Date of Review 2004-07-06, 11:30 a.m.
Sandwich name The Oxford Reuben
Price Per Reuben (PPR) $5.75
Reuben Delivery Time (RDT) 8 minutes 
Reuben Dimensions 13x10x5 cm (650 cm3
Included side items Soup, salad or cole slaw. Tomato slice, lettuce, potato chips. Basket of rolls and crackers.
Bulk to cost ratio 113 cm3/dollar 

Reuben Ingredient Matrix (RIM) Rye bread Corned beef Swiss cheese Sauerkraut 1000 Island
Elegance Restaurant X X X X X on side

Description (taken from the menu):
The Oxford Reuben: Kosher Corned Beef w/Swiss Cheese & Sauerkraut on Rye

Sandwich presentation:
The Reuben was served as two slices of bread placed in the middle of a white oval platter with potato chips to one side, lettuce, a tomato slice, a small pickle and a side of thousand island dressing on the other side. Each of the two slices of rye bread was topped with sauerkraut, slices of corned beef, and a square of Swiss cheese.

Reuben Eater Rankings
Matthew Durkee D- C- B C+ B C-
Larry Jahnke D- B C- B A D
Carl Klutzke F B+ B+ C B D+
Chris Rowland D+ C- C+ B- C C
Brian Skiles D C- A- B- B D
Summary D- C+ B- B- B D+

Reuben Ruminations:

: The food was provided promptly. That is the only positive thing you will find in this review. First, this place is not elegant as its name would imply. It is not as trashy as, say Reggie's, but is not elegant either. The menu is possibly the most incomprehensible text I have ever attempted to decipher. You need to be John Nash to figure out if a side comes with the sandwich. As I mentioned earlier, the food is provided quickly. Drinks (the waiter forgot to give us straws) then rolls, moments later a wilted salad and soon after, the Reuben arrives. The Reuben is served on a plate with a leaf of lettuce a slice of tomato and a "pickle-like" vegetable. This sandwich was bad. First the bread was over-buttered to the point that it disintegrated after the second bite--forcing me to pick at the rest of it with a fork. The "Swiss cheese" was some sort of white Kraft singles type of cheese food. The kraut had carrot strips in it. Seriously, the sauerkraut had shredded carrots in it!! It is my belief that they may be using day old cole slaw as the kraut. Some diners experenced a burning sensation when they ate the sandwich. There was some sort of rust-colored powder that could have been cayenne pepper. Lord I hope it was cayenne, because any other explanation for why this sanwich caused a burning/tingling sensation will require a booster shot at the local clinic. That pickle-like thing was bad as well. It was nothing more than a shriveled cucumber. If brine can be "water" then maybe this was a pickle. With a name like "Elegance" one might fear that this could be a topless bar. You will wish it was! The food would likely have been better, and the staff more attentive. ()

: Wowwww!!!!.....I don't think I've ever driven so far for such a singularly disappointing experience. As I sit here typing, I have a trash can to the left of me in the event I start to have a reverse experience of the sandwich, and I use the term "sandwich" loosely. It would have made John Montague roll over in his grave. Besides the almost 50 mile round trip, that was the poorest excuse for a Reuben, or any sandwich, since I wound up eating it with a fork after the third bite. The restaurant was easy to find, parking was a breeze, interior appeared clean and unobtrusive, and the service was quick and to the point. Obviously, all these factors are designed to lure you in for the "kill". As I arrived last as usual, I placed my order by grunting and pointing to Reubenites at the adjacent table. A salad came quickly. The lettuce appeared freshly-torn and the dressing was passable. The alleged "Reuben" followed quickly. The plate consisted of an open face "sandwich" with what was supposed to be by appearance... lean corned beef (looked like Marsh deli economy grade), white cheese slices, sauerkraut, and some unknown red seasoning lightly dashed on the cheese. The dressing, which had "stuff" in it, was on the side. I was told that it's not unusual to have bits of pickle in the dressing, but I saw red in it also... who knows? The "unholy" cheese appeared to be Kraft singles or some such and lacked any similarity to a quality Swiss necessary to carry off taste. Sheer conjecture indicates that the red seasoning may have been cayenne due to a slightly distinctive heat to the taste buds, however.... what's up with cayenne on a Reuben? Under the sandwich was a slice of a beefsteak tomato that wasn't bad, and one half of a gherkin. Okay.... I've never seen a bifurcated gherkin..... what's the point? To the side of the sandwich was a heap of potato chip shards. Chris had commented on the pre crumbled crackers still in the wrappers.... must be a trademark thing. At least the company and the opportunity to see my nephew saved it from being a completely wasted trip. Oh yeah... the lemonade wasn't bad. ()

