Ever since that glorious, immortal, probably imaginary day when the Earl of Sandwich, unwilling to leave his gaming table, directed a manservant to put meat between two slices of bread, the art of sandwich-making has flourished. Esquire’s “Best Sandwiches in America” offers a deluxe overview of America’s best, and we have to say, it’s about the most judicious such survey we’ve seen. The sandwiches chosen