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Baby, I'm A Want (To Eat) You

Though it has English roots because the Earl of Sandwich wanted to be able hold his food while playing cards because of his massive gambling problem, so many of the most delicious ones come from various locales around the globe, nothing screams lunch like a delicious sandwich. In honor of the sandwich, I know present to you the definitive, seminal and indisputable list of the best sandwiches that can be found on earth.

1. The Banh Mi: Perfectly melding its colonial French roots with its south Asian location, the banh mi is the peak of sandwichness. Savory meet meets pickled sweet meets a little bit of spicy kick served on a flaky, chewy wonderful baguette (when done right). This sandwich is truly in a class by itself.

Best I've Ever Had (BIEH): When I moved to NYC, there was place down the south end of Chinatown under the Manhattan bridge that used to sell one-thousand of these daily for two bucks a piece, even in the late 90s this was still insanely cheap.

2. The Italian Sub:

The Italian hero is the staple of any food list and this one is no different. There are rules to an Italian, according to me, to make one truly worthy of its specialness. First, the bread HAS TO BE chewy on the outside. Soft bread on an Italian sub is like putting cloth seats in a Porsche. If you don't have that hard final layer, all the deliciousness gets soggy. Secondly, no mayo, no mustard. Oil and vinegar and some herbs/spices. Thirdly, it's gotta include provolone as your cheese of choice. Finally, shred the damn lettuce.

BIEH: This one is a tie between Italian Food Center in Little Italy in New York (which may be closed or have changed its name) and Bay Cities in Santa Monica with their wonderfully named Godmother.

3. Philly Cheesesteak:

A surprising third in the list, the Philly Cheesesteak is probably the most delicious post-bar food there is (with all due apologies to pizza). Take some thinly sliced griddled meat, put it in a fresh roll, add some peppers and some Cheez Whiz (hence the phrase 'wit' Whiz) and boom, you'll add calories and remove a hangover. I truly am not sure I've ever had a bad one, other than maybe needing to add some salt from time to time.

BIEH: This was a tough one, but in the realm of delicious memory, Big Al's Steaks, in Delray Beach, Florida is perfectly situated for a post-night out meal that's so good, I once walked home a mile and a half rather than Uber so I could eat it immediately and still be on my way back to where I was staying.

4. Bacon, Egg & Cheese on a Kaiser Roll:

As a native New Yorker, there are many foods in that city that I miss that just simply don't taste as good in other places. Obviously, there's pizza, bagels, bialys (for those of you who don't know this is just a less educated, more difficult bagel without a hole),etc. The one thing I miss the most that I cannot find as well done outside of the New York metro area is the bacon, egg and cheese on a fresh, NEVER TOASTED, kaiser roll (preferably with poppy seeds). The egg has to be served over easy/medium and the cheese HAS TO BE AMERICAN. It also has to be wrapped in wax paper surrounded by tin foil. No clue why this last part matters, but it does. Also, don't ruin it with ketchup. I've seen it done and I do not understand it. Also, stop with the Taylor Ham, New Jersey. It's just deli sliced spam. You know it, I know it and you're not foolin


BIEH: Literally every deli and bodega that has a flattop anywhere within sixty miles of Manhattan. Pizza and bagels get the headlines, but this is the real sandwich MVP.

5. Pastrami on Rye with Deli Mustard:

The simplest of any sandwich, it's literally meat and fresh rye bread (NEVER TOASTED) with condiment. The mustard also cannot be yellow mustard...EVER. Gulden's Spicy Brown, traditional deli mustard, or even a stone-ground seedy mustard are all acceptable. Yellow mustard is not and if you dare ruin a lovely portion of the greatest deli meat known to mankind with that awful, awful stuff, you should be be forced to eat meals in pill form like the Jetsons and never enjoy food again.

BIEH: Second Avenue Deli in New York City, especially with a side guessed it, tomato pickles.

6. Choripan:

I've been a huge fan of this one for years, having frequently loved it at Lala's Argentine Grill in Los Angeles, but until I was treated to it by the Meat King as part of one of his wonderful Asados (Argentinian grilled meat fest) did I know it actually had a name. Take some grilled South American sausage, butterfly it, toss it into a fresh baguette and lather on some chimichurri, a classic Argentine mix of parsley, oil, garlic, red pepper and vinegar. Simple, classic, insanely delicious

BIEH: At the Meat King's house of course. His lovely wife, Chimmi Hendrix, makes the best chimichurri I've ever had and there's so much love and warmth in this meal that it gets the nod over my beloved Lala's.

Honorable Mention: The Cuban (but I have a hard time reconciling the yellow mustard on this one), The French Dip, Bagels and Lox with Cream Cheese (must include red onion and capers), The Turkey Club (but only with extra mayo and actual carved turkey).

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