Americans may never get over their obsession with amazing hamburgers, but they’ve certainly made room for an equally delicious meal between bread: the artisanal sandwich.
Here, the most exciting sandwich upgrades in the country.
Arlington, Va.: Bayou Bakery
Chef-partner and New Orleans native David Guas’ menu spells muffaletta phonetically according to the Yat pronunciation (an English dialect unique to NOLA). His recipe also stays true to his roots with a briny garlic-and-oregano-laced olive salad, salami, mortadella, smoked ham and aged provolone in a sesame-seed-studded toasted Italian roll.
Portland, Ore.: Bunk Sandwiches
Sandwich: Oregon Albacore Tuna Melt
At Bunk, co-chefs Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood reinvent iconic American foods. That means transforming biscuits and gravy into a sandwich filled with braised rabbit leg, or preparing luscious melts, like this version packed with locally canned albacore and finished with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Tillamook cheddar.
Sandwich: Chopped Coffee-Cured Beef Brisket
Chef-owner and F&W People’s Best New Chef 2012 Tim Byres slow-cooks the meat for this coffee-inflected brisket sandwich in the restaurant’s backyard wood-burning smokehouse.
Miami: Bin No. 18
Sandwich: De-Constructed Cuban
Shredded pork and gooey triple-cream cheese fill a tomato-garlic-and-olive-oil-rubbed ciabatta roll in Bin No. 18’s loose interpretation of the traditional Cuban sandwich. Although it’s served with a fig-and-port-wine reduction, customers usually skip the accompaniment and reach for the hot sauce Sriracha.
Oakland, Calif.: Bakesale Betty
Sandwich: Fried Chicken Sandwich
These delicious sandwiches, filled with crispy buttermilk-soaked, cayenne-pepper-spiced fried chicken, sell out fast. Each of Bakesale Betty’s two Bay Area locations is only open for three hours a day—even less if there aren’t enough sweet torpedo rolls to keep making sandwiches.
Brooklyn, N.Y.: Mile End
Sandwich: Smoked Meat
To create smoked meat—NYC pastrami’s fattier, spicier Canadian cousin—for the sandwiches at his Montreal-style Jewish deli in Boerum Hill, chef-owner Noah Bernamoff cures Pat LaFrieda-sourced, prime-Angus-certified beef brisket in a dry rub of salt, black pepper, spices and garlic before oak-smoking and steaming the meat for several hours.
Ann Arbor, Mich.: Zingerman's
Oprah Winfrey is a noted fan of this grocery-store-turned-Jewish-deli’s famed Reuben—and with good reason. The sandwiches are made with locally sourced corned beef, Emmentaler Swiss cheese, house-made Russian dressing and house-made rye bread. Zingerman’s shop also offers mail-order sandwich kits for out-of-state Reuben cravings.
Boston: Neptune Oyster
Sandwich: Hot Lobster Roll
This North End restaurant’s famous Hot Lobster Roll features succulent pieces of lobster tail, claw and knuckle meat drizzled with clarified butter on a grilled and buttered brioche hot dog bun. A mayo-based cold roll is also available for purists.
Sandwich: Korean Bulgogi Cheesesteak
This food truck’s sweet-spicy take on the traditional Philadelphia cheesesteak features Korean marinated barbecue beef (bulgogi) and a generous smear of gochujang (fermented spicy red soy bean paste) paired with the usual melted provolone, onions and bell peppers.
Charleston, S.C.: Butcher & Bee
Sandwich: Pulled Squash Sandwich
Although the menu here changes daily depending on what’s growing in the restaurant’s backyard, this rave-worthy riff on a pulled pork sandwich makes frequent appearances. Thin slices of perfectly cooked squash get tossed in house-made barbecue sauce and piled with hickory-smoked cabbage cole slaw onto a freshly baked hoagie roll.
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