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.
Last but hardly least in my tale of three tortas comes San Francisco's very own That's It market, an unassuming corner store on Mission and 23rd that's been on my sand wish list ever since Anthony Bourdain downed the gargantuan cubano torta on No Reservations
Once a hidden gem, That's It is now infamous for its cubano, a massive serving of late-night drunken sustenance that includes ham, chorizo, pork, bacon, and ham. Wow. Massive amounts of meat aren't really my thing, so I opted for the chicken torta (pictured below) while Andrew ordered the ham (above), both of which were plenty massive — and massively delicious. Get the full lowdown.
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I never dreamed someone would make me into a sandwich! What an honor.
Pal's Takeaway has been on my list of must-try sandwich spots for at least a year, but I'm not often at 24th and Hampshire on a weekday. So when I recently had a rare Monday off in SF, I finally buddied up to Pal's.
Needless to say, expectations were high. On Pal's website, the sandwich makers proclaim that their ongoing mission is "to find some good f*cking stuff to put between pieces of bread." It is succeeding with a daily-changing menu of innovative eats and an irreverent sense of humor.
I ordered the delightfully clever 'Wich Came First sandwich, featuring tarragon-poached chicken breast and egg salad with chives. Get to know Pal's.
Since I'm mildly obsessed with spicy tortas, I couldn't let my first trip to Mexico end without trying a local sandwich. Though Zihuatanejo is more known for pozole and tacos al pastor, we heard good things about hole-in-the-wall Tortas Ziranda and hit it up for our last meal.
Markedly different from Nopalito, obviously, but far more authentic, Ziranda serves reasonably sized tortas on toasty grilled rolls. I ordered ham and cheese (pictured below), while Andrew got the Ziranda specialty of shredded pork and jam with two kinds of cheese (above)
Keep reading for more thoughts and pictures.
Today, Nov. 3, is National Sandwich Day! I plan to celebrate by eating a sandwich for lunch. But you know, I eat a lot of sandwiches, and I take a lot of pictures of them too. Each month I find myself with some leftover pics that didn't make it into a blog post but still look delicious. So I present my new feature, Randomwiches, where I round up eight sandwiches that have nothing really in common except that I ate them. Let the celebration begin!