May 1, 2002
8:36 AM   Subscribe

Tonight, when the grill is blackened with meat particles," he said, "I will literally clean it with the marinated onions so that all the flavor from the grill goes into them. That allows me to start the next morning. It's like baking sourdough. You have to save some to start the next batch."

Do you have a sandwich obsession?
posted by preguicoso (73 comments total)
Boy, oh, boy. Do I love poboys! (not listed on the menu, but available to those in the know: the French Fry Poboy--fries, cheese, and gravy on white bread. Sweet Lord!)
posted by ColdChef at 8:47 AM on May 1, 2002

The Cheese Columbo with grilled marinated eggplant from here is a testament to my batting average-esque cholesterol level.
posted by machaus at 8:53 AM on May 1, 2002

Blasphemy!!!!!! Better than the real thing? HA! Bastards in New York always think that they do everything best. Well, "It's [Philly] great cause everybody hates it". (Panama, a Philly band)

Seriously though, there is no cheese steak with american. It's gotta be provalone. Also, the whole no choice condiment thing... way outta line.
posted by password at 8:54 AM on May 1, 2002

I'm with ColdChef on this one. Poboys are the best, especially in New Orleans where they're king. Check out the guide .
posted by cowboy at 8:56 AM on May 1, 2002

i'm a fan of grilled cheese.
posted by moz at 8:59 AM on May 1, 2002

Mmmm. Those cheesesteaks sound amazing. But password is right - it has to be provolone.

I do have a sandwich obsession, preguicoso, thank you for the chance to confess it! Sandwiches probably rank right up there in my top 3 as a favorite food; they're such comfort food, especially grilled cheese sandwiches, and especially when eaten with tomato soup.

Favorites: Anything with eggplant in it. Also a monte cristo, which is turkey, swiss, and good ham, on bread which has been dipped in egg and fried like french toast. I'm sure it's very good for your heart. Also, baloney and am. cheese with tons of Ruffles Ridges potato chips smashed and layered in it. Again, good for the heart. And elegant.
posted by iconomy at 9:03 AM on May 1, 2002

Poboys sound like they're derived from poutine.
posted by transient at 9:04 AM on May 1, 2002

Actually, there's something better than cheesesteaks. It's called a Calabrese. This guy at 320 Produce in Swarthmore, PA made up this simple but delicious sandwich. You take a fresh baggette & put fresh romaine, perfect tomatos, basil, fresh mozzarella, and a red wine vinager dressing. There's the option for Parma procutio . Great sandwich & another reason to love Philly.
posted by password at 9:09 AM on May 1, 2002

I do love poboys - meatballs, gravy and onions. I've recently discovered the Parish Cafe in boston. I can't seem to find an online menu, but they have a big sandwich list that is comprised of the best chefs in the city. Each chef has a signature sandwich, and the couple I've had have been great. Here's a couple descriptions:

Gerard Lopez, chef-owner of Elephant Walk (French-Cambodian) - ''Elephant Walking on Eggs, Sandwich from the Mountain.'' Saute julienne vegetables and fresh goat cheese with eggs, then serve omelette-style on a chewy French baguette.
Lydia (Biba) Shire's sandwich is lobster salad on pepper brioche
Jody (Rialto) Adams favors prosciutto and fresh mozzarella on white
Chris (East Coast Grill) Schlesinger's recipe calls for ham and cheese on banana bread
Michael (Cafe Louis) Schlow's sandwich is roast beef, arugula, tomato comfit and horseradish cream on wheat.

And the list goes on - Ming Tsai (Blue Ginger) was on the menu recently, though I think it rotates. Interesting concept in my opinion. Good selection of beers as well. I'm thinking lunch right about now sounds pretty good! (I work on the same block).
posted by stormy at 9:14 AM on May 1, 2002

I wept with joy seeing the word "porkalicious" in print.

