Everybody likes sandwiches — at least everybody I know. So to serve a crowd, I love to make a loaf-wich. That is, one big sandwich on a loaf of ciabatta or French bread, sliced into individual servings.
At a recent family gathering, we made two of these ciabatta sandwiches, featuring prosciutto, manchego, fig butter, mustard, arugula, and a mix of fennel and lemon slices, sliced very thin and sauteed. The fennel and lemon combo, inspired by a 'Wichcraft recipe, tastes mild yet zesty and pleases even picky eaters.
Find out how to replicate this loaf-wich at home
For most of my life, I hated mushrooms, and when I turned the corner into mushroom conversion, I became somewhat obsessed. Lately, 'shrooms have been my go-to sandwich filling if I'm not feeling particularly meaty. The earthy, salty taste and the substantial presence feel so decadent, especially when melted with cheese.
First we have a mushroom panini from DeLessio Market, smushed into cheesy service with zucchini and onions. Like many mushroom panini, this suffered from a slight slippery-ness, but that didn't stop me from eating the whole thing.
Below, we have a rare specimen of pretty decent airport food: a toasted mushroom and red pepper sub from a Potbelly knockoff at Chicago O'Hare. It wasn't quite as exciting as my Schlotzsky's encounter, but after a long flight, it hit the spot.
I am powerless to shiny new food products at Trader Joe's. So when I recently spotted a melange of grilled eggplant and zucchini in the frozen food aisle, I bought a bag without any idea how I'd use it.
One night, an ideal sandwich came together. Happily burdened with leftover pistachio-infused goat cheese from some yummy stuffed dates I made, I dreamed up another Trader Joe's sandwich special.
I heated the grilled eggplant and zucchini, which even from freezer to microwave tasted deliciously chargrilled. Then, I lightly toasted a Trader Joe's whole wheat pita and spread on TJ's black olive tapenade.
After stuffing the pockets with the grilled veggies and spinach, I slathered on some goat cheese and melted it slightly in the oven. The resulting Mediterranean-flavored pocket was warm, hearty, and worth repeating.
I have already sung the praises of Peg Leg Pete's fried grouper sandwich, but one visit wasn't enough. So on my last trip to Pensacola, dad, Dee, and I took Andrew to taste the strange deliciousness of American cheese on fried fish.
Thankfully, Peg Leg's did not disappoint. We ordered two dozen oysters, an afternoon bushwacker, and a few fish sammies. I got the Cajun grilled grouper this time (below), and though the fish is just as succulent and buttery, the fried version still wins out.
I don't necessarily subscribe to the philosophy that everything is better fried, but Peg Leg's just knows how to treat a slab of battered grouper. The fish is so indulgently unctuous, like a buried treasure in a kaiser bun with cheese. Just trust me on this.
The first time I encountered tempeh, I was a high-schooler venturing trepidatiously into a vegetarian restaurant in Atlanta, and the soy patty sandwich blew me away.
Since then, I have never had tempeh that impressed me much, until this tempeh banh mi at Urban Picnic. The protein is savory, spiced, and layered with flavor, like a good marinated meat.
More details and photos after the jump.
For years, I've been connecting through Houston airport and longingly passing by a Schlotzsky's counter, but I never seem to end up there at meal time. This year, our stop en route to Pensacola fell around lunch hour, so we finally got to enjoy one of the muffuletta-inspired sandwiches.
We ordered the Turkey, Original-style; the Original is the sandwich that launched Schlotzsky's in Austin, TX. Featuring turkey, salami, three cheeses, onions, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and black olives inspired by muffulettas' olive salad, this Schlotzsky's sammie came on the usual giant round bread, which was just as tasty as I remembered. Overall, the sandwich wasn't as great as my previously experiences with Schlotzsky's, but for airport food, it was outstanding.
Waffles are an underrated sandwich vehicle, but I'm a big fan of salty-sweet waffle sandwiches. So when I heard about a cafe in San Francisco earning props for its waffle creations, I put it on the sand wist list. When I finally made it to Dash Cafe, the waffle sandwiches underwhelmed me, but maybe I caught them on a bad day. At least the Belgian-style waffles showed promise; click through to see.
I have long been drawn to Mario's Bohemian Cigar Store Cafe for the name alone. It can't beat Taco's Sandwiches (in name or in taste), but Mario's makes up for it with old-world coziness. I finally made it to Mario's for the famed focaccia sandwiches and panini, so get a taste and take a 'wich trip.
Range may have a Michelin star, but Rhea's Deli, on the same block of Valencia in San Francisco's Mission District, has the underground gourmet grub. From the street, it looks like any old neighborhood market, but inside, it crafts big, brash sandwiches that meld very SF ingredients (like Acme bread) with exotic flavors like katsu pork and Korean marinated steak. Click through to see what you're missing.