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The URL of Sandwich

Although the sandwich was named so after an 18th century British Earl, its invention dates back to a rabbi who lived in the first century B.C.. In my short history, I’ve eaten more than my fair share of sandwiches and while I can’t consider myself a true connoisseur, the humble sandwich is one of my favorite things to eat and the ultimate in comfort foods.

The keys to a good sandwich are the three Bs: bread, balance, and…ok, there’s only two Bs, but they’re important. Aside from the main ingredient (turkey, tuna, chicken salad, etc.), the bread has the power to make or break a sandwich. The first thing you taste when you take a bite is the bread, so it had better be good and it had better be fresh.

Balance, or how the various parts come together to make a whole sandwich experience, is even more critical than the bread. Too much meat and the sandwich tastes only of meat. (The “famous” delis in NYC are big offenders here…the amount of meat in their sandwiches is way too much. These are sandwiches for showing off, not consumption.) Too much mustard and you overwhelm that beautiful pastrami. The mighty sandwich should not be a lowly conduit for your mustard addiction; why not just eat it straight from the jar? If you’ve got a dry bread, add a slice of tomato, a little extra mayo, or save it for tuna or egg salad. If you’ve got a lot of bread (a Kaiser or sub roll, for example), you’ll probably need more of everything else to balance it out. Make sure the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the sandwich. You should get a bit of everything in each bite…it’s a BLT, not just an L on toast. If the sandwich maker is doing his job right, you should be able to taste most of the ingredients separately and together at the same time.

Here are a few sandwiches I’ve enjoyed over the years. I haven’t included any of the ones that I regularly make for myself because they’re pretty boring, although IMO, they’re right up there with any of these.

In college, when my friends and I got sick of eating on campus (and had the money to do so), we’d venture across the street to Zio Johno’s, a little Italian place with good, cheap food. At first I just got the spaghetti or lasagna, but one time I tried the Italian sub they offered and I was hooked. The key was the super-sweet sub roll; my measely $3 was enough for both a savory dinner and sweet dessert at the same time. I’ve never found anywhere else that uses bread that sweet.

I’ve lived in NYC for three years now, but I haven’t run across a steak sandwich that rivals the one I used to get on my lunch break at The Brothers’ Deli in Minneapolis. Fried steak, fried onions, and cheddar cheese on a Kaiser roll with a side order of the best potato salad I’ve ever had[1].

Surdyk’s (say “Sir Dicks”) is an institution in Northeast Minneapolis (say “Nordeast”), the finest liquor store and cheese shop around. They also had good croissants (say “Qua Sawn” or “Cross Aunts”) on which they put fresh ham, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise. Mmm.

There’s nothing I like more than a good BLT, and Specialty’s in San Francisco has one of the best I’ve had. Secret ingredient: pickles. Also, they didn’t toast the bread, which I usually frown upon, but it worked well anyway.

As for New York, I don’t live close to any good delis, but when I worked in Midtown, I used to zip over to the food court below Grand Central and hit Mendy’s. Their chicken salad is top-notch; the chicken is good quality and it isn’t overwhelmed by the mayonnaise. I’m usually not such a fan of rye bread, but their rye (it’s a light rye) is fantastic and goes very well with the chicken salad. The salami is good too. I usually have half a sandwich with a cup of their chicken noodle.

Do you have a favorite sandwich? Know of any good NYC sandwich spots I should check out?

[1] Although Meg has been making this warm garlic potato salad lately that is a serious contender for the top spot.

Reader comments

Jake of 8bitjoystick.comOct 25, 2005 at 2:32PM

it is accepted fact that The Red Dwarf Triple Fried Egg Chili Sauce and Chutney Sandwich is the best sandwich known mankind.

chris sivoriOct 25, 2005 at 2:38PM

I imagine the sandwich dates back as long as there has been bread and meat. It's a good, logical way to keep your hands clean while eating. Now, I'd like to know who first put peanut butter and jelly together.

Scott ParteeOct 25, 2005 at 2:39PM

The best sandwich in Atlanta, GA: Baraonda's "Proscuitto Di Parma": fine, fresh bread that is almost like pizza dough with fresh mozarella, a few slices of proscuitto di parma, tomatoes and a handful of fresh arugala. Toss it in the wood-fired pizza oven for a few minutes and serve warm.