: This place was reasonably busy, so I wasn't too worried, despite the warnings of Skiles' parents. I mean, no matter how bad it is, it's still a Reuben, right? A sign on the first door we passed said "Please use other door", with an arrow pointing... um, well, it wasn't really clear, but it looked suspiciously like it was pointing more toward the Chinese restaurant on the right than the entrance to Elegance. That should have been our first warning. Upon entry, we were forced to agree that the decor at least didn't live up to the name. It didn't actually look bad, but with a name like Elegance you expect plants and fountains and drapes and waiters in suits. At Elegance you get venetian blinds, a drop ceiling, waiters with matching black T-shirts, and tables covered with so many ads for local businesses that I sometimes had trouble finding where I'd set things. The restroom certainly wasn't elegant, with its sliding bolt door latch and cracked toilet tank lid; though it was mostly clean, I felt like I was in a gas station. The menus are confusing, but we eventually found the Reuben listing hiding in one corner. This, I think, was the second warning: whoever laid out the menu might have had some qualms about listing it at all. We were presented with a basket of crackers and rolls while we waited for our order. The rolls were warm and tasty, but most of the saltine packets were broken, as if toyed with by previous patrons. Our beverages came out in hard plastic diner-type glasses, but our waiter forgot to give us straws until I asked. Our side salads were okay, and looked mostly fresh, served on a china plate with the dressing in a cute little metal pitcher on the side. I had asked the waiter if a lite Italian dressing was available, and he said it was, but I'm not sure he understood English very well: the dressing I received seemed much too thick to be lite. On the plus side, he did present me with a refill on my Diet Coke without being asked (and he presented us with fresh straws at that time as well). The sandwich was presented very strangely, as you can see from the photo. I'm confident that the strange red sprinkled stuff was paprika (a touch of elegance?), as it wasn't nearly hot enough for cayenne. The menu had indicated that all sandwiches were served with lettuce and tomato, and I'd wondered if they would make an exception for the Reuben. They didn't. I happily added the tomato to my salad. The pickle I ignored, as I usually do. The chips were nothing special, but edible, which is more than I can say for the sandwich. The scorched bread was very greasy, and the single paper napkin with my place setting wasn't going to be enough. The kraut was just awful. After you eat so many Reubens you start to get a taste for the stuff, but I couldn't finish this. It appeared to have bits of shredded carrot in it, which I've never seen before and hope never to see again. After a few bites I gave up and picked the meat and cheese off the rest of the sandwich with my fork. The meat was extremely salty, and eating it with just the cheese and the dressing (from a cute little covered plastic cup on the side) turned out to be a pretty bad idea: I felt rather ill as we left. We had to go up to the front register to pay, in front of autographed photos of Sharon Stone and some other starlet I didn't recognize. The cashier asked how everything had been, and, at a loss for words, I mumbled that it had been fine. To sum up, if I were to return to the Elegance restaurant (and I can't think why I would), I would order something off the daily special board: the place gets enough business that they must do something right. And I'd also get a side of cole slaw and look at it very suspiciously, wondering if they'll put it on some poor sap's Reuben after it has gone bad. ()

: The Reuben was served open-faced on two separate slices of bread, each with the same toppings. I'm not sure whether they meant for you to eat this with a fork or not, but I was the only one in our group able to successfully complete the sandwich without resorting to a fork. This thing was a little messy. The corned beef seemed to be much more a pastrami flavor than a corned beef flavor. Not a bad taste, but not reminiscent of a Reuben. Also, there was a lot of sauerkraut-type stuff under the beef. Not only cabbage in this sauerkraut, but also small carrot shavings. It wasn't a very pungent kraut, and I wonder whether the carrots were counteracting the other ingredients. The Swiss cheese looked like it had been individually sliced and wrapped before added to the sandwich. They had a strong presence on the sandwich but didn't taste overwhelmingly cheesy. The sandwich, when the two halves were combined, was very thick and the bread was heavily grilled with what tasted like a large quantity of butter or margarine. The thousand island dressing, served on the side, was incredibly thick. When the sandwiches were served, there was an odd powder sprinkled over the Swiss cheese, could it have been cayenne pepper? I'm not sure, but I know that my mouth had a dull, numb, burning sensation while eating the sandwich. The side salad that came with the meal was your typical "salad from a bag" salad and would have been the highlight of the meal, except for the decent rolls served after we placed our order. The pickle that came with the sandwich was another oddity--it wasn't pickled. It was a funny little twisted cucumber. If you're in the Brownsburg area and hungry for a Reuben, be sure to pass this place by. ()

: I really should listen to my parents. My parents ate at Elegance Restaurant some time ago and told me that it was inappropriately named. They were right. The Reuben was awful. There's not really much else to say about it. I don't think I could be hungry enough to eat at Elegance again. To quote my son from when he got car sick yesterday, "tummy owie". ()