The Best Sandwich
September 6, 2003 7:43 PM   Subscribe

The BBC Is Looking For The Best Sandwich In The World: Can you help? Sandwiches are supposedly easy but, come to think of it, perfect sandwiches are actually quite difficult to invent and produce. Bread gets wet; lettuce wilts; flavours and textures clash. Personally, I like English tea sandwiches best; though the Mediterranean versions are a meal in themselves. But if you had to stake your life and reputation on one fulfilling and tastebud-enticing sandwich, which one would it be? To go.
posted by MiguelCardoso (63 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is EVERY post you make from here on out going to be a thinly veiled excuse for a "let's all list our favorite X" ("worst cover song", "favorite drink", "best sandwich")?
posted by jonson at 7:48 PM on September 6, 2003

Is EVERY post you make from here on out going to be a thinly veiled excuse for a "let's all list our favorite X" ("worst cover song", "favorite drink", "best sandwich")?
I hope so.
posted by kickingtheground at 7:55 PM on September 6, 2003

Being on Atkins I rarely have something that resembles a sandwich but I'll go with an In'n'Out Double-Double, grilled onions and protein wrap. Yummy! But not with the extra 18 patties and cheese.
posted by billsaysthis at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2003

+++===+++ q's fun facts to know and yell +++===+++
at an amusement park in pennsylvania named bushkill, they have a ride called the pretzel.
posted by quonsar at 8:03 PM on September 6, 2003

mmm, sammiches.

i'm partial to grilled cheese with honey on cinnamon-raisin bread. mashed avocados and honey on sourdough is tasty, too, though. and there's no beating the age-old turkey sandwich.
posted by pxe2000 at 8:04 PM on September 6, 2003

any from new orleans, miguel--a po'boy or muffaletta would be the perfect sandwiches to me.
posted by amberglow at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2003

Little deli / Indian market across the street from my old office (called "Nu Deli" natch) made this wonderful sandwich ... start with a crusty baguette, spread a thin layer of cream cheese, then a pesto spread, followed with a layer sun-dried tomatoes w/garlic and olive oil, then some black olives, and lastly romaine lettuce.

posted by WolfDaddy at 8:07 PM on September 6, 2003

sandwiches that you will like
posted by crunchland at 8:11 PM on September 6, 2003

by the way.
posted by crunchland at 8:22 PM on September 6, 2003

Pity the man who must have read at least fifty descriptions of a po'boy; loves oysters and all forms of seafood seen the photographs; accepted the philosophy; but never tried one. i.e. me.

Wolfdaddy: Here's a real secret. If it's sunny, cut a nice heirloom tomato into four slices; douse them with good olive oil and leave them out in the sunshine for three or four hours.
Rub a good baguette with some garlic; add an onion slice or two; rub the tomatoes into the bread; add kosher salt and black pepper - plus ANY filling you can think of - and the result is...heaven.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:26 PM on September 6, 2003

We pity you, miguel, but not for that reason.
posted by crunchland at 8:29 PM on September 6, 2003

Ciabatta, open faced, with parma prosciutto and ripened Asiago, toasted.
posted by the fire you left me at 8:36 PM on September 6, 2003

The BBC Is Looking For The Best Sandwich In The World:

The pastrami on rye I'm eating here. From this place.

Best. Sandwich. Ever. Period.
posted by jonmc at 8:38 PM on September 6, 2003

Best sandwich I've ever eaten is a Debris Po'Boy from Mother's Restaurant in New Orleans!
posted by bas67 at 8:38 PM on September 6, 2003

Isn't the BBC also looking for the mouldiest coffee cup?

This has the potential of making for one extra-gross crossover.
posted by clevershark at 8:41 PM on September 6, 2003

Roast beef, melted Swiss, roasted onions on a kaiser with mayo... it doesn't get much better than that IMHO.
posted by clevershark at 8:43 PM on September 6, 2003

I'll second pastrami on rye. With mustard of course. Prefably hand sliced rather than machine sliced.
posted by bobo123 at 8:49 PM on September 6, 2003

Crusty bread, one roasted chicken breast with skin, red pepper hummus, guacamole, big slice of tomato.