Best sanwich in Portland, OR: go to Crowsenberg's Half & Half and order whatever Robin's special sandwich of the day is. You'll love it and will be back for more. Particularly good are "This Damn Family" (Thanksgiving inspired), The FlufferNutter, the Mufaletta and the Saigon Sub.

And while we're on the subject, New Orleans features the very tried-and-true Central Grocery Mufaletta (say Moof uh law duh), which, although immensely popular with tourists, is beloved by locals as well and devoured by the ton. It's an "italian" sandwich of immense size featuring capicola ham, mortadella, genoa salami, cheese and the excellent Central Grocery olive salad. Yum!

Also in New Orleans, seek out the deep fried seafood boudin po'boy in Metarie. This is a you-gotta-see-it-to-believe-it sandwich featuring a link of homemade seafood boudin (boudin is a sausage made with rice) inside a hollowed out french bread loaf, battered, then deep-fried and served with remoulade and french fries. Can you say bypass surgery? I knew you could!

HelenOct 25, 2005 at 2:41PM

Its about an 8 hour drive to Pittsburgh, but these are THE BEST sandwiches EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

philOct 25, 2005 at 2:41PM

some of the better sandwhichs i've had the honor to eat... though more a lunch spot then a "deli". I'm not sure where you live for sure, but it's just 2 1/2 blocks south of Canal

Colombine Sandwhiches = bueno

Miss WeezeOct 25, 2005 at 2:47PM

I'll second that Columbine suggestion. The sandwiches at the new Bouley Bakery carry-out joint can be very tasty too. I assume that what you're getting is the leftovers from the restaurant (at least that's what I like to think).

PaulOct 25, 2005 at 2:49PM

The John Kerry at Sunny and Annie's is my all time favorite. Bring $5 and an empty stomach to 6th and Ave B.

Brad DailyOct 25, 2005 at 2:55PM

Lester's Smoked Meat Sandwich, the best smoked meat in Montreal (and that's saying something).

dan frieberOct 25, 2005 at 2:56PM

When you get a chance and you're not in a dieting mood, travel to New Brunswick, NJ and eat at the Grease Trucks. For less than 5 bucks you can get sandwiches with cheesesteaks, cheeseburgers, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, etc. all on the SAME sandwich. The group of trucks ave been around for years now, and they've got the recipe RIGHT.

I myself eat a sandwich called the Fat Bitch (all the sandwiches are name "fat _____") with cheesesteak, mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, french fries, lettuce, tomato, and ketchup.

It is needless to say the most delicious sandwich i've ever eaten.

RussellOct 25, 2005 at 2:57PM

I'm not sandwich connoisseur but while staying in NYC over the summer, I really enjoyed eating a number of sandwiches at 'wichcraft. I've only ever eaten from the kiosks in Bryant Park though.

schianoOct 25, 2005 at 2:58PM


crazymonkOct 25, 2005 at 3:03PM

The panini's at Z's Wine Bar in somerville, ma are out of this world. mmm... slowfood sandwiches. and their best sandwich is nana's meatball panini.

darwin's, ltd. in cambridge, ma have some excellent specialty sandwiches.

The tortas at yuca's in los angeles are tasty as well.

shamusOct 25, 2005 at 3:04PM

bay cities deli in santa monica just kills. the bread is often still warm. they slice the meat fresh. they have a crazy pickled mix called the works. if you go when it's busy, you'll pull a number, and look up to see that you are 60 spots away from being served. somehow that makes it even better.

lincoln @ broadway, santa monica.

Aidan MaconachyOct 25, 2005 at 3:08PM

If you're in Montreal try smoked meat sandwiches - awesome!!

neilOct 25, 2005 at 3:15PM

all of your favorite sandwichs sound really yummy but i am here to tell you there is absolutely nothing better then a sub from the white house, an atlantic city institution. i can't use enough superlatives to describe the white house, their food, the atmosphere or the characters who work there. just go. immediately!

