Crab Cake Sandwich
In the Chesapeake Bay region, crab cakes are served as appetisers, entrees, side dishes, and even tacos. The crab cake sandwich is hence a staple in crab shacks around the region. In an old-school seafood restaurant in Glen Burnie, Maryland (just outside of Baltimore), a massive, meaty crab cake bulges out of the edge of the kaiser roll as patrons attempt to bite into it. Locals wash down the crab-topped Bloody Marys served at Crabtowne USA with rounds of crab topped with lettuce, tomato, and homemade tartar sauce.
Fried Peanut Butter and Banana
Some people believe that Elvis Presley was the only person enamoured with fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches, yet this sweet and creamy combo is a Mississippi Delta speciality. The Arcade in Memphis, Tennessee, the King’s hometown, serves one of the best renditions in the region. There, peanut butter and roughly one-half of a sliced banana are spread on thick Texas toast. The cooks add a generous amount of butter to the griddle and fried the sandwich until the crust begins to brown around the edges. While they do provide a vegetarian option, many diners choose to add bacon to enhance the flavour and fillingness of the dish.
This savoury sandwich, like many cuisines that have become regional classics, was introduced from elsewhere. It arrived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and found a home in the Marquette region among Northern Italian immigrants. The cudighi is named after the homemade spicy Italian sausage that is frequently seasoned with clove and cinnamon, and it features the tasty meat on a firm bun with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. It is available at the most sub, pizza, and pasty businesses in the neighbourhood, but Vango’s version is renowned for being the best.
Vermont, home to some of the nation’s most popular ice cream — yep, Ben & Jerry’s — also has its own sandwich. The Vermonter is made with either turkey or ham, local sharp cheddar (obviously), pieces of crisp green apples, and honey mustard. It is accessible throughout the state, but Jericho Country Store’s Vermonter Panini warrants a special trip. It is comprised of Boar’s Head sweet ham, Cabot cheddar, Granny Smith apple pieces, red onion, tomato, and honey mustard between two slices of sourdough bread. After assembling the sandwich, the staff toasts it on the panini grill, bringing out all the flavours and textures.
Kalua Pig is a traditional Hawaiian dish consisting of beef cooked in an underground pit (known as an imu) with layers of wood, volcanic rock, banana trees, and ti leaves, which provide a mild, earthy taste. After six to twelve hours of steaming, the pork becomes soft and smokey, making it the ideal filling for a sumptuous sandwich. There are variations throughout the state, but Highway Inn’s kalua pork sliders are the best. Pork is prepared and shredded by hand according to a 70-year-old family recipe, nestled with bell peppers, onions, and a hot Hawaiian chile aioli on a taro roll, and served alongside colourful taro chips and salsa.
It would be difficult to find a sandwich filling more decadent than duck confit. Confit is a traditional French way of preserving luscious duck by cooking and curing it in its own extracted fat. The resulting meat is rich of flavorful flavour and so juicy and soft that it virtually melts in the mouth. Duck confit sandwiches can be found on gastropub menus around the United States, but it would make sense for a restaurant named Duckfat to serve the best fat-cured duck in the area. Its overnight duck confit panini mixes succulent duck with daily-baked bread from Sorella’s Bakeshop. The current version includes charred cabbage, cilantro, and black garlic mayonnaise; however, the restaurant occasionally provides unique variations, such as one with house-smoked beef and Chinese broccoli.
The katsu sando, Japan’s crispy equivalent to the schnitzel sandwich, is quickly appearing on American restaurant menus and on so many Instagram feeds that it’s practically impossible to miss. The straightforward and irresistible sandwich consists of crisp and juicy pork cutlets spread between two slices of Japanese milk bread. Feast your teeth on Stonemill Matcha’s exquisite rendition. On fluffy white bread, the continuously crowded Japanese eatery in San Francisco blends delicious breaded pork with sweet and salty tonkatsu sauce and refreshing cabbage slaw.
Morning Croissant Sandwich from Nathaniel Reid Bakery (Kirkwood, Missouri)
If every major fast-food restaurant serves it, you know it’s an American staple. That is definitely the case with the croissant breakfast sandwich, at least at breakfast-serving businesses. The morning sandwich at Nathaniel Reid Bakery in Kirkwood, Missouri, is prepared by a chef and is superior to the drive-through version. It has been heralded as one of the best breakfast sandwiches in the St. Louis area. Reid mixes farm-fresh soft-scrambled eggs (which have a consistency similar to quiche) with ham, smoky bacon, and Havarti inside one of the bakery’s renowned croissants, a process that takes four days. The addition of melted cheese and chives adds a creamy and colourful touch.
The Cuban sandwich’s moniker is misleading on multiple levels, as neither the sandwich nor its ethnically diversified fillings originated in Cuba. It resembles an ode to the cultural fabric that constituted its native city in 1915. The sandwich was originally referred to as a mixto when it was invented at Tampa’s Columbia Restaurant, the oldest dining business in the state. It is comprised of Genoa salami from Italy, Spanish ham, Cuban-style mojo-marinated pork, Swiss cheese, German pickles, and mustard, all encased in Cuban bread. The bread continues to be supplied by the century-old La Segunda Central Bakery, which has been the supplier since shortly after the invention of the sandwich.
In the Carolinas, barbecue refers to pig, whereas in the Hill Country of Texas, it refers to beef brisket. Aaron Franklin, the owner of Franklin Barbecue, is routinely regarded as the industry leader. The no-reservations, counter-order barbecue business is infamous for its long lines; President Obama was the only person ever given a reprieve. But, the James Beard Award-winning chef’s brisket is also available at his new Asian-inspired smokehouse, Loro. Co-owned by Chef Tyson Cole of Uchi and Uchiko, Loro provides guests with the opportunity to indulge in Franklin’s smoked and grilled brisket sandwich, marinated in nuoc mam and finished with herbs and chile oil, as well as sandwiches with zesty papaya salad, peanuts, chile aioli, and thai herbs — hopefully with a slightly shorter wait.
Few foods better represent the melting pot of American cuisine than corned beef. In the United States, brined and boiled brisket has become a St. Patrick’s Day and Jewish deli staple. Canter’s in Los Angeles is one of the greatest places to try it. It is served on freshly baked rye bread with a pickle. With the exception of Jewish holidays, the famous deli stays open 24 hours a day, attracting celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Guns N’ Roses to its vinyl-covered booths.
Nationwide, children are raised on bologna sandwiches. However, young Southerners boost the ante with fried bologna. From the Great Smoky Mountains to the Mississippi Delta, rounds of cured pig (derived from Bolognese mortadella) are fried to a crisp, placed between two pieces of white bread, and seasoned with a variety of sauces, including mayonnaise. At Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans, Mason Hereford griddle-fries three slices of locally made bologna tops it with American cheese and adds house-made hot mustard, Duke’s mayonnaise, and shredded lettuce for garnish. This monstrous sandwich’s crown of vinegar-brined potato chips placed between butter-slathered thick-cut Pullman bread slices is what truly sets it distinct.
Obviously, a sandwich as renowned and pervasive as the Reuben has some myths surrounding its genesis. One of the more probable legends states that Reuben Kulakofsky suggested the combination during a poker game at the now-defunct Blackstone Hotel in Omaha. It is believed that hotel proprietor Charles Schimmel created the sandwich for the first time and like it so much that he added it to the menu. The same recipe of delicate corned beef, melted Emmental cheese, and sauerkraut drizzled with Russian dressing, packed between slices of grilled marbled rye can now be found directly across the street from the old hotel at Crescent Moon Alehouse, the tastiest Reuben in the city according to many residents.
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