Alternatively, whole grain dijon mustard, red onion, a thin slice of granny smith apple, and roast beef on dark rye.
posted by Nothing at 8:58 PM on September 6, 2003

bobo123- at Katz's it's always hand-sliced. and takem right outta the steamer. No visit to NYC is complete without a trip to it.

As interesting as some of the new-school sandwiches mentioned here sound (and I've had some great sanwiches in that vein myself, like the fried egg, bacon and gorgonzola on a ciabatta at 'wichcraft and the primerib with swiss and horseradish on a hard roll at my local pub back in my florida daze)...I still gotta say old school New York deli reprazentin', yo.
posted by jonmc at 9:02 PM on September 6, 2003

George W. Bush, sliced thinly, on a bed of Dick Cheney, smeared with smoked pate d'Ashcroft, on a Freedom Crescent Roll.

"You got your Bush-bash in my favourite thing thread!"
"You got your favourite thing thread in my Bush-bash!"

posted by stonerose at 9:07 PM on September 6, 2003

Mmmm. Tough. Coleslaw on rye from the Sterling PLace Taverin in Buffalo, NY. Simple, elegant, unbeatable.
posted by oflinkey at 9:27 PM on September 6, 2003

The Tuna Pocket. Hell, any Pocket.
posted by macadamiaranch at 9:29 PM on September 6, 2003

Grilled Turkey Reuben.... paper thin deli turkey, saurkraut, thousand island dressing, swiss cheese, on grilled marble rye...... [homer type drooling].....
posted by thunder at 9:35 PM on September 6, 2003

once again for the hearing-impaired: CHEF-BOY-R-DEE. sheeeeesh.
posted by poopy at 9:37 PM on September 6, 2003

I was pondering what constitutes the "best" in a sandwich. And I can't tell you really what that is. Is it the best taste I've ever had? The most repeatable good experience? The tried-n-true-grew-up-with-it-and-still-like-it-dag-nabbit?

For the latter, I choose:

Wheat bread. Layer of Miracle Whip. Slice of bologna. Cheddar cheese slices off the block. Texas Pete.

I can eat 'em day in and day out. Grew up on 'em. Simple, good, fuel.
posted by Lafe at 10:05 PM on September 6, 2003

French Dip, from Philippe's in LA (home of the French Dipped Sandwich):
Established in 1908 by French immigrant named Philippe Mathieu. Philippe the Original began as a delicatessen and sandwich shop. In 1918, Philippe was preparing a sandwich for a policeman and accidentally dropped the sliced french roll into the drippings of a roasting pan. The policeman liked the sandwich and came back the next day with some friends to order the sandwich "dipped" in the meat pan. From that day forward, a new sandwich was born--the "French Dip," so called because of Philippe's French heritage, the french roll on which the sandwich was made, or because the policeman's name was Officer French.
posted by Guy Smiley at 10:13 PM on September 6, 2003

When I was growing up their was a deli restaurant in Livingston, NJ called Eppies Essen. Old fashion Jewish deli in the back, tables and booths up front. Amazing matzoh ball soup. But nothing beat their Eppies Special--rye bread, mayonaise, lettuce, turkey breast, cole slaw, your choice of corned beef or pastrami, Russian dressing, more rye bread. Huge, amazing, choke a horse kind of sandwich.
posted by billsaysthis at 10:17 PM on September 6, 2003

Dippings is gud.

Hmmm. Lox on a real bagel is a treat.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 PM on September 6, 2003

(considers 5FF's comment)

What about lox on a real bagel, dipped in salmon drippings?
posted by wanderingmind at 10:39 PM on September 6, 2003

i'm proud to say that Katz's pastrami on rye is the last pastrami sandwich i'll ever eat. totally agree with jonmc, although the cuban sandwich's you can buy nearly anywhere in s. florida are also scrumdilicious.
posted by photoslob at 11:13 PM on September 6, 2003

Strange But True: In my college days, an Arby's in Santa Monica served a few not-on-the-franchise-menu sandwiches including one made from real, deli-grade Pastrami, trimmed leaner than they would in the deli-district on Fairfax, on an understated onion roll, topped with red-and-green cabbage cole slaw (definitely non-franchise mix) and, ironically topped off with a dab of the sickeningly sweet red dressing Arby's puts on its "Beef and Cheddar", and, dammit, the mix worked so well, it's the first thing I thought of when this topic came up...