FredOct 25, 2005 at 3:17PM

Nicky's Bahn Mi on 2nd street and Ave. A in the East Village has awesome vietnamese sandwiches, and a great staff. Here's a pic of their classic sandwich.

lauraOct 25, 2005 at 3:24PM

I grew up on Guigni's sandwiches, in St. Helena, CA.

The front door is on Main Street, but if you go in the back from the alley off Spring Street, you'll bypass all the tourists oogling the wares up front.

I like the all-veggie with Dilled Havarti, avocado, and Guigni Juice on a sweet roll.

Make sure you buy a bottle of Guigni (it's pronounced "Joonies") Juice to take home!

J StrizzyOct 25, 2005 at 3:28PM

Birley's in San Fran has even better BLTs than Specialty's, made with a citrus mayo; they're in the Embarcadero Center next to Justin Herman Plaza. Especially good with avocado...

James EllisOct 25, 2005 at 3:32PM

I had a cuban sandwich in Florida that just about made me cry. I have no idea what the place was called, but I imagine any place in Miami will work.

elliottOct 25, 2005 at 3:34PM

New Orleans Po' Boys- particluarly an Oyster Po Boy... mmmm.

MarshallOct 25, 2005 at 3:37PM

You graduated from UNI?

Zio Johno's is great, my friends and I frequently lunch at the Iowa City location after church.

Though I'm a die-hard fan of crunchy peanut butter, raspberry jam, and toasted wheat bread.

j.vanpeltOct 25, 2005 at 3:38PM

Once going to new orleans becomes a viable option again, try any number of Poboys... there was a place on Franklin Avenue, that may or may not exist at this point, called Vazquez that makes good everything. My personal favorites are Roast Beef, Fried Shrimp, and Ham & Swiss, though a lot of people are fans of Fried Oyster or Hot Sausage Poboys too.

There's a place in the Quarter called Fiorella's, that i assume will still be around, that serves a combo Fried Shrimp/Crawfish poboy that is also really good.

There's a place in the Quarter on Royal St. called Verti Mart that is worth checking out when you're hungry at 2am, too.

And remember, when they ask you if you want it "dressed," they're asking if you want lettuce, tomato and mayo.

Scott Partee, i've never had that seafood boudin sandwich but it sounds insane.

mikeOct 25, 2005 at 3:56PM

Ever on the road and need to stop for lunch-- Crackerbarrel's BLT. Three things make it my favorite: The thick cut bacon, the pickles, and you must get it on grilled sourdough. I usually go for a cup of vegetable soup on the side as well. Probably the only food I've gotten there in the last 5 years.

mikeOct 25, 2005 at 3:59PM

Also, Lewes Middle School many years ago used to serve the best peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Not sure what it was, maybe the flavorless white bread not getting in the way of the surprisingly sugary peanut butter. I can still taste it.

BenedictOct 25, 2005 at 4:04PM

I had some thoughts on sandwiches a while ago, mostly given over to praising the wonderful but expensive Chandos Deli in Bristol (UK). Recent favourites are brie and cranberry, and brie and apple chutney, with walnuts.

MegOct 25, 2005 at 4:06PM

Oh, please kill me. I haven't eaten lunch yet. I don't even have time. Though apparently I have time to read blogs. Argh.

ToddOct 25, 2005 at 4:14PM

Lamazou - Best Sandwiches in NY, my fav is definetly the grilled chicken on ciabatta with pesto, fresh mozzarella and sundried tomatos.

3rd Ave and 27th.

You must try the potato salad!!!

BillOct 25, 2005 at 4:14PM

If you're ever in the hood, get turkey & swiss or roast beef & american from Te-amos bodega. $2.25 includes all your desired toppings. Just above ground at the Myrtle/Wycoff stop on the L.

suttonOct 25, 2005 at 4:19PM

And of course there's nothing like watching a girl eat a sandwich...

Completely SFW.

trucks_ruelOct 25, 2005 at 4:20PM

I have to third the Grease Trucks in New Brunswick, NJ. They're an institution. And they're great post-bar food. A must try. My favorite is the Fat Sam: cheesesteak, chicken fingers, fries, lettuce, tomato, ketchup . All on one roll. Can't be beat.

