Hot Elmer Chili,' 'Brown's Beef' tempt palate or voters on new deli menu

November 11, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

They asked County Commissioner Elmer Lippy how hot he wanted "Hot Elmer's Chili," and he told them, "The chili doesn't necessarily have to be hot. I just wanted Elmer to be hot."

This is not a man who spends hours at his Manchester home blending fresh ingredients and simmering his chili until the kitchen fills with irresistible odors. This is a man who opens a can of Hormel's.

So Barbara Hoffman, a chef at the new A Gourmet Deli in Westminster, settled for just a touch of jalapeno pepper in the cheese-sprinkled chili that will immortalize Mr. Lippy's name.

Eat your heart out, Annapolis. So you've got the famous Chick & Ruth's, where the sandwich menu reads like a history of Maryland government and where there's been a presidential sandwich back to Lyndon Johnson's term.

But deli customers in Westminster can now order "Julia's Julienne," a salad named for Commissioner Julia W. Gouge; "Sheriff Brown's CB," named for Sheriff John Brown; and "Brown's Beef," named for Mayor W. Benjamin Brown.

The menu could become even more varied if owner Gene Hoffman includes the City Council.

"Honest Politician" sandwich honors could go to Councilman Damian L. Halstad, who admitted a fondness for barbecued pork, but added, "I don't think pork and politicians should be put together."

Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein said she would like "a Rebecca, a play on the Reuben." Her sandwich: corned beef on rye with "very, very tangy sauerkraut" and a -- of Thousand Island dressing, "just sweet enough to make it palatable to those who might have preferred a Reuben."

In his heart, Council President Kenneth A. Yowan is a Big Mac man. But if he had to look beyond fast food, he'd go for grilled cheese with a fried tomato.

The elected officials who lent their names to items on the deli menu got a chance to sample their namesake dishes yesterday.

Mrs. Hoffman relaxed after Commissioner Lippy sampled the Hot Elmer's Chili, which was served in a boule (hollowed-out French bread), and he declared, "You haven't seen the last of me." She said she had been nervous about whether the ground beef and tomato dish would be to his taste.

"Julia's Julienne" featured turkey breast, honey ham, Swiss cheese, zucchini and yellow squash with a vinaigrette dressing. Mrs. Gouge said she loves squash, "raw, cooked, fried. I like it any way."

Sheriff Brown said his corned beef on rye with mustard "takes me back to Baltimore" and the sandwiches on Corned Beef Row along East Lombard Street. He said he ate there often when he was a city police officer.

Mayor Brown didn't show up to taste a "Brown's Beef," roast beef and Swiss cheese on pumpernickel.

And Commissioner Donald I. Dell ducked not only the occasion but the chance to have a sandwich named in his honor.

Mr. Dell did not answer a telephone call asking why he passed up the chance to have a "Donald's Delight" or a "Dell's French Dip."

Mr. Lippy said he couldn't speak for his colleague, but draws his own philosophy on such matters from the words of actress Mae West: "It's better to be looked over than to be overlooked."

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