I could also mention my personal creation, the "transcendent tuna", using the best non-national-brand solid white canned tuna, soaked in just enough balsamic vinegar and Worcester sauce to make it pass for a cheap 'chunk light', with a spoonful of Dill pickle relish, not sweet, and thin slices of Vidalia or any honestly sweet Onion, and the best tomato available (I'm pining right now for a previous address with a little yard where I grew my own)... and the only thing I wasn't particular about was the bread... sometimes I'd use Wonder White just to make the disguise complete...

Where I live now has more 'Slobway' Sandwich franchises than Starbuckses. Be afraid.
posted by wendell at 1:10 AM on September 7, 2003

Turkey, a layer of mashed potatoes, a layer of stuffing, another small layer of cranberry sauce, and a layer of bacon. Top and bottom of rye bread.

That's what they eat in heaven.
posted by Samsonov14 at 2:24 AM on September 7, 2003

While one probably can’t explain smoked meat, I’ll try. Think a not very peppered pastrami w/a slight corned beef brine flavor. There, simple as I’ll make it. Oh, the cut of beef is the brisket.

Okay, it might not quite be the Best. Sandwich. Ever., and being a life-long Albertan, I've got a nagging suspicion I've not actually *had* the real thing, but still, it's hella good. On rye, of course, with a little swiss and Dijon mustard.

Then again, I loves my PB&J's too, so what do I know?
posted by arto at 2:52 AM on September 7, 2003

In a desparate bid for something to have for lunch, and the need to get rid of my pita bread before it got moldy, I made a wrap using the left-over chicken curry I had made the night before, spreading the cous-cous I used as a base on top of it, and adding slices of fresh tomatoes. Excellent stuff.
posted by Space Coyote at 3:01 AM on September 7, 2003

If you haven't had a Vietnamese sandwich, you haven't lived.
Crusty baguette, a smear of pate, some meat - sometimes grilled pork, sometimes beef or chicken - mint, cilantro, pickled carrots, chilies, cukes........a symphony of deliciousness. And never more than $3.

Some places to find them in the US.

Or make
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:00 AM on September 7, 2003

My personal favorite is Ham and Roast Beef on Swirl Rye, with extra sharp Cheddar, tomatoes, alfalfa sprouts, pickles, and a little bit o' mayo. Swiss is good, too, either instead of cheddar or in addition.
posted by Shoeburyness at 5:06 AM on September 7, 2003

Then again, I loves my PB&J's too, so what do I know?

Then on your next visit to the Big Apple, you should stop at this place on Sullivan Street. I reccomend the "Elvis". Then walk over to Ray's Candy Store on Avenue A to wash it down with a banana egg cream or a cherry lime rickey.
posted by jonmc at 5:56 AM on September 7, 2003

The Tuna Pocket?

Is that a euphemism?
posted by Blue Stone at 6:23 AM on September 7, 2003

The Salt Beef Sandwich on Rye with English mustard. Incomparable. It seems that, in the UK anyway, it can only be had in London, try a sandwich bar crawl around Clerkenwell and Brick Lane. The best was always from Blooms now no longer at Whitechapel. Reubens in Selfridges is pretty damn good.
posted by grahamwell at 6:23 AM on September 7, 2003

Yes CunningLinguist
The Viet bakery around the corner from work does a roaring trade in "chilli chicken" or "chilli pork" rolls.
But then again
posted by johnny7 at 6:27 AM on September 7, 2003

I nominate tomato, bean sprouts, avocado and lettuce on whole grain, but admit that it will only be first if anyone has a way to make it stay together while being eaten.

And I really only contributed to this thread so I could find it more easily later on.

grilled cheese with honey on cinnamon-raisin bread. mashed avocados and honey on sourdough

pxe2000, I have to try these.
posted by orange swan at 6:45 AM on September 7, 2003

bennigans' monte cristo...
posted by lotsofno at 6:53 AM on September 7, 2003

Glad to see someone posted Primanti Brothers on the list. The sandwiches come with your choice of meat(double for a little more, I suggest the knockwurst) cheese, tomato, tangy cole slaw and french fries all on italian bread. It's a meal in a bun and a Pittsburgh original.
posted by whirlwind29 at 7:04 AM on September 7, 2003

In my opinion, one of the best sandwiches I ever had was a Montreal smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz's Deli. I'm also partial to a nice club sandwich with home-cut fries and a Guinness at Maxwell's Plum.
posted by Caffine_Fiend at 7:20 AM on September 7, 2003

i was in the usa a month or so ago and near the arizona uni campus there's a little place called subway that made a nice veggie sandwich.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:28 AM on September 7, 2003

My personal favourite....Turkey and Milano Salami....on White Bread, real butter...and a twist of black pepper...

posted by mattr at 8:52 AM on September 7, 2003

Step One: Make a comment quoting some other site.

