Some of us grew up eating Oscar Mayer and American cheese with mayo on white bread. If that’s the case for you, then you can relate to our quirky fascination with this cold cut. We give credit to The Burnt Truck and their occasional slider special for reminding us of bologna and the revelation that pan frying it does wonders. Here’s a trio of savory specials that we encountered in the past month.
Kid’s Choice at 4th Street Market – Santa Ana
Electric City Butcher recently expanded their services with a quick serve stall in the diverse food hall. Weekend family meal offerings and curated sandwich selections (we’re also torn between twice-fried, true tallow fries and smoked egg white tater salad) are assembled with their variety of sourced meats. However, we were most drawn to the Kiddos menu listing for Fried Mortadella. Simply prepared with white cheddar inside a griddled brioche bun, this modest mouthful hits the spot. Served with sliced apples, splurge on their not-too-sweet strawberry lemonade for the ideal mini meal. 210 E. 4th St., (714) 426-9644; www.offthehoofdtsa.com.
Fork and Knifer at Oliboli – Tustin
Our fondness for this local shoppe only grows with each new flavor of doughnut and beverage they launch. Chef Brooke pushes the limits by kicking it old school with her riff on a childhood fave. A drizzle of Maldon sea salt and house-made salt and vinegar chips top their own bread and butter pickles. Next comes melted cheddar, fried bologna, heirloom tomato and lettuce. The condiment of choice is kitchen-crafted spicy mustard. And it’s all piled on fluffy fry bread, made from a signature, 40-hour yeast dough. It’s unfathomable, off-beat and exactly what we aspire to eat on a comfort food day. P.S. It’s only served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. That is, until they decide to replace it with something just as drool-worthy. 135 W. 1st St., (714) 760-4876; www.oliboli.com.
Menu Redux at The Iron Press – Anaheim
Chef Peter Lai conducts double-duty as the man behind The Blind Rabbit and The Iron Press kitchens. After a menu overhaul upstairs, they are proud to show off their delicious lineup. Offering burgers, apps in many forms and dessert waffle pops (say YES to the birthday cake version), we honed in on a Fried Bologna Sandwich. The most sizable of the three featured, heated mortadella is treated to aioli, arugula, and melty cheddar. Your finishing touch: a pickle spear. Whether you go tots or fries, get the garlic Parm upgrade and be extra by enjoying your meal out on the patio. Then pair with a beer; or in our case, a flight. 440 S. Anaheim Blvd., (657) 220-9388; www.theironpress.com.
A contributing writer for OC Weekly, Anne Marie freelances for multiple online and print publications, and guest judges for culinary competitions. A Bay Area transplant, she graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona. Find her on Instagram as brekkiefan.