RobOct 25, 2005 at 4:24PM

Try the Roast Pork Italian from Tony Luke's in Midtown NYC. They're a Philadelphia institution (and available at the Phillies' ballpark): sliced roast pork, broccoli rabe, and sharp provolone on a thin sub roll. Heaven!

Andrew BarkerOct 25, 2005 at 4:31PM

Thought you may like to know about another deli in the Minneapolis area... actually over the river in St Paul.

Cecil's Deli in Highland Village has the finest Reubens anywhere (in fact, they won the Best of the Twin Cities for like 15 years straight). The rest of their menu is damn tasty as well. I am quite fond of the "Some Like It Hot" and the "Monty Cohen".

mmmmmmmmmmmm, meat.

Kim SieverOct 25, 2005 at 4:33PM

The Grilled Chicken and Baked Brie on Ciabatta sandwich at Earls is amazing. It's grilled chicken breast, melted brie, roasted apples and spinach with sweet fig jam and garlic mayonnaise on toasted ciabatta.

I was apprehensive of having apple on my sandwich, but the melted brie encouraged me to go for it. I was so glad I did. It was possible the best sandwich I have ever had.

HalOct 25, 2005 at 4:44PM

When I used to travel on business, I would fly through Midway rather than O'hare just so I could stop at the Potbelly in the airport. Oh, to have a Potbelly in NYC.

HalOct 25, 2005 at 4:48PM

Alex POct 25, 2005 at 4:51PM

i have a great love for the Avocado and Cheese sandwich: (sorry, i'm a californian)
toasted rye or whole grain bread
a decent amount of deli mustard and mayo if preferred
alfalfa sprouts
swiss or provolone cheese
large slices of avocado

Jason RossittoOct 25, 2005 at 4:54PM

How is it that no one has mentioned Pat's and Gino's in Philladelphia?! If you're from philly you probably have a favorite (I'm a Pat's guy, although I'm not from Philly). They're right across the street from each other and they make the most heavenly cheesesteaks I've ever had. You have to order a "steak" with cheese wiz and sauted onions (say "one wiz with," as in "wiz with onions"). They satisfy both of the requirements for a great sandwhich mentionted in the post, great bread and perfect balance. Not tons of meat or huge amounts of cheese. Just a delicious sandwhich.

Also there's a hotel on 57th in NYC between 6th and 7th called Le Parker Meridian. Just enter the posh lobby and look for the dark hallway off to one side with the neon burger sign at the end. Follow the sign and you'll find one of the best little burger joints in town. I'd go so far as to say that they're almost as good as Shake Shack :) The decor is movie posters and doodles on napkins, a total non sequitor from the high ceilinged modern lobby.

Jason RossittoOct 25, 2005 at 4:58PM

And the Hot Truck in Ithaca NY is a great place for late night munchies. Toasted sandwiches served from the back of a truck. They have their own "old-school diner with a twist" language for each of their creations.
I seem to remember having toasted roast beef with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella, and mayonaisse.

SamOct 25, 2005 at 5:12PM

Where's the LA love?

Greg R.Oct 25, 2005 at 5:15PM

When I was in grad school at the U. of Iowa I discovered a natural foods co-op in Iowa City called New Pioneer. The deli in New Pioneer had arguable the most perfect sandwich I've ever tasted, called the "Saturday Night In the Prime of Life" sandwich.

It's smoked provolone, aged provolone, piles of sliced mushrooms, green onions, sun-dried tomatoes marinated in olive oil, and pesto on rye bread. Served warm. It sounds simple, but it's truly sublime (even for an avowed carnivore like myself). The fresh mushrooms provide a hefty bite to the sandwich, the sun-dried tomatoes a smooth sweetness, the luscious mouthfeel offerred by the olive oil in the tomatoes and the pesto, all held together by gooey melted provolone. Mmm.

Ahh, a Google search turns up the recipe at

But look at that! It turns out I posted that recipe to the old GEnie Online Service back in 1993. Awesome! I'd totally even forgotten that I'd been a GEnie subscriber in the early 90's. (GEnie was an AOL-like service owned by General Electric.)

victorOct 25, 2005 at 5:30PM

This is random, but if you live in San Diego, they have the best Sandwich in the world. Its a a sad little liquor store right next to Sunset Cliff called "Sea Trader". Order the "cliff Hanger" and walk the one block to the cliffs, sit on the breezy cliff in the sea spray and eat the phenomenal hot pastrami and roast beef that will warm your belly.


