If you don’t have lunch plans yet — you do now. Check out the ham sandwich at King David Dogs.
I know — it’s a stretch for a hot dog place, and King David Dogs owner Brent Joseph knows it. But through a family friend, Joseph got ahold of the recipe for another Indy original: the ham from Weiss Deli, a longtime Indianapolis delicatessen that was located at 32 E. Washington St.
“This is the original Weiss’ Deli-style ham recipe,” Joseph said. “Old-school recipe from 25, 30 years ago. Back then, I guess it had a tremendous lunchtime following downtown. We got ahold of the recipe in a random, roundabout way and and had a very vocal group of people request it. And after lots and lots of nagging, I guess, I decided to give in and give it a run and put it on the menu for a couple of days this week and see how it goes. And if it goes well we might make it a once-a-month thing, maybe the first week of every month.”
The ham sandwich is available through Friday at the downtown King David Dogs, 135 N. Pennsylvania St.
But just what makes the recipe so distinctive?
“Its a special bone-in ham with the skin on,” said Joseph, “and it cooks, roughly, depending on the weight, three and a half to five and a half hours. It’s a proprietary spice glaze that is constantly applied during the cooing process. It’s a very labor-intensive process. So it’s not the easiest thing to do, but it seems to have a really good response.”
And no wonder — it’s a seriously good ham sandwich. Or you can get it on a hot dog.
“We’ve got a ham sandwich. We’ve also do what we call a ham bone,” he said. “We take our signature hot dog and and top it with hand-carved Weiss Deli-style ham. You can dress it however you want: yellow mustard, brown mustard, honey mustard. Lettuce, tomato, pickle, swiss cheese, American cheese. If you want to put mac and cheese on it, we’ll do that too.”
Joseph admits that adding a ham sandwich to his King David menu is a stretch for a hot dog joint.
“Ham and hot dogs don’t really go together,” he said. “It’s kind of random, but the nice thing is, it is an Indy orginal recipe, just like the King David hot dog is an Indy orginal recipe, so there is a little continuity in that.”
The response to the old-school ham sandwich has been good, Joseph said during Wednesday’s lunch.
“We’re only about an hour or so into lunch and the first one’s almost gone,” he sad, “and the first one’s about 20 pounds or so.”
Joseph put the word out through social media that he was cooking up the Weiss Deli ham recipe, and the customers started coming, he said.
“We sent out an email and put it on Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “Not a huge campaign, but it seemed to get some traction.” — Jolene Ketzenberger