I have to agree with ColdChef anc Cowboy. You just can't beat a good Po'Boy in New Orleans. A barbequed shrimp po'boy dripping with sauce and a cold beer. Heaven.
posted by amphigory at 9:15 AM on May 1, 2002

The French Fry PoBoy sounds like a swinging version of the English Chip Butty (scroll down). I like a good Bacon Butty (with a side of English potty humor).
posted by liam at 9:15 AM on May 1, 2002

The sandwiches at BB Bar are blasphemy, but they're absolutely delicious blasphemy. To be fair, however, they're not really billed as "cheesesteaks" anywhere in the actual restaurant--there's no menu at all. You walk in and the guy says "How many?" No mention whatsoever of cheesesteaks. The ketchup/hot pepper sauce is the best part.

My obsession? Cubanos.
posted by cowboy_sally at 9:16 AM on May 1, 2002

when i lived in new york there was a place on the west side, perhaps in the 30's or 40's (street #s, not years), that had really good chicken parmagiana heroes. they were cheap and HUGE and delicious - can any new yorkers tell me the name of the place, and if it's still around?

also, the pastrami sandwhiches at katz's on houston were the best i've ever had (carnegie deli was no comparison, imho).
posted by modge at 9:26 AM on May 1, 2002

For anyone in New York who hasn't had the cold (or hot) sandwiches at Sandwich Planet, the hot churrascos and burgers at its older sister Island Burger, the burgers at Corner Bistro or the incredible Italian subs at Manganaro's Hero Boy (the inventors of the six-foot hero), well, it's still lunch time, so hurry up.
posted by Sinner at 9:29 AM on May 1, 2002

modge: that had really good chicken parmagiana heroes. they were cheap and HUGE and delicious - can any new yorkers tell me the name of the place, and if it's still around?

See above! They're still around.
posted by Sinner at 9:32 AM on May 1, 2002

cowboy sally, I'm with you on the cubanos, and I can see the Havana-Chelsea restaurant, a temple to them, beloved of cops and cab-drivers, out of my window. And it's lunch-time.
posted by liam at 9:40 AM on May 1, 2002

yay! manganaro's on 9th near 37th!

thanks Sinner. i wonder if they'd deliver to california?
posted by modge at 9:43 AM on May 1, 2002

I'm all about the huge reuben sandwiches. Second choice is the much-lauded Cuban. Pressed is best.
posted by Danelope at 9:48 AM on May 1, 2002

Oh, and back when Emeril first began his run on FoodTV, before he had a failed sitcom, and before he had a live show where people applaud like idiots whenever he mentions garlic, he made a Softshell Crab Po'Boy that looked amazing. I haven't had the opportunity to try one yet, though.
posted by Danelope at 9:51 AM on May 1, 2002

PB&J. (link via mighty girl)

Crunchy not creamy, strawberry not grape.
posted by brittney at 9:55 AM on May 1, 2002

Oh, and I haven't actually been to Grilled Cheese, but my friends rave about it.

Modge: I'll see what I can do about shipping you a sandwich if you ship me some fried chicken from Roscoe's and a burger from In 'N Out.
posted by Sinner at 9:59 AM on May 1, 2002

I like Dagwood/Scooby sandwiches. Two or three kinds of cheese, at least four kinds of meat, some pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, mustard and/or Tobasco sauce, plus whatever random things I find. Sandwich must be at least six inches thick. The stranger the ingredients, the better the sandwich. If you can take one bite out of all layers without unhinging your jaw, you didn't make it big enough. Must drink milk while eating this sandwich. Yes.
posted by bargle at 10:00 AM on May 1, 2002

i wonder if they'd deliver to california?

Apparently, they do. And Katz's Delicatessen will still send a salami to your boy in the army.
posted by cowboy_sally at 10:07 AM on May 1, 2002

Ack! The Manganaro's that delivers is the *evil* Manganaro's next door to Hero Boy. Nevermind.
posted by cowboy_sally at 10:10 AM on May 1, 2002

Another tip for confused cross-country travelers. On the east coast, if you order a "steak sandwich", you get thin-sliced steak, cooked on a griddle with (usually) cheese and onions, on a long roll. In Oklahoma and a lot of the southwest, a "steak sandwich" is a chicken-fried steak (battered, fried steak) on a hamburger bun with mayo, lettuce, tomato. I can't decide which is better.

