In fact, though, the sandwich probably dates back farther. In the first century B.C., a Rabbi Hillel is reported to have placed apples, chopped nuts and spices between two pieces of matzoh to eat during Passover, thereby paving the way for pastrami on rye.
Like the earl and the rabbi, I loves me a good sandwich.
So, here are 15 examples of first-class Salt Lake City sammies:
At The Olive Bistro (57 W. 200 South, 801-364-1401), the panini sandwiches — made with grilled ciabatta-style bread from Vosen’s Bread Paradise — are blessedly not overstuffed. The salami, sun-dried tomato and provolone panini, for example, is just one or two very thin slices of salami and cheese, adorned with sun-dried tomatoes, green peppers, tomato and cucumber. Every bite is a taste sensation, even more so if you opt for the Creminelli truffle-infused salami sandwich.
Another great panini is to be found at Paush Café (7706 S. Union Park Ave, 801-565-9900). Classic deli sandwiches, wraps and paninis are all good at friendly Paush Café, but your best bet is the Mediterranean tuna panini, stuffed with meaty chunks of tuna, marinated artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives and capers. Be sure to order a homemade cannoli for dessert.
Consider the open-face sandwich: It’s usually synonymous with turkey and gravy, right? Well, straying a bit from the norm, my favorite is Eva’s (317 S. Main, 801-359-8447) steak sandwich; an open-faced “sandwich” of grilled flatbread topped with tender, juicy tri-tip, nutty-flavored arugula and shaved ribbons of fresh parmesan cheese. It’s a sandwich to eat with a knife and fork. It’s really a toss-up as to which is tastier, Eva’s delish steak sandwich or Wild Grape Bistro’s (481 E. South Temple, 801-746-5565). The Wild Grape also offers a terrific open-face steak sandwich, made with thinly sliced prime rib, cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and horseradish jus. And, while we’re discussing steak sandwiches, I want to be sure to mention Donovan’s (134 W. Pierpont Ave., 801-359-4464), because they’re free. That’s right, from 4 to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, Donovan’s serves up complimentary prime steak sandwiches with a subtle horseradish aioli in its lounge—but they’d be delicious at any price.
Po’ boy sandwiches aren’t easy to come by here in Zion, but Bayleaf Café (159 S. Main, 801-349-8490) serves a good one. Bayleaf’s catfish po’ boy is a thick, jumbo-size catfish filet dipped in an egg wash, coated with seasoned cornmeal and served on a hero-type roll with home-style coleslaw, tomato and lettuce. Add a few splashes of Tabasco, and you’ve got some mighty-fine eating—especially with Bayleaf’s macaroni and cheese or hoppin’ john on the side. Another bodacious seafood sandwich is the open-face bay shrimp with lemon sandwich at Finn’s Café (1624 S. 1100 East, 801-467-4000). This sandwich is wonderfully light, with hints of dill; it’s a perfect lunch choice on a sunny spring or summer day.
For a great turkey sandwich, look no further than Judge Café (8 E. Broadway, 801- 531-0917), where the hot turkey sandwich is made with house-baked turkey breast and comes with stuffing, garlic mashed spuds, brown gravy and cranberry sauce on wheat bread; it’s like Thanksgiving, any time of year. Another terrific turkey sammie can be found just a few blocks south, at Temple Square’s Nauvoo Café (15 E. South Temple, 801-539-3346), where the warm, roasted turkey is sliced thick and served on fresh baked bread from the Lion House bakery. And, while we’re in the neighborhood, let’s not overlook the tremendous sandwiches served at The Robin’s Nest (311 S. Main, 801-466-6378), where I’m especially drawn to owner Robin Paluso’s awesome “Big Dipper,” more commonly known as a French dip sandwich. The Big Dipper is thin-sliced warm roast beef with mayo and melted Swiss cheese served on a soft ciabatta bun, with au jus on the side for dipping. It’s as delectable as a French kiss.
When you’re really hungry, you’ll want to head over to the Grove Market & Deli (1906 S. Main, 801-467-8860) for a whopper. The overstuffed hero sandwiches at Grove Market are nothing less than awesome, especially the thick-stacked pastrami. Another deli—Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli (314 W. 300 South, 801-531-TONY)— puts a big grin on my mug with its classic New Orleans-style muffaletta: salami, ham, mortadella, cheese and olive tapenade on a French roll the size of my head. You’ll think you’re at the Central Grocery in NOLA.
My favorite Reuben can be found at Siegfried’s Delicatessen (20 W. 200 South, 801-355-3891), where the lines are lengthy at lunchtime. It’s worth the wait, though, for Siegfried’s’ hot pastrami Reuben, topped with warm sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, the thick slices of German rye bread toasted beautifully on the grill over an open flame. Meanwhile, when I’m in the mood for a meatball hoagie, I look no further than Moochie’s Meatballs and More! (232 E. 800 South, 801-596-1350), where owner Joanna Rendi makes her meatballs from scratch and serves them up with her luscious red “gravy.”
Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? Well, at Caffe Niche (779 E. 300 South, 801-433-3380), the humble grilled cheese dons a prom dress. Here, it’s Irish cheddar and Stilton cheeses with pecans and Dijon mustard, served on your choice of sourdough or whole wheat bread. Yum-o!
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