I’m totally stealing Balko’s idea for a post celebrating the 250th anniversary of the invention of the sandwich. What are some of your favorite sandwiches and favorite places to get them? I’ll start with my own.
First of all, you still can’t beat the classic corned beef sandwich, preferably from a Jewish deli in New York. Katz’ Deli is my personal favorite, but there are lots of other good ones. A real corned beef deli sandwich should be just smaller than your head, big enough that you need to order at least 4 extra pieces of bread and turn it into 2 or 3 meals. And it should be served either with spicy brown mustard or with a horseradish sauce.
There’s a Carnegie Deli at the Mirage in Las Vegas that does a pretty good approximation of the classic, but not the Stage Deli at the MGM Grand, which should be ashamed to call itself a deli. I ordered a corned beef sandwich from there a few years ago while playing poker at the MGM and what they sent was an abomination: less than an inch thick, with a plain yellow mustard packet and cole slaw that was nothing but shredded cabbage and mayonnaise. If the mob was still running Vegas, the owners of that place would have found themselves buried in a hole out in the desert, and would have deserved their fate.
New Orleans is the home of two of America’s greatest sandwiches, the po boy and the muffaletta. You can find all varieties of po boys, from shrimp to softshell crab to oysters to roast beef. Try Casamento’s or the Parkway Tavern. Central Grocery is known for its muffaletta, but I’m sure the locals can tell you where the really good places are. Pro tip for finding good food when traveling: Ask the taxi drivers, and tell them you don’t want a tourist trap but the place the locals like to eat.
I also love a good Italian sandwich. The Italians are masters of meat curing, with a dizzying variety of incredible salamis and hams to choose from. I’ve heard that Salumi’s in Seattle is spectacular, but I’ve not been there (it’s owned by Mario Batali’s father, who trained under the most famous butcher in Tuscany). But you can make your own if you buy good quality meats, put them on good crusty bread and use something other than mayo or mustard (simple olive oil and vinegar works just fine).
What are some of your favorites?