Can't find a link with a menu, but stop in a Del Rancho and try one out. Hell, try two.
posted by yhbc at 10:17 AM on May 1, 2002

Sandwich Planet is great. A little hole in the wall place that makes great sandwiches (and does an amazing amount of business...)

As for favorite sandwiches, I'd probably go with a grilled cheese (using cheddar or swiss), with tomato and mustard on rye or wheat bread. Or a good Rueben (or turkey reuben). Or philly cheesesteak. Or chinken parm sub.... Yeah, it's lunch time.

I think I'm heading over to BB Bar now...
posted by andrewraff at 10:17 AM on May 1, 2002

What. No fans of the Monte Cristo? I mean a ham, turkey and cheese delight, egg-battered and deep-fried and covered in powdered sugar, c'mon, what's not to love? It's a donut - no wait it's a grilled ham & cheese sandwich - no wait, it's both!

Mmm, now I have to go find one. Heart attack on a platter.
posted by kokogiak at 10:19 AM on May 1, 2002

Mmmmmm. The Oldwick General Store in the quaint western-NJ township of Tewksbury makes some of my favorite sandwiches. Nothing outré, just delicious bread (I get the rye, the slices are giant) and good deli meats (though I just get the cheese in my semi-vegetarian existence these days) sliced razor thin. Be sure to grab a giant pickle from the barrel in front of the counter. We stop there every time we're in the old neighborhood visiting Mom.

And stormy, I second the Parish Cafe in Boston (I also work on the same block, perhaps we'll bump into each over a panini...).
posted by jalexei at 10:23 AM on May 1, 2002

Sinner: not sure where the nearest roscoe's is in relation to me, but i'd be more than happy to drive the two and a half hours to the nearest In 'n Out and get you a burger. unfortunately, i'm guessing even with overnight delivery that a day-old In 'n Out burger would lose some or all of it's charm (but they're the best when fresh!). i do know for a fact that a manganaro's chicken cutlet hero is still good one (and even two) days after the initial purchase.

cowboy_sally: i noticed that (after reading the nytimes article about the manganaro family feud found via Sinner's link above). evil indeed!
posted by modge at 10:26 AM on May 1, 2002

The BB had a 50 minute wait today, I liked them better before they were written up every where.
posted by mmm at 10:27 AM on May 1, 2002

I like monte cristos...
posted by iconomy at 10:28 AM on May 1, 2002

Sorry iconomy, I missed your Monte Cristo reference - it was buried in your avalanche of favorites ;)
posted by kokogiak at 10:38 AM on May 1, 2002

Hehe. I do tend to drone on and on about food. And we both mentioned the heart attack angle.
posted by iconomy at 10:41 AM on May 1, 2002

I call sandwiches "sammies", actually. If I really like it, it's "yummy sammies". I know you've all lost whatever respect you have for me, but hey, I like sandwiches!
posted by iconomy at 10:44 AM on May 1, 2002

iconomy, my wife eats potato chips in sandwiches, too. And on hot dogs. It must be a Connecticut thing, I'd never heard of it before.
posted by yhbc at 10:51 AM on May 1, 2002

iconomy, my wife eats potato chips in sandwiches, too. And on hot dogs. It must be a Connecticut thing, I'd never heard of it before.
posted by yhbc at 10:52 AM on May 1, 2002

In no particular order:

1) Muffaletta from Central Grocery in NOLA.

2) Kool Korner Cuban Sandwich in Atlanta.

2) The Debris Sandwich (combines the leavings from the Roast Beef Pan with pickles, cabbage, mustard and mayonaise) at Mother's in NOLA.

4) Almost anything on the menu at the Salumeria Taggiasca in the Auburn Curb Market in Atlanta.

5) Any well prepared soft shell crab.

