Most Popular Sandwiches
The Southern General, Sloppy Joe (John’s Island, South Carolina)
A nice sloppy joe calls for an abundance of napkins. When you bite into the legendary American sandwich, a loose mixture of beef stewed in a thick Worcestershire-spiked ketchup sauce oozes out of the sides of the bun and down your arms. It’s not exactly something you’d want to eat in public, but The Southern General is worth making a mess over. The Lowcountry Southern Joe at the John’s Island sandwich restaurant is a robust combination of spicy pork and ground beef stewed in a crimson Creole sauce. It is served with pimento cheese and green tomato chow on local honey white bread that has been grilled.
Bocadillo: Despaña (New York)
A normal bocadillo is a straightforward affair. (The word translates to “snack,” and that is what it is considered to be; it is not a full meal.) The crusty Spanish bread is covered with a thin layer of toppings such as jamon iberico, Manchego cheese, and chorizo after being moistened with tomato slices. Despana in New York City provides a variety of bocadillo fillings, including vegan and vegetarian alternatives, but it’s most popular is the traditional chorizo. U.S. pork is blended with Spanish pimento de la vera in a natural skin casing, sliced and grilled, then stacked on a rustic baguette with sliced Manchego cheese and drizzled with Spanish extra-virgin olive oil. The tasty mixture is pushed into a sandwich grill in order to melt the cheese and brown the bread.
Mountaineer Biscuit: Tudor’s Biscuit World (Charleston, West Virginia)
In West Virginia, biscuits are taken very seriously, and biscuit sandwiches are practically a requirement. Tudor’s Biscuit World is routinely ranked as one of the greatest providers of buttery pastry in the state and, according to some, the best thing about West Virginia. In the Appalachian region, the state’s namesake Mountaineer Biscuit has achieved iconic status. It consists of country ham, a potato cake, an egg, and cheese, all encased in a flaky bun.
Pot Roast Melt: Cathedral Cafe & Bookstore (Fayetteville, West Virginia)
Slow-cooked pot roast is an American tradition that is elevated to a higher level of patriotism in a pot roast melt sandwich. You can find it on Denny’s lunch and dinner menus, but Cathedral Café & Bookstore near Fayetteville, West Virginia’s New River Gorge serves one of the cosiest renditions. The shredded chuck roast, cheddar cheese, tomato, red onion, and spicy horseradish mayo on toasted sourdough at the historic church-turned-restaurant-and-bookstore will make you nearly want to migrate to the Mountain State.
Caprese: Caputo’s Market (Salt Lake City)
This market in Salt Lake City is renowned for its extensive assortment of cheeses, therefore the cheese slices in its deli sandwiches are superior to those at other delis. On the Fior di Latte Caprese, which is centred on mozzarella cheese, the quality stands out. St. Albans Creamery in Vermont’s high-priced di latte fresh mozzarella is simply stacked with tomato, lettuce, and fresh basil, drizzled with IGP-protected balsamic vinegar and real-deal olive oil bursting with the aromas of stone fruits and served on crusty white bread from the nearby Stone Ground Bakery. “Our Fior di Latte is simply a basic interpretation of a Caprese salad on toast,” says the restaurant’s proprietor, Matt Caputo. “Just the necessary components and nothing more”
Ahi Tuna Sandwich: Kaka’ako Kitchen (Honolulu)
As soon as canned tuna was introduced in the early 20th century, tuna salad sandwiches exploded in popularity. Recently, seared tuna sandwiches have gained appeal, with a variety of ethnic influences showcasing super-fresh, ruby-red fish. Kaka’ako Kitchen offers one of the most original and innovative perspectives in the United States. At his busy Honolulu counter-service restaurant, chef Russell Siu serves ahi tuna steak with sweet teriyaki sauce, tobiko (flying fish roe) aioli, lettuce, tomato, and fried onions on a purple taro bun. It is a deliciously savoury lunch to enjoy on the patio while taking in the seaside wind.
Whitefish Salad: Zingerman’s Delicatessen (Ann Arbor, Michigan)
This whitefish salad sandwich was inspired by Randy Hampton, a former chemistry PhD candidate who worked in the kitchen at Zingerman’s Deli. Randy in Randy’s Routine is a former aspiring comic who is now a successful PhD chemist and lab director at the University of California, San Diego. Smoked whitefish from Mackinac Straits Fish Co. is hand-picked from the bone and piled with scallion cream cheese and tomato on pumpernickel bread from Zingerman’s Bakehouse. It was one of the original sandwiches on the menu of the university town deli, and it remains a bestseller.
Chicken Milanese Sandwich: Alimento (Los Angeles)
Like with many other food-related items, the Italians have their own delectable take on the chicken sandwich. Milanese is a type of cooking that calls for floured and breaded meat (not simply chicken) to be cooked in oil till golden brown. Alimento in Silver Lake has attained cult status for its rendition. Chef Zack Pollack serves his breaded chicken thigh in the shape of a Milanese cutlet for brunch, nestled within a light brioche bun toasted with olive oil and topped with prosciutto cotto, pickles, fresh pepperoncini slaw, and a touch of Calabrian chile mayonnaise for spice.
Rib Sandwich: Saddleback BBQ (Lansing, Michigan)
Drew Piotrowski of Saddleback Barbeque proclaims, “This one-and-a-half-pound sandwich puts the McRib to McShame.” This massive portable supper begins with the smoker. The crew at Saddleback cooks their baby back ribs in a mixture of Michigan hardwoods for four to six hours (white oak, cherry, apple and a touch of hickory). When the meat is sufficiently cooked, half racks are deboned, placed on a bun, and topped with homemade pickles, onions, and sweet and flavorful barbecue sauce.
Pork Belly Bao: Momofuku Noodle Bar (New York)
David Chang easily acknowledges that he would not be as successful as he is today if not for his pork buns. His usually crowded Momofuku Noodle Bar has been serving the basic yet incredibly tasty steamed buns for the past 15 years, spawning innumerable imitators worldwide. The bao, which is comprised of freshly roasted pork belly, quick-cured cucumbers, scallion, and hoisin atop a fluffy and spongy bao bun, hits a variety of taste notes and textures. This ever-popular delicacy has sparked a global bao movement because it is simultaneously fresh and salty, sweet and savoury, and light and meaty.
Sabich: Taim Falafel (New York)
When Iraqi Jews moved to Israel, they brought sabich with them. Pita or flatbread is loaded with fried eggplant, hummus, salads, and an egg before being topped with tahini and amba, a condiment created from pickled mango. In the Holy Land, it has evolved from a home-cooked staple to a fast-food favourite due to its intriguing combination of flavours and textures. Chef-owner Einat Admony has created Taim a New York City favourite. Her rendition adheres to the classic recipe with buttery rounds of thick eggplant, sliced hard-boiled egg, Israeli salad with lemon mint dressing, marinated cabbage, and the required sauces, creating a creamy, crunchy, and irresistible experience.
Tongue Sandwich: Shapiro’s Delicatessen (Indianapolis)
A tongue sandwich may sound like some sort of prank to the uninitiated. In its natural, uncooked state, the primary ingredient, the actual beef tongue, resembles a human tongue that is enlarged. When its fibrous membrane is removed, however, this traditional Eastern European deli treat becomes succulent, soft, and meaty (i.e., taste buds). At Shapiro’s, a historic Jewish deli in Indianapolis, beef tongue is smoked using a decades-old family recipe, sliced thinly, and served on pumpernickel toast with spicy brown mustard. It tastes and appears far more appealing than it may initially sound.
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