Forrest and I have weekday date night every Thursday. We do it in order to break up the mundane work week and to give us something to look forward to during the hustle and bustle of real life weekdays. Thursday date night is not what you would probably expect of a regular date night. This isn't the stuff that weekend date nights are made up of. Thursday date night has certain criteria. First, it has to be cheap. Like "less than 25 dollars for the both of us" cheap. It is a weeknight after all. Now considering the dollar threshold of the first criteria you can probably imagine that this isn't a fancy candlelight dinner date night at all. Second, it has to be ok that I wear my work clothes. I pick Forrest up on the way home from work and we head straight to dinner. So no time to change, spruce up or spritz perfume. Because of the first two requirements, our choices are limited. There aren't very many places that aren't drive through fast food joints that you can dine for 25 bucks a couple in the DC area. So we are pretty much stuck with Chipotle, Jason's Deli, Pot Belly's and Panera. And that brings me to the third weekday date night criteria. It can't be Panera.
Panera is the first choice of catering at my job when we have working lunches or all day reviews and they have to bring in sandwiches for lunch. The whole point of date night is to break up the work week. So I can't have date night remind me of work. It defeats the purpose. It would make date night pointless - and we can't have that! Every week when deciding where we should eat, Forrest suggests Panera. We have one directly across the street from our house and it is in the price range. But every week I pass on the option. The sad part is that I actually like Panera and I love their Roast Beef and Cheddar Sandwich on Asiago bread with horseradish. So this weekend I decided to recreate something similar at home for Forrest since he will never have the chance to have the real thing with me on date night.
Does anyone have any other suggestions for a cheap weekday meal while dining out?
Roast Beef and Cheddar Panini
Adapted from Southern Living September 2005
Makes 4 servings
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup prepared creamy horseradish sauce, divided
- 8 slices whole wheat bread
- 1 pound deli roast beef slices
- 4 Sharp Cheddar cheese slices
- Cooking Spray
Spread 1 tablespoon horseradish sauce on each of 4 bread slices;
top evenly with roast beef,
cooked onion, and cheese.
Top with remaining bread slices.
Cook in a preheated panini press that has been sprayed well with cooking spray for 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve with remaining horseradish sauce.
One Year Ago Today: Ham and Gruyere Potato Gratin - note to self: use that mandoline again soon