6) White Tower (NOT Castle) hamburgers in Dayton, OH. They butter the bun.
posted by donpardo at 10:54 AM on May 1, 2002

The really weird thing about it is, every time I think about it I get all choked up and spastic. Sorry.
posted by yhbc at 10:55 AM on May 1, 2002

1) Muffaletta from Central Grocery in NOLA.

2) The Debris Sandwich (combines the leavings from the Roast Beef Pan with pickles, cabbage, mustard and mayonaise) at Mother's in NOLA.

5) Any well prepared soft shell crab.

Donpardo: Thank you for reminding me about Central Grocery...umm...can I change my answer?

Yay New Orleans! Oh, and..yeah...there's a serious "Emeril Backlash" right now, but if you've never been to his restaurants, you just don't fucking know. The man is a god.
posted by ColdChef at 11:16 AM on May 1, 2002

sammies? no, no.
it's all about the sammich.
posted by moz at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2002

John Thorne, the guy who writes the Simple Cooking newsletter, among other things, wrote an essay about the Banh Mi called "Banh Mi and Me". Can't find it on the web, but anybody who likes food a lot should check out one of his books like "Simple Cooking" or "Pot on the Fire".

btw - I'd kill for one of those Debris poboys from Mother's. Or the crawfish etouffe...
posted by jeb at 11:40 AM on May 1, 2002

Jalexi - My bus used to stop at the Oldwick General Store when I was in high school. Man, do I miss that taylor ham egg and cheese.
posted by jeb at 11:42 AM on May 1, 2002

i feel as if the west coast is being underrepresented here, so i'll chime in.

lamb french dip with blue cheese, double dipped with hot mustard from philippe's in downtown los angeles. just to give you a hint as to how good they are, philippe's is the birthplace of french dip sandwiches. the mustard's so hot it'll make you tear up just sniffing it. if you're ballsy enough to buy a jar to take home it goes great on corn dogs in very measured doses and is wonderful for kicking up baked beans...

but the sandwiches are freaking divine - mostly because they've been made the same way since 1908. you can wash your french dip down with a ten cent cup of coffee and gnosh on some pickled pigs feet [they serve something like three hundred pounds a week. frightening, no?] or cole slaw. best french dip ever. give them a go next time you're in downtown l.a. and i swear you won't be disapointed.
posted by boogah at 11:55 AM on May 1, 2002

CC: No sweat. Love that place.

boogah: That sounds great.

I've had a Vietnamese sandwiches in a couple of places out on Buford Highway here in Atlanta but none of them have been stellar.

Stretching the definition of sandwich, allow me to add the Tacos al Pastor from the Tacqueria Los Reyes in Atlanta.

I love simple food made well.
posted by donpardo at 12:11 PM on May 1, 2002

Eating a sandwich from Koppa's Fulbeli Deli here in Milwaukee as I read this. Make your own sammich or choose from any of their 24 creations. (12 named for planets, 11 with made-up names, like "Rimpish," and one named "Elvis.")

yhbc -- I also eat potato chips in sandwiches, as does my brother, but only in PBJs. Guess it's not just a Connecticut thing.
posted by aine42 at 12:22 PM on May 1, 2002

Lamb French Dip sandwich? Ohhh...that sounds delicious.

My sandwich addiction is the Pizza Gyros sandwich at Papa G's in Aurora, IL. Gyros meat, pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese on French bread...yum. I used to work about five minutes away from that restaurant and went there once a week or so.

The roast beef and colby croissants at Dagwoods in Bloomington, IN were a favorite when I went to IU.