Almost as good, in Palo Alto, CA the Village Cheese House on Embarcadero makes the biggest pastrami sandwich ever...and not all pastrami, other great things (three slices of bread!) Great balance.

deannaOct 25, 2005 at 5:35PM

growing up in buffalo ny, i had a job my freshman year of college at a local restaurant, le metro. we started out as essentially a soup and sandwich bakery coffee bar and then expanded into a full service restaurant with entrees, wine, etc. when we expanded, however, we kept all of our sandwiches by popular demand. all of our sandwiches came on our "fresh made daily" bread. our most popular ones were definitely:

[-] turkey, sage cheddar and cranberry mayo on tuscano [lovley crusty whit bread] and quite possibly the most perfect sandwich ever created. i would definitely sell at least 20 of these a day during lunch on my own...
[-] turkey, apple, brie and fruited honey mustard on a baguette
[-] tuna diablo [tuna, olive oil, capers, finely diced hot peppers] on 100% whole wheat [best whole wheat bread ever]
[-] turkey, jalapeno cheedar and spiced mayo on tuscano

my family, as big fans of vacationing in saratoga springs every year for the horse races, always put professor moriarity's on our list of places to eat. their grilled salad sandwich is unique and fabulous...

i live in nyc now and just can't seem to find any sandwich that compares with these wonders...

deannaOct 25, 2005 at 5:41PM

oh i cant believe i forgot the one sandwich i cant seem to find anywhere outside of bufflo.

CHICKEN FINGER SUBS, doused in wing sauce and put on a sub roll with lettuce, tomato, onion sometimes, blue cheese and/or american cheese if you like, maybe some mayo or oil. DEEEELICIOUS. you can get these all over buffalo, and like wings everyone has their favorite spot. my personal favorite is st. angelo's, the bar down the street from my university. i dont know why this concept hasnt caught on anywhere else. BEST hang over food known to man.

markOct 25, 2005 at 5:54PM

The cuban sandwich at Cafe Habana in soho is one heck of a good sandwich...

AdamOct 25, 2005 at 6:11PM

Get thee to 'Wichcraft STAT and try the scary sounding but supremely delicious white anchovy sandwich with salsa verde and a poached egg---it'll knock your socks off. If you want to start tamer, try their turkey sandwich: it's still the best turkey sandwich I've ever had. Every component is perfect and surprising---it tastes like Thanksgiving on a bun.

Peter UchytilOct 25, 2005 at 6:15PM

Maybe I'm a sucker, but the best I've ever had was the pastrami sandwich at 2nd Ave Deli in NYC. The fish whip was nasty, though. I've also been to Katz and their pastrami was good, but I preferred 2nd Ave. Never tasted anything like that. I do see what you're saying about too much meat, not enough balance, though.

Quick story: I'm from Portland, OR and we don't have a lot of Kosher delis here. I'm at 2nd Ave with friends and one is trying to order, but is unfamiliar with Kosher foods. The ordering went like this:

Friend: Is that beef or pork sausage?
Waiter (very flatly): Beef.
F: Ok, I'll take that with cheese?
W (flatter): No cheese.
F: Ok. Does it come with mayo?
W (testy now): No mayo.

At that point the waiter just left and we had to explain the rules of Kosher food. There's nothing quite like having a NYC waiter annoyed with you.

A close second would be the Philly cheesesteak at Mama's in Philly. Certainly not a healthy sandwich, but boy was it good.

GonZ[+]Oct 25, 2005 at 6:18PM

Blimey I feel hungry now... but for me there are four B's in the perfect sarnie:

Bread, Butter, Bacon & Brown Sauce - bostin brummie style.

Dan BrunoOct 25, 2005 at 6:24PM

There are great sandwiches (and, of course, great bread) at Stone House Bread in Leland, MI.

