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The Greatest Sandwiches of America

    The Greatest Sandwiches of America

    Tri-Tip: Firestone Grill

    Although most barbecue enthusiasts concentrate in the south, the Central Coast of California is also a mecca for smoked meat. Grill masters have long perfected tri-tip, a lesser-known cut from the top sirloin, due to the region’s rancho roots. These Santa Maria steaks are grilled to a medium-rare state and then put inside a French roll throughout the region. Thin slices of oak-scented tri-tip are served on a French roll with homemade barbecue sauce at Firestone Restaurant in San Luis Obispo.

    The Original Maid-Rite Sandwich: Maid-Rite

    Since 1926, it has been a must for sandwich-loving Hawkeyes to have a Maid-Rite sandwich. Fred Angell, a butcher in Muscatine, Iowa, was the first to create the sloppy ground beef sandwich using Midwest beef, mustard, ketchup, onion, and pickles on freshly steamed bread. A customer, a local deliveryman, was pleasantly impressed by the blend of tangy spices and flavorful beef and declared it “done perfectly.” Therefore, the sandwich received its name. Angell began franchising the concept shortly after its creation, spreading the gospel of the Maid-Rite sandwich throughout the state and the Midwest.

    Hot Brown: Brown Hotel

    Chef Fred Schmidt introduced this creamy, open-faced turkey sandwich to the Brown Hotel’s menu in 1926 in an effort to re-energize dinner-dance attendees. Schmidt layered sliced turkey on a piece of toast, topped it with Mornay sauce, ornamented it with Roma tomato halves and toast points, heated the sandwich under a broiler, and garnished it with crisp bacon slices. Several best-of competitions have been inspired by the Hot Brown, which is now a Kentucky craze. Try one from its place of origin.

    The Greatest Sandwiches of America

    Jibarito: The Jibarito Stop

    The jibarito, a sandwich consisting of meat, lettuce, tomato, onion, and cheese sandwiched between two slices of fried, salted green plantains, has sparked a heated debate. One side asserts that Chicago restaurateur Juan Figueroa invented it at the now-defunct Borinquen. Some assert that its origin was in rural Puerto Rico. One thing is certain: the sandwich has become a Chicago obsession, regardless of its origin. Almost every Puerto Rican restaurant in the city has a variation. Popular sandwiches are the specialty at The Jibarito Stop in Pilsen, where you can choose a variation with cheese, meat, lettuce, tomato, and onion sandwiched between salted green fried plantains.

    Ham and Cheese: Feast!

    Unless you visit Feast! in Charlottesville, Virginia, it’s difficult to find a nicer ham and cheese sandwich than the one you make at home. The market’s deli serves an exquisite rosemary ham and goat cheese sandwich that highlights the city’s and adjacent Shenandoah Valley’s characteristics. The tart and creamy chevre is produced in small amounts at Caromont Farm down the road. It is complemented with a sweet and spicy plum chutney from Virginia Chutney Company and peppery arugula from Manakintowne Farm, all of which are stacked on fresh focaccia bread from Albemarle Baking Company and grilled. All of the components are available at a nearby specialized store, so you can also improve your ham-and-cheese game at home if you desire to consume more than one.

    Maryland Pit Beef: Chap’s Pit Beef

    In contrast to the slow-and-low methodology of Kansas City, Texas, and the Carolinas, Maryland’s regional barbecue is cooked quickly. Before being placed on a grill directly over hot charcoal, lean-top roast meat is minimally seasoned. As it reaches a temperature between raw and medium-rare, it is cut into thin pink silvers and rolled up. At Chap’s Pit Beef in Aberdeen and Baltimore, the soft meat is enhanced with onions and the restaurant’s trademark Tiger Sauce, a spicy mayonnaise-horseradish blend.

    The Greatest Sandwiches of America

    Falafel Pita: Al-Ameer Restaurant

    Maybe a millennium ago, these fried balls of crushed chickpeas and fava beans were wrapped in a fluffy pita as the best vegetarian entrée between any sort of bread. In the 20th century, the wrap expanded to the United States via the Middle East, becoming a staple at restaurants and delis across the country. Dearborn, Michigan, located just outside of Detroit, is renowned for its exquisite preparations of Middle Eastern cuisine. Al-Ameer has been acclaimed as the best restaurant in town for the past three decades, delivering the tastiest falafel made in the style of Lebanon in the United States. Over freshly baked pita, this fluffy-on-the-inside, crisp-on-the-outside rounds are topped with homemade tahini, parsley, and tomatoes.