I am also a sucker for Chicken Parmesan sandwiches.
posted by SisterHavana at 12:27 PM on May 1, 2002

Oh but oh, if you live in Seattle and haven't tried the Bistro Antalya yet, you must. It's on Broadway, in that convenience store just south of the Broadway Market. Mr. Ertur is a Turkish astrophysicist who lived in Germany for years and turned from cranking out equations to crafting the most exquisite pita sandwiches this side of Istanbul. The blacked chicken with homemade mango chutney is a little slice of heaven nestled between lots of crisp green lettuce and juicy tomato slices. And he wears a white lab coat behind the counter. Honest.
posted by gutenberg at 12:31 PM on May 1, 2002

You know, I used to live a block from there, I went in there all the time, and I was never willing to try one of those sandwiches. Partly because I was a vegan at the time I guess.
posted by bingo at 12:41 PM on May 1, 2002

Back from BB, I can report that despite a 35 minute wait, it's quite a good sandwich-- not a real Philly cheesesteak-- but good, in a slightly different way. I approve
posted by andrewraff at 12:45 PM on May 1, 2002

Ever read Road Food?
posted by jeb at 1:32 PM on May 1, 2002

Well, anyone who went to Cornell would have to mention The Hot Truck.

I'll have a Full Sui G&G extra hot liquid please, Bob!

(Even though Bob has retired.)
posted by mtstover at 1:45 PM on May 1, 2002

Hmmmmm...back when I lived in Germany, there was this turkish place that had Doner Kebaps for 5DM ($3USD). Those things were soooo good.
posted by patrickje at 1:57 PM on May 1, 2002

When I was in Ann Arbor, there was also a great place (actually, much like "Grilled Cheese" above, I'm not sure I ever ate there, but I know I heard good things), called "Blimpie Burger." Again, I don't really remember the food, but I could never forget the slogan:

"Cheaper than food."

posted by Sinner at 2:14 PM on May 1, 2002

I am *SO* bookmarking this thread. This'll take care of my eatin' for the rest of the summer.

Having said favorite treat in the entire world (not hearty enough to call a meal, but man-o-man...):

Fresh, ripe, homegrown tomatoes with a little salt and pepper, with mayonaisse on soft white bread. Nothing says summer like 'mater sammiches. And then, when the juice runs down your chin...

Some people may choose to add bacon to such a sammich. These people are wise beyond years. But, I prefer mine simple.

Tomatoes. Mayo. Soft bread. Sprinkle of salt and pepper. Yum.
posted by ColdChef at 2:18 PM on May 1, 2002

I like Spiedies. Yum!
posted by spilon at 2:32 PM on May 1, 2002

The original Pat's King of Steaks in South Philly doesn't use provolone. They have a giant vat of Cheez Wiz. This is the best, and the most authentic. Here's the recipe.
posted by Zurishaddai at 3:38 PM on May 1, 2002

Hoagie or
a murry amsterdam will suffice....and some fries?
posted by clavdivs at 3:55 PM on May 1, 2002

Recommendations for the best way to get drool out of a keyboard?

Souvlaki (beef, pork or chicken) in a fire-grilled pita with tzatziki (cucumber-dill-garlic yogurt sauce). Done badly in Greek restaurants across America; what you really want, in my experience, is the stuff Greeks cook for each other, say at Greek church festivals or baptisms.
posted by sacre_bleu at 4:58 PM on May 1, 2002

the monte cristo at bennigan's is unbeatable.. many have tried to beat it... however, being unbeatable, those many have failed. it's kind of sad, actually.
posted by lotsofno at 5:24 PM on May 1, 2002

lotsofno - I have to admit Benningan's monties rock.

Two best sandwiches in the world though are the sirloin steak sandwich with bacon, mozzarella and honey mustard on a gralic roll at the Chelsea Commons on 10th & 24th in Manhattan and a pastrami rueben minus Russian dressing and plus blue cheese on toasted rye from any good deli
posted by jonmc at 5:51 PM on May 1, 2002

I've eaten the Chicken Parmigana Hero at Geraldi's in downtown PDX (There's one on the wes' saheed too, but I'm not sure where) and I have heard from others (besides Geraldi) that they are a fairly authentic NY sammich experience. Can anyone back this up? When I was in NY I ate a hot dog off a cart in Central Park, and had dinner in Little Italy, but I didn't get any sammiches anyplace.

