Friday, June 4, 2010

Eat Sandwich. Be Happy. Repeat.

I love sandwiches. I remember when I went off to college, my uncle teased me, saying, “All you’re going to eat is pizza and beer.” When I saw him a few months later, I corrected him. “Pizza and beer?” I said. “More like sandwiches and vodka.” To me, a sandwich is the perfect food - not necessarily too heavy, not too light, containing carbs, and you can hold it while you drive or type :) (Full disclosure: I am weird about touching my food. I cut everything with a knife and fork. After being called an idiot one too many times by my loved ones when I attempted to cut a sandwich in public, I no longer do that. Instead, I wrap it up in a napkin and hold it like that so I won’t have to touch my food.)

A few days ago, Grub Street posted The Los Angeles Sandwich Register - a list of what they feel are the 26 best sandwiches in LA. Clearly, whenever a new food list is released, I immediately go through it with a fine tooth comb - what have I tried? What haven’t I tried? What do I agree with? What do I need to go out and consume immediately?

And then I set about making my own list. So here’s my opinion on some of the best sandwiches in LA. YUM!

My all time favorite sandwich is the French Dip from Houstons/Bandera. I know, I know, it’s a chain restaurant, but I cannot resist this sandwich. Delicious thinly sliced prime rib on a soft French roll, with mayo, horseradish, and au jus on the side. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! Whenever possible, I attempt to sway my friends and family into going to Houstons or Bandera for dinner, just so I can have my beloved sandwich :)

Have you ever been to Joans on Third? I could spend hours in this little gourmet market/deli. I’ve tried and liked almost everything on their menu, but I always go back to their Chicken Milanese sandwich, served with melted provolone, arugula, tomato, and a delicious mustard relish. Plus, it’s served with a tiny cup of sweet & sour cucumbers on the side! (Also, I’m not one to recommend salads, mostly because I do not eat leaves as I am not a rabbit, but their salad trio is awesome as well.) I introduced my friend Serena to Joan’s a few days ago -- she is notoriously picky, and even she liked it!

When I was a little girl and my parents would go out on weekends with their friends, Bailey and I would be left home with Marcela watching over us. Usually, she would make us her famous Marcela soup, macaroni and cheese, or hot dogs (maybe this is where my love for tubular meats began?), but every now and then, we would get to order in from Ameci’s, the pizza/pasta chain down the street. One day Marcela gave me a bite of her eggplant parmesan sub, and my life was never the same. If you love eggplant parmesan, you NEED to try this one. (True confession: when I’m invited to potlucks or parties where I need to contribute culinarily, I have been known to just call Ameci’s and order an entire pan of the eggplant. Everyone dies over it and I get to pretend I have talent in the kitchen. Win win!)

Speaking of eggplant -- I have another favorite to add to the list. Everyone knows Il Trem is famous for their chicken special. I admit, it is very tasty and I enjoy the bites I steal from my dad’s plate whenever we go there. But I actually prefer the Vegetarian Special #2 - grilled eggplant with goat cheese, roma tomato, mushrooms, arugula and basil garlic sauce. I’ve been known to request it with extra eggplant to make it more filling, but if you want a light sandwich, this one is fantastic.

No LA sandwich list would be complete without mentioning a few special sandwiches that, time after time, year after year, show up on list after list. One such sandwich? The original pastrami at Langer’s. Shocking, I know, but I only tried this sandwich for the first time last year - what kind of LA Jew am I?! The pastrami just melts in your mouth. I am not one who typically likes to share her meals :) (I’d always rather take it to go - more for later!) but this sandwich is enormous. Their website screams WELCOME TO THE WORLD’S BEST PASTRAMI! and I would have to agree.

Another LA sandwich institution? The Godmother sandwich from Bay Cities. Genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, and provolone on an Italian roll with the works: mayo, mustard, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, and Italian dressing. My tip to you: if you want to try it, order it online first. I’ve never been to Bay Cities when it hasn’t been absolutely slammed, packed with people drooling over the display cases and waiting for their turn to order the Godmother!

Okay, I’m cheating a little on this next one. Technically, there’s no Chick-fila-A in Los Angeles (a girl can dream! I sleep with my fingers crossed!), but there are a few in Orange County, Carson, and surrounding areas, and I’m not going to lie - on occasion I have driven down there for my fix. I first fell in love with Chick-fil-A in college - we had one in our Student Union and after my wonderful Southern friends introduced me to the wonders of a chicken sandwich with a sweet tea on the side, I headed there at least once a week. There is nothing better than a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich. Chicken, pickles, bun. Sounds simple, but it is sooooooo much more than what it sounds :)

So there you have it. Now I’m hungry! Funny enough, I am on my way out to meet a friend for lunch. Where are we going? A new sandwich place! I’ll report back how it went. Maybe I’ll have a new favorite to add to the list!

Until then, have a great weekend!


Johnny said...

The French Dip at Bandera is the best one I've ever far.

Merav said...

Jordan - you and I are going to have lunch at this place the next time we go out - - I had the Capastrami sandwich there in Vegas 10 years ago and I still think about it. They just opened in LA.

Serena said...

Thanks for the shoutout! Also, even though it's not in LA I think Beyond Bread deserved a mention considering we probably spent every Saturday there hungover for many years.