    Grilled Cheese: Melt Shop

    Creating a good grilled cheese sandwich is more difficult than it appears. Every home cook has encountered the problem of burnt bread or partially melted cheese. Melt Shop, possibly the establishment that developed the grilled cheese sandwich, never had a problem with these flaws. From pepper Jack-coated Buffalo chicken to savory French onion steak, whimsical sandwiches range in flavor. Purists enjoy the straightforward Maple Bacon. Melt Shop’s version is preferable to the handmade bacon-topped version, as it mixes sweet maple-glazed bacon, New York cheddar, and sharp brick spread on nicely toasted country white bread.

    Lobster Roll: Eventide Oyster Co.

    There are many things to see and do in Maine, including breathtaking oceanside cliffs, verdant forests, and antique wooden ships passing through harbors shrouded in fog. In spite of this, the first thing most visitors to Pine Tree State want to enjoy is a lobster roll at the place where lobster is best. The distinctive Eventide Brown Butter Lobster Roll is a favorite among many renowned chefs. This warm sandwich mixes Maine lobster meat fresh from the water with a nutty, salty brown-butter vinaigrette on a bao-style steamed bun. The hint of lemon in the buttery sauce cuts through the potential heaviness and brightens the flavor of the nicely cooked shellfish in this inventive makeover.

    The Greatest Sandwiches of America

    Bacon, Egg, and Cheese: BEC

    Foreigners may know New York City best for its dollar slices and unclean water dogs. The bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll are, however, one of the most popular and well-liked local mainstays. It is hardly an exaggeration to state that hundreds, if not thousands, of superb BEC, are available at bodegas and delis across the city, all of which are prepared in less than one minute. For a magnificent rendition of the morning staple, visit the well-named BEC. The Chelsea fast-casual eatery provides organic egg sandwiches with locally sourced meat and dairy that are cooked to order. The BEC Classic consists of two over-easy eggs, applewood-smoked bacon, and New York sharp cheddar on a brioche bun topped with bacon and cheese.

    Chicken Parm: Parm

    This New York City Italian-American restaurant’s specialization should not be hard to guess. Pick from chicken, eggplant, or meatball parm on rolls, in heroes, or as platters, in addition to a few additional red sauce classics. Consistently regarded as the best chicken parmesan in the United States. There are no gimmicks or embellishments, only high-quality, incredibly fresh ingredients skillfully prepared. Soft semolina bread from the local Parisi Bakery is stacked with tomato sauce that has been slowly simmered, freshly fried chicken cutlets, another drizzle of tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella. The entire item is heated until the cheese melts, after which it is finished with a few basil leaves and rolled up.

    Sloppy Joe: Town Hall Deli

    This New Jersey sandwich is a far cry from the typical cafeteria-style ground beef in tomato sauce that many Americans envision when they think of a sloppy Joe. This somewhat less messy dish was really inspired by a dish seen in Havana, Cuba, at a pub named Sloppy Joe’s. Founded at Town Hall Deli in South Orange in 1934, this triple-decker sandwich is comprised of three slices of specially baked Pullman rye bread, interleaved with layers of meat, cheese, and coleslaw, and topped with a generous helping of Town Hall’s famous Russian dressing. Even though it has been there for nearly nine decades, it is as popular as it was back then.

    Almost Famous Pastrami: Primanti Bros

    This Pittsburgh tradition, which is now a nationwide chain, is not famed for a single sandwich, but rather for its condiments. What makes these enormous sandwiches so famous is the sweet and tangy coleslaw, two tomato slices, and — here’s the essential bit — a handful of hot and crispy hand-cut French fries. There are over 20 protein alternatives available, ranging from oven-roasted turkey and cheese to imported sardines and cheese. The greatest of these enormous creations is the salty, smoky pastrami sandwiched between huge slices of soft Italian bread and the traditional condiment trio. During the Great Depression, what began as a modest wooden lunch counter in Pittsburgh’s Strip District has grown into a nationwide phenomenon. Indeed, french fries make everything taste better.

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