, but I guess I never wrote it down, thus the reason I was searching for it today….

  • dawn

    I woyld love the beer batter recipe and the hideaway pizza recipe if you would tell me where to find them

  • Brian

    In my day the fowl thing was a blackened breast. No pineapple, but orange marmalade was offered as a topping and it is still my favorite chicken sandwich I’ve ever had. And I hate orange marmalade. But it made that sandwich excellent combined with blackened seasoning