KellerOct 25, 2005 at 7:46PM

When I went to school at UC Berkeley, we used to get up every Saturday (and sometimes Sunday too) "morning" and head straight to Genovas. It's down Telegraph at 51st, right on the edge of Oakland, and is still the best sandwich I've ever had. My current "special" is a roast beef & pepper turkey on an onion roll with smoked cheddar and mendecino mustard.

JoelOct 25, 2005 at 8:12PM

I second the recommendation for Tony Luke's. It's not classy, but it's good.

j.s.f.Oct 25, 2005 at 8:17PM

How has nobody said 'inoteca, on the corner of Rivington and Ludlow? Open until 3 every day--I got trashed over five kinds of cheese one Sunday-turned-Monday--and with a dozen cuts of ham, an enormous Italian wine list, and the most intelligent (and cutest!) servers in town. Better in the summer, perhaps, when the windows are all open, but unmissable in any season.

mr nice guyOct 25, 2005 at 8:23PM

brooklyn represent!

the porchetta sandwich at tempo presto on fifth ave in park slope makes the whole borough worth living in.

MarkOct 25, 2005 at 8:27PM

When camping, we used to make a sandwich called "dognroll" (say "dog and roll") which was not so much a sandwich as it was a sandwich algorithm. To wit: take any kind of meat, and surround it with any kind of baked good.

My first dognroll (you alway remember your first, yes?) was Oscar Meyer boloney between two Kwiki-Mart sweet rolls. It's not as atrocious as it sounds. You've eaten dognroll before--that slice of summer sausage between two Ritz crackers, remember?--you just didn't know it had a name.

Dr. Nick's advice to a weight-seeking Homer make sandwiches with Pop-Tarts instead of bread would result in perfectly acceptable dognroll.

IanOct 25, 2005 at 8:35PM

Montreal. Smoked. Meat.

JeremyOct 25, 2005 at 8:48PM

I'm suprised no one here has mentioned the king of all roast beef sandwiche condiments here. You haven't lived untill you have tasted a Roast Beef Sandwich with fresh horseradish. It balances out the other required ingredients perfectly, namely: Tomato (must be still cold), Lettuce, Provolone (or swiss). The best place to get one? Havana, Illinois, A little place called the Cup and Saucer. especially on their pretzel bread. It's to die for.

FlotsamOct 25, 2005 at 9:52PM

Your source for food history is like a fine pastry; very flaky and crumbles if it's examined for too long. The author doesn't even mention the Romans in her history of the burger. She also seems to think that the Mongol yurts are "great wheeled carts" when they are, in fact, tents. The art of good journallism is based on thorough research...

brian paulsonOct 25, 2005 at 10:45PM

the cuban sandwich at kuba kuba richmond, va.
hot doug's chicago,il.
poorboys from fiorella's and anything from vertimart NOLA.
i enjoyed carve and roomali on my last visit to nyc.
proscuitto and gorgonzola butter from sandwhich in chapel hill.
texas brisket from the q-shack durham.
schwartz's or lester's smoked meat montreal. (let's not go into the bagel debate here.)
five guys and culver's burger chains.
please stop me.......

toddOct 25, 2005 at 11:17PM

I'll say it because I didn't see it in this impressive list of options (most of them well outside NYC) – EISENBERG'S SANDWICH SHOP. It even has "sandwich" in the title. It's an ancient lunch counter, practically across the street from the Flatiron building, on 5th Avenue.

Best bets there:
- tuna salad sandwich on rye bread (simple, amazing)
- chicken salad and bacon on wheat
- warm pastrami on anything

Plus, they give you full sour pickles which, in my opinion, is a pretty important sandwich accompaniment. In fact, I'd even list it as important as Bread and Balance.

Someone mentioned Nicky's Vietnamese Sandwiches. They're OK, but there's better and cheaper Banh at a deli on Broome Street, just east of Mott. Can't think of the name right now, but I'll bet someone else who reads your site will know it.

EllenOct 26, 2005 at 12:31AM

Chopped turkey or chicken
mayonnaise to taste
chopped dill pickles to taste
a bit of chopped onion (optional)
chopped celery if you like a lot of crunch (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all up and spread on the bread of your choice. Top with some leftover cranberry relish or jelly if you like. Mmmm....