Step Two: Forget to actually link said other site.

Step Three: ???--sorry, ZZZ.

Step Four: Embarassment!
posted by arto at 9:42 AM on September 7, 2003

Montreal smoked meat. Mmm.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:24 AM on September 7, 2003

why, Montréal smoked meat, of course.

posted by paulschreiber at 10:36 AM on September 7, 2003

Flatbread, roast beef, sharp cheddar, dijon, pepper, watercress. Like a Bach fugue, if all goes well.
posted by casarkos at 10:57 AM on September 7, 2003

Australian take away egg salad sandwiches with the works. That means, egg salad on white, pinapple, beet root, lettuce, lots of mayo, potato salad, cucumbers, tomato slices, salt, pepper --- but hold the sprouts!
posted by drinkmaildave at 12:16 PM on September 7, 2003

Metafilter: "when in doubt, bring up the question of sandwiches again and again"
posted by clavdivs at 12:18 PM on September 7, 2003

I'm hungry.
posted by ginz at 12:49 PM on September 7, 2003

...a nice MLT- mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, when the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe. They're so perky. I love that.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:49 PM on September 7, 2003

The ham on pumpernickle with red onions and mustard that I made yesterday.
posted by donpardo at 7:01 PM on September 7, 2003

hard to beat a mozzarella, basil and tomato sandwich for me.
posted by Hackworth at 7:42 PM on September 7, 2003

When I was in Barcelona many years ago, I had a grilled pork sandwich with some kind of melted cheese on a baguette. It was heavenly, but I was extremely drunk. Never been able to duplicate it or find anything remotely similar. I've never been to NYC, but I had a pastrami sandwich at Canters to rival the one being eaten by jonmc. And meatball sandwiches - white bread, meatballs, tomato suace, mozza cheese - in Ottawa are sublime. Especially after a few beers.

And no, I'm not trying to show off how well-traveled I am. It just seems that all my most poignant sandwich moments have occured away from home.
posted by sharpener at 1:27 AM on September 8, 2003

taylor ham (aka pork roll), egg and cheese on a round roll. salt, pepper and ketchup optional.
posted by goddam at 6:09 AM on September 8, 2003

How about a "Boot Mill" from Arthur's Diner in Lowell, Ma?

Bulkie Roll, Fried Egg, Bacon (or double bacon or triple bacon, or ham or sausage, or any combination), Cheese and Homefries, all in the same sandwich.

Instant heart attack incucer, but great nonetheless.
posted by quibx at 6:20 AM on September 8, 2003

What, did King Foot close down? The BBC doesn't have to look for a perfect sandwich, they need only ask. I'll be happy to reveal the answer to them and everyone else.
posted by majick at 3:24 PM on September 8, 2003

QuickPita in Washington DC has a very excellent sandwich called the QuickPita special: Marinated chicken breast served with garlic paste, tomatoes and french fries on pita. The chicken is marinated just so, and it's delicious.

I also like the pastrami at Katz's, and it's right next to that live music place (name escapes me, is it the mercury lounge?) and open 24 hours... perfect!

In LA Langer's Deli has a great pastrami, and Bay Cities in santa monica has a good italian sandwich on fresh-baked bread.

To me it's the bread that really makes the sandwich.
posted by cell divide at 3:53 PM on September 8, 2003

Pastrami on Rye, "Bud's All-Meat", where it comes off the slab steaming. Runner up: Steak Sandwitch, Nationwide Freezer Meats, where butter + meat = happy heart attack for YOU!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:58 PM on September 8, 2003

Just for the record -
During David Letterman's tribute to Warren Zevon on Sept. 8th, Zevon's advice from his last 'live' appearance on Dave's show:
"You're supposed to enjoy every sandwich."
posted by wendell at 4:25 PM on September 13, 2003

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