Anyone make grilled cheese with a 'sammich maker'? I've tried that and I actually enjoyed it. Fast, easy, minimal work (no turning!) and I wonder if anyone else has tried one of these wondrous devices.
posted by verso at 6:15 PM on May 1, 2002

Gaack, brainfart...that "blue cheese" on my reuben should be honey mustard...just so you don't think I'm too weid or anything
posted by jonmc at 6:18 PM on May 1, 2002

I also forgot that the chili-cheese steak sandwich at Pat's Hubba Hubba in Port Chester, NY is amazing as is the chili-chese-bacon-honey mustard super sub at Tomlinson's here in Bridgeport, esp. with a side of mozzarella sticks and a cold Atlantic Amber...mmmm, bliss
posted by jonmc at 6:36 PM on May 1, 2002

add "steak" after honey mustard....

lay off the beer jon..
posted by jonmc at 6:37 PM on May 1, 2002

When I feel blue and feel like I've had too much tofu, I walk up Second Avenue to the last worthwhile Kosher Deli in New York. A Pastrami sandwich may be retro, but it is the cure for a certain malaise which affects me every few months.
posted by ParisParamus at 6:56 PM on May 1, 2002

Paris: I abso-friggin-lutely agree about the 2nd Avenue Deli. Don't know how I could have forgotten it.

One of my few complaints about Atlanta food is that I can't get a good pastrami sandwich anywhere.
posted by donpardo at 4:59 AM on May 2, 2002

when i'm feeling fancy i like to have a Primanti Brother's cheesesteak. steak, coleslaw and fries inside two really thick pieces of french bread. yum. they are an institution here in pgh.
my usual favorite, though, is grilled provolone on russian rye bread.
posted by s.carrier at 6:03 AM on May 2, 2002

the $10 mile high pastrami at Canter's in LA is worth it only if you hang out in the famous Fairfax fixture - but why wouldnt you?

Sure the mean old ladies who take your orders are ornery, but that's just part of the old world charm.
posted by tsarfan at 9:51 AM on May 2, 2002

Danelope, I'm all with you on the Reuben. Except I prefer mine with pastrami, not corned beef. Since I was introduced to this wonderful sandwich (by Togos, a sub sandwich chain no less) I've been on the quest for the ultimate Reuben sandwich. Unfortunately, living in Nevada makes it difficult. However, in Las Vegas not far from the convention centers and the strip is a little Jewish deli and eatery named Bagelmania that makes absolutely sublime Reuben sandwiches (and some other decent food). Can't reccomend it enough. My dream vacation is a trip through NYC on a quest for the ultimate Reuben.
posted by mutagen at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2002

Back when I lived in Connecticut, I used to work a couple doors down from Gold's Deli in Westport. They used to make this great sandwich of smoked turkey on pumpernickle slathered with spicey horseradish cole slaw and russian dressing. yum.
posted by crunchland at 10:26 AM on May 2, 2002

ColdChef -- if you're in or near New Orleans, you need to try these two poor boy creations if you haven't yet done so. Two different kinds of hot sausage, both of them works of art (or as the New Orleans Underground Gourmet used to say, "Platonic dishes"):

Hot sausage and cheese (American cheese, of course), from Gene's Po-Boys on the corner of St. Claude and Elysian Fields. Open 24 hours, but make sure you go during the day only. This sandwich is pure, unadulterated heaven, and the greatest hot sausage poor boy I've ever had, anywhere in the city (I love, love, LOVE fresh Creole hot sausage!)

Hot smoked sausage with chili gravy, from Domilise's on the corner of Annunciation and Bellcastle, Uptown. So big they cut it into threes instead of half, spicy gravy dripping down your chin ... Gawd.
posted by chuq at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2002

Thanks. I'll try them both when I'm in NOLA this summer.
posted by ColdChef at 2:26 PM on May 2, 2002

I'm going to NOLA in a week or so. Can't wait.

Another serious Crescent City sandwich is the fried shrimp poboy from St. Roch's market. Again - daytime visits only, please.
posted by preguicoso at 3:54 PM on May 2, 2002

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