AliciaOct 26, 2005 at 2:35AM

The best sandwiches in SF are at The Sandwich Place, a tiny little takeout spot on Mission between 16th and 17th. Yeah, it's a pretty sketchy block, but those $4-$5 sandwiches are serious gourmet fare. I'd recommend one, but in all honesty you could close your eyes and point at the menu and be happy with what you get. Just don't get the potato salad, it's lousy.

Rich WildOct 26, 2005 at 5:18AM

Your humble fried egg sarnie might be an exception to the rule of being able to taste everything at once. I know I like to bite round the yolk, eating the white with loads of ketchup and fresh pepper, and then finally bite into that glorious bright sunshine of a yolk and pass out from the pleasure that molten yolk oozing out all over the bread, fingers, lap, floor provides.
Its not a sandwich. Its an experience.

HeatherOct 26, 2005 at 9:50AM

Here is the short hand recipe for my current fave sandwich:
-Toasted foccaccia or similar style bread
-sliced tomoatoes, or raosted red peppers if there are no good tomatoes
-chopped basil and garlic mixed with salt and pepper and bit of olive oil
-balsamic vinegar mayonaise (1/4 cup mayo to 1 tbs vinegar or to taste)
-slices of smoked mozzarella
-slice of smoked salmon (thinly sliced grilled tofu or tofurky is also nice, chicken would work)
-slices of avocado

not a traveling sandwich but really good

If you're in the Amherst MA area:
1) Black Sheep Deli all kinds of delicious sandwiches

2) Andiamo wonderful panini--a bit pricey but superb, it's basically all they do

eddieOct 26, 2005 at 9:58AM

Closet sized sandwich joint on Crosby b'twn Bleeker and Houston has the best sandwiches I have ever had in NYC and I have lived here my whole damn life. All their sandwiches are $5 and each one is amazing. Also, the crew that runs the place are a great bunch of folk who seem like refugees from a canceled SitCom pilot.

Also, I have been to the Black Sheep (see above) and that place is damn good also. Too bad it is three states away.

mikeyOct 26, 2005 at 10:35AM

NY Milkshake Company makes a mean grilled cheese, many many cheeses to choose from. plus bacon, turkey, tomato, etc. of course, a milkshake must accompany this. 37 St Marks Pl, b/t 2nd & 3rd.

mikeOct 26, 2005 at 10:46AM

Ever in Philly-- forget the Pat's and Gino's trash, you must get a cheesesteak from Jim's Steaks on South Street. Simply the best.

Someone else mentioned Pot Belly which is very good, but the main reason I go there is to get Cricket

Steve ROct 26, 2005 at 10:47AM

Two glaring omissions in the (rather good) contributions to date:

1. A fresh crab sandwich in an English pub near the seaside. No mayo, real butter, good wholemeal bread, pint of (real) beer

2. The Boxing Day sandwich. Leftover turkey, sausage, stuffing with mayo, cranberry sauce and perhaps a few salad items. Crammed into freshly baked bread.

Also it's worth mentioning the curse of the prepacked sandwich that blights the UK market. Packaging will include a sandwich-nappy to prevent bread sogginess and an invisible, tasteless chemical film between bread and ingredients to prolong shelf-life. Ugh.

SaraOct 26, 2005 at 11:14AM

I'm relatively easy to please when it comes to sandwiches, but lately the Cobb from Specialty's is what I eat for lunch. Bacon, avocado, turkey breast, crumbled bleu cheese, tomato, no lettuce. Get it on pumpernickel (the most under-appreciated of all breads!) and start your diet the next day.

AndresOct 26, 2005 at 11:50AM

I can only speak of the long tradition of sandwiches (bocadillos, aka bocata) in Spain. With the late night fried squid, refreshing chunk tuna with peppers, the aromatic sardines and tomato, the rustic pepito de ternera, or the quintesential serrano ham sandwich (with manchego cheese for those who like cheese in all their sandwiches, or brie cheese for those that are not content with with just Spanish ingredients). Hundreds of other sandwiches pouplate bars, cafes, restaurants and playgrouds alike in Spain, and you'll be a fool to go visit and not experience one.

If it tasted good with bread, it can be made into a bocadillo.

Though in Spanish, you may get a glimpse at the fine sandwiches of the 2004 edition of Miss Bocata.

