Can you imagine a sandwich so epic that you feel the need to drive across the country to enjoy it? Here are our favorites!
What, you get your fries ON the sandwich? Yes indeed, and lots of good meat and cheese, on a fantastic fresh roll. You can try some of the new locations around Pittsburgh including the easy to reach one in Harmarville just off the historic Pennsylvania Turnpike at Exit 48; but for a real treat go to the original in The Strip District, in “Dahntan” Pittsburgh. We have to mention another Pittsburgh favorite that you can enjoy in most of the Pittsburgh restaurants: The Devonshire, which is an open faced sandwich often made with turkey. bacon, tomatoes and cheese sauce. Frank Blandi made it first in 1930 at The Stratford in Shadyside, it’s gone but there are many locations and many variations, for a taste sensation that has been a favorite of Pittsburghers in the know for about 85 years.
The Hot Brown
The Hot Brown, is Louisville’s’ favorite sandwich; open faced, hot turkey bacon and cheese. Go to the The Brown Hotel; ogle the architectural splendor of the décor. Enjoy The Hot Brown Signature Sandwich at The English Grill, right where it was created by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. He truly hit one out of the park with this sandwich sensation!
The Lobster Roll
Who knew that you could enjoy lobster without all the work? Well, the work is done for you. As for where it began, that is the Big Lobster Roll Debate. We won’t disagree with the other claimants, but it is rumored that the original lobster roll was invented in 1966 by Fred Terry, owner of the Lobster Roll Restaurant in Amagansett, New York, out on Long Island. Epic lobster roll sandwich can still be found there—100 percent pure cold water lobster meat, using the same recipe that started it all 50 years ago. Look for the patriotic red, white and blue awnings and the big American flag!
The Po Boy
Everyone in New Orleans has a favorite location, but for the right combination of history and taste you cannot beat what you will find inside the pink house, Mandina’s at 3800 Canal Street. From what began as a grocery store in 1898, the restaurant has been serving generation after generation in the same location, and all run by the same family. It is a neighborhood and neighborly place, and when you are there you are treated like you are part of the neighborhood, too. While you are there, take a ride on the streetcar.
The Philly Cheesesteak
If you are from Philadelphia you have your strong preference for the specific place where the best Philly cheese steak can be found: a long, crusty roll filled with thinly sliced sautéed rib eye beef and melted cheese. The cheesesteak made its official debut in 1930, introduced by Pat Olivieri. The original home of the cheesesteak, Pat’s King of Steaks, continues to be owned and operated by the Olivieri family. Pat’s has grown from a little stand at the southern end of South Philly’s Italian Market to one of the most famous cheesesteak shops in the world, still in the same location: 9th Street & Passyunk Avenue.
The Rueben of all Rueben’s, by many accounts was first made by grocer Reuben Kulakofsky, for members of a weekly poker game held in the Fern Room of the Blackstone Hotel, the premier hotel between Chicago and San Francisco along the Lincoln Highway. The poker game lasted from around 1920 through 1935; a daughter of one of the regulars says it was first served in 1921. There are other early claimants (Arthur Rueben in NYC and the Cornhusker Hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska). Butter Brickle Ice Cream was also introduced to the world at the Blackstone Hotel, which still stands but is no longer a hotel. To sample the best of Omaha’s Reuben Sandwiches today, visit The Crescent Moon, right across the street from the old Blackstone Hotel, and have “The Blackstone Reuben”. It is as close to the original as you can get.
Grilled Pimento Cheese Sandwich
In the right circles, it is known as “the caviar of the South”, a taste sensation famous for being served at the Masters at Augusta National. If you are not privy to that swanky venue, the best that you can find outside Augusta National’s gates is at Parker and Otis a restaurant and gift shop located in historic downtown in Durham, NC. Ask for the #23 Grilled Pimento Cheese on Sourdough; for two bucks more, add the bacon! Be sure to take home some Moravian Cookies from Winston-Salem or Goodness Gracies Toffee Cookies from Wilmington.
Best B L T
Crown Candy Kitchen St. Louis, dating to 1913, is truly a step back in time with its crisp white lunchroom, and many fine offerings, among which what may be the best B L T in the USA. Every B L T is made with 12 slices of bacon. No that is not a misprint. Crown Candy Kitchen was opened in 1913 by Harry Karandzieff and his best friend Pete Jugaloff. They brought their candy-making skills from Greece and opened this family-friendly restaurant where their creations could be enjoyed. During the early 50’s Harry’s son George took the business over and today his 3 sons – Andy, Tommy and Mike – run the business today.
For America’s most memorable sausage sandwich, the place to go is Pass Key in Pueblo, Colorado, for The Pass Key Special. The staff will serve it up decked out in shirts that claim it’s the best Italian sausage in the world. Who are we to disagree? Oh, go ahead and splurge with the Pass Key Super: a sausage sandwich with three kinds of cheese and fries.
Far from any of these and still hungry for a sandwich? You may be in luck! Several honorable mentions can be found in more than one place: Among the fast food chains, there is no better sandwich than Fazoli’s submarino. As for the best sub in America, go to Publix grocery stores at one of their many locations and have them create a sub for you that no one can top.