THERE’S a little bit of conjecture in the United States about the origin of the Reuben sandwich.

One tale says it was invented as a treat for late-night poker players by a guy named Reuben Kulakofsky in Omaha. Another says Arnold Reuben was the guy, owner of a series of New York restaurants.

There are other arguments, one being that a Reuben is made with corned beef, as opposed to a Cuban which is made with ham or pork, or a Rachel which is made with pastrami.

Semantics, right?

All can be found occasionally on local menus which are keen to add some North American flavour to the table.

And it’s clearly a nice point of difference at Lions Club’s Fifth Quarter restaurant in Springwood, where cheese, sauerkraut and dressing are built between two bits of Turkish bread – a slight tweak on the traditional rye bread.

Spread over a large floor space, the restaurant is airy and comfortable, having itself undergone some modern tweaks during Covid.

The main ceiling is painted as a blue sky, a nice relief from all the rain. But there’s also an outdoor beer garden with heaters for those who are keen to brave the cooler winter conditions.

Screens are everywhere featuring AFL football. In the background on Wednesday night – $11 curry night – there’s live entertainment, making it a complete night out if you needed an excuse to sneak out for dinner.

Fifth quarter’s menu is built around many pub staples, including the normal chicken wings and traditional entrees, steaks, pasta, pizza and schnitzels.

But unlike some menus, thought has gone into helping those who are health conscious, a poke bowl a delicious treat with poached salmon, seaweed salad, chic peas, and a Japanese coleslaw.

For something a bit more hearty, the schnitzels are a great choice. There’s a collection of toppers and the cheese, bacon and mushroom sauce option is highly recommended.

They all come with chips and a selection of salad or coleslaw.

Desserts feature a couple of types of filled cheesecakes, and for $9 it might be worth leaving some space.

Some of the older clubs around the place have a musty feel to them, but there’s none of that here with the open spaces and comfortable dining chairs and tables a nice way to spend an evening.

As is always the case with a club, there’s a full bar on stand-by. In this case, the bar will do cafe blends and a terrific iced coffee which I confess was my guilty pleasure on this particular night.

And staff are first-class friendly.

I went in for a quick meal and stayed quite a bit longer than expected due to the relaxed atmosphere.


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