JohnOct 26, 2005 at 12:46PM

It's a chain so forgive me, but the Romanburger from Mr. Hero is an exquisite, decadent, guilty pleasure. Grilled hamburger patties, grilled Italian lunch meats, salad base, special sauce, all on a fine hero roll.

NaterOct 26, 2005 at 2:36PM

There is a fantastic cheese-steak type sandwich (not a true Philly steak, but excellent nonetheless) at a tiny place on the South side of West Third Street between MacDougal and Sixth Ave. It's up a stoop stairway. They only serve the sandwich and drinks (maybe bags of chips too). Obviously I can't remember the name, but the sandwich is impossible to forget. Go early - when they run out of ingredients for the day, they close. One of the best sandwiches of all time.

MeaganOct 26, 2005 at 2:51PM

You're probably not still checking this, but in the event that you are, I believe NYC has a Pret a Manger - which is actually a British sandwich shop that I first discovered in London while I was studying abroad. They had the MOST SPECTACULAR Chicken Ceasar sandwiches on grainary bread. If you get a chance I highly recommend it.

MichaelOct 26, 2005 at 3:05PM

Best banh mi in the city is a tiny shack on Forsyth St. right next to the Chinatown buses. Vietnam, I think it's simply called. There's pretty much one thing on the menu, and the only question is how many sandwiches you want. Get there early--they usually sell out by 2pm.

And I third the Tony Luke's.

MegOct 26, 2005 at 4:11PM

I still have not had lunch.

RobbOct 26, 2005 at 5:19PM



pjOct 27, 2005 at 2:07AM

fried egg sandwich with taylor ham & cheese on a hard roll. cheese, of course, american. egg over medium. fresh roll, and, oh god, taylor ham. coffee regular in one of those greek to go cups. great anytime, amazing with a hangover.

found in any dive in hoboken, best ones are on adams street.

i live in australia now, there is no such thing as taylor ham. sob.

LeeOct 27, 2005 at 6:09PM

Sorry y'all, but Americans don't know how to bake bread, it's not supposed to be sweet, or hard, or have the consistency of cardboard and it needs to be a decent size.

There's a reason the Brits are considered to be the inventors of the sandwich (I'd argue we still are) and that's because we perfected it, the best sandwiches in the world are from Blighty.

And who's idea was it to name the burgers-in-a-bun a sandwich? It's a bun, not slices of bread and, therefore, isn't a sandwich by any definition.

sigh9Oct 28, 2005 at 1:27PM

my favourite sandwiches come from PRET A MANGER, oooohhh....I'm drooling even thinking about it. Healthy and mmmm...

2 problems: They're English and have recently been bought by Mcdonalds. Although when I was in NY a few months ago there was a branch on or near Wall St

TeresaOct 31, 2005 at 12:57AM

Katz's Deli has a great pastrami sandwich! :)

Jack MottramNov 01, 2005 at 7:05AM

Not exactly handy for New Yorkers, but if you ever find yourself on the Ile d'Oleron, look for the café with the blue awning by the roundabout after the bridge and order a crisp, fresh baguette filled with steak haché and frites, with a liberal spreading of mustard.

Eating this sandwich after a bracing swim in the Atlantic is as close to a religous experience as I've come without the use of psychedelics.

DanNov 02, 2005 at 1:42AM

Island Burger and little brother Sandwich Planet (both in Hell's Kitchen). And Manganaro's (sp?) Hero Boy close by. All fantastic. I miss them dearly.

TinNov 02, 2005 at 1:24PM

Once saw an odd panini on offer in a London sandwich shop called Silvio's nr. New Oxford St.

It was the Thai Green Chicken and Goats Cheese Panini.

And it ruled my mouth.

Chicken spiced with thai green curry paste, slices of goats cheese, sweet yellow capisicums in strips. Whacked into a panini and squished down by the toasting plates. Resulting in an utterly addictive melted mass of flavour to savour.

I came back for it several times subsequently, but they stopped making it last time I checked in. I grieve for the loss of this sandwich when the 'best sandwich in the world' topic arises.

Thanks for letting me share "le pain".

This thread is closed to new comments. Thanks to everyone who responded.