A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from February 17, 2008

Entry still in progress—B.P.

Glossary - Mexican food recipes, cooking terms
Milanesa A breaded, fried cutlet of veal, beef or pork.

Glossary of Mexican Cooking
Milanesa: Breaded and fried pork, beef, or chicken steak. Served with tortillas.

Wikipedia: Milanesa
Milanesas (plural of milanesa) are a common meat dish mostly in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay as well as in other American countries at a lesser extent, such as Mexico, where breaded meat filet preparations are known as a milanesa (In Portuguese, the beef version is called bife à milanesa and the chicken version is called frango à milanesa).

Milanesas were brought to Argentina from Central European immigrants. And it’s similar to the Central European Wiener Schnitzel and derive their name from the original cotoletta alla milanese from Milan, Italy.

A milanesa consists of a thin slice of beef, or sometimes chicken or veal. Each slice is dipped into beaten eggs, seasoned with salt, and other condiments according to the cook’s taste (like parsley and garlic). Each slice is then dipped in breadcrumbs (or occasionally flour) and shallow-fried in oil, one at a time. Some people prefer to use very little oil and then cook them in the oven as a healthier alternative.

In Argentina and Uruguay, milanesas are frequently served hot with fried or mashed potatoes, this dish is known as milanesa con papas. They are often used as a sandwich filling, with salad. Lemon juice is also commonly used as a seasoning. Their low cost and simple preparation make milanesas a popular meal.

By adding tomato paste, mozzarella cheese and sometimes ham, Argentines created a dish called “Milanesa a la napolitana” (Milanese alla Neapolitan). “Neapolitan” was taken from “Neapolitan Pizza”, which has these ingredients, but results in a peculiar name since “Neapolitan” means “from Naples” and “Milanesa” means “from Milano”.

Milanesa Kaiser is variant eaten in Chile (where normal milanesas are also eaten) that have a layer of molten cheese between the beef and a layer of ham.

In Mexico and Southern United States milanesas are eaten in some regions, but in a torta (a sandwich made with bolillo or telera buns). Avocado, onion, chiles and refried beans are commonly added, and in Northern Baja (due to American influence), it features lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise like a traditional sandwich. A milanesa “Memela napolitana” is made with a thick fried tortilla with a milanesa on top, with ham pieces, tomato sauce and grated cheese. In Mexico, milanesa usually refers to the preparation method, any type of meat that is pounded thin, breaded and fried might be referred to as a milanesa. While eating milanesa in a sandwich is most common, it might be served as a main course as well.

Milanesa - Milanesas Mexican Style
Recipe Ingredients:
6 udder steaks
2 eggs
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/4 onion
1 clove of garlic
salt and pepper

Recipe Instructions:
Wash the meat well and cook it with garlic, onion and salt. When the meat is tender, dip in whipped egg, bread them and add salt and pepper. Fry the meat until golden brown on both sides. Dry the excess grease with a paper napkin or paper towel and serve with salad.

22 July 1911, Brownsville (TX) Herald, pg. 5, col. 5:
Matamoros Tampa, Mexico
Filete a la Milanesa with Puree

19 January 1965, Brownsville (TX) Herald, “Round Table Hears Talk On ‘Life in Paraguay,’” pg. 2, col. 1:
In order: milanesa (veal cutlet),...

7 October 1971, Valley News (Van Nuys, CA), pg. 10A, col. 5 ad:
(Butcher Boy Meat Co.—ed.)

5 July 1972, El Paso (TX) Herald-Post, pg. A11, col. 5 ad:
Steak a la Milanesa
Breaded steak served with mashed potatoes, cottage cheese, and fresh fruit...1.39
(Casa Aztlan - -ed.)

10 May 1977, Brownsville (TX) Herald, “El Toro Restaurant Opens,” pg. 2, col. 6:
Chicken Fried Steak, Fried Fish, Milanesa and T-Bone Steak a just a few of our delicious dinner delights.

Google Books
The People’s Guide to Mexico
by Carl Franz
J. Muir Publications
Pg. 227:
Whenever I am in doubt, either about the food or my appetite, I order a milanesa. Breaded beef, pork and veal cutlets (milanesa de res, puerco and ternero respectively)...

12 August 1984, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, pg. I1:
Milanesa steak looks more Italian than Mexican. It’s a big slab of steak that’s spicily breaded and quick-fried to resemble a thick veal cutlet.

20 September 1987, Los Angeles (CA) Times:
There is also the traditional milanesa, or breaded beef sandwich. 

New York (NY) Times
January 22, 1989
DINING OUT; Argentinian Presence Is Here at Last
The surprise award goes to Milanesa con papas fritas. We easily translated the latter as french fries, which come with most entrees and are terrific, but guessed that Milanesa was a breaded veal cutlet. Not so. This is Argentina, not Italy. Milanesa is beef: pounded, breaded and crisply fried. It is sparked by garlic and makes American chicken-fried steak, which it resembles, seem timid.

Houston (TX) Press
A Different Kind of Steak House
Chimi-Churris South American Grill has great steak and fabulous roasted potatoes

By Eric Lawlor
Published: August 6, 1998
As befits a country that owes as much to Italy as it does to Spain—nearly a third of Uruguay’s population claims Italian ancestry—there are several pasta dishes and a number of Milanesa offerings. Of the latter, I particularly enjoyed the Milanesa Nico ($11.95)—a breaded chicken breast topped with sauteed mushrooms and served with a mustard-cream sauce. Fabulous. This, too, comes with those terrific potatoes.

Houston (TX) Press
King of the Drive-Thrus
By Dennis Abrams
Published: May 20, 1999
Equally good is the other category of sandwiches called tortas, served on soft round rolls known as bolillos. My personal favorite is the Milanesa ($3.75), beef cutlets pounded to the thinness of a dime, seasoned and breaded and fried until crisp, then loaded onto the roll with cool lettuce, tomatoes and avocado: highly delicious.

Houston (TX) Press
South American Spaghetti
Giannotti’s serves up pasta and yerba mate

By Robb Walsh
Published: January 1, 2004
I also tried a beef Milanesa sandwich, which is available with lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise, or red sauce and provolone. I went for the red sauce. The breaded cutlet resembles a chicken-fried steak, and it makes an incredible sandwich. In this case, the double thickness of the cutlet provides so much meat that the bread-to-filling ratio is vastly improved. And the red sauce makes the bread softer and more savory, too.

Houston (TX) Press
Comida sin Fronteras
In 21st-century Houston, it’s getting hard to tell the difference between Mexican and Tex-Mex

By Robb Walsh
Published: June 22, 2006
Francis got a torta milanesa, which might be described as a Mexican chicken-fried-steak sandwich. After my unpleasant experience with the shoe leather-tough meat patty on a torta milanesa at Rico’s Triangle a few weeks ago, I looked at his skeptically.

“You’ve got to try it,” he said, cutting off a large wedge. The toasted bread and avocado-and-tomato garnish were great, but I ended up fishing several pieces of ligament out of my mouth. My incredible luck at getting the only gristle in what is supposed to be a boneless meat patty amazed my companion and convinced me that tortas milanesa and I weren’t meant for each other. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Sunday, February 17, 2008 • Permalink