In the '50s and '60s, bologna sandwiches were popular school lunches. By the end of the 20th century, however, anti-bologna elitists helped bring the iconic lunchmeat down by voicing their concerns about saturated fat and sodium in school lunches. Sales and popularity in bologna dwindled, likely because the children who ate it every day for lunch as a kid were now grown and developed a more refined palate. But nostalgia is a strong emotion, and bologna sandwiches certainly bring back happy childhood memories for a lot of people.
When the economy crashed in 2009, there was an increase in bologna sales as people once again needed to find an inexpensive way to put food on the table. And since the resurgence of bologna’s popularity, some restaurants have thankfully been adding it to their menus.
Here are a few places around the DFW serving some great bologna dishes. Most are not your standard childhood bologna sandwich, but a fancier, more refined version that you should check out:
Hillside Tavern serves an amazing smoked “bologna” sandwich (photo at top). It's inspired by a smoked bologna sandwich chef Nathan Tate had in Franklin, Tennessee, at Puckett’s Grocery and the very popular one at Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans. Instead of one slice of thick-cut bologna, Hillside serves it with four or five slices of thin mortadella (bologna’s fancier cousin) that's been smoked over Texas pecan. It's served with their secret sauce (that has a kick of sambal), mayo, American and provolone cheese, shredded lettuce and tomato and is topped with dill pickle potato chips on Texas toast. Let’s be honest, the only way to make a bologna sandwich better is to make it a bologna chip sandwich. And these dill pickle chips add the perfect amount of crunch and tang to each bite ($14).
Maple & Motor has never claimed to be “fancy” with their food, and in fact, their bologna sandwich is spelled out on their menu exactly like it sounds: “Fried Baloney Sandwich." It’s a thick quarter-inch slice of American baloney fried and served either Cincinnati-style, where they cut the slice of bologna like a star and serve it with mayo, lettuce and tomato, or cowboy-style, which is fried until it curls up like a cup and is served with chili, cheese and chopped onions. ($7.95)
On weekends, they serve a brunch version of “The Boss,” which adds an egg on top and a side of hash browns. They also have a “Sloppy Jalopy,” which is a sloppy Joe with an egg, Rudolph’s bologna, cheese, grilled onions, and jalapeños as well as “The Eliminator,” which is the breakfast burrito version of “The Boss.” There is a ton of YUM going on here.
The Loon serves old-school deli-sliced Italian bologna topped with red onions, tomato, and mayo on sourdough bread. Again, nothing fancy about this sandwich, but who needs fancy when you’re talking about bologna, right? Sometimes, less is more ($7.50).
Lockwood Distilling Co., currently located in Richardson and soon to be opening in Fort Worth, serves their bologna sandwich with two thick slices of smoked and then grilled bologna, melted cheddar, regular-flavored Zapp’s potato chips, homemade Dijonaise, and a spring lettuce mix with a lemon vinaigrette dressing on two thick slices of Texas brioche toast. ($11.95)
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Deli News also has a bologna sandwich that is like their other deli meat sandwiches in the sense that you will probably need a jaw extender to get a bite of it because it is a mile-high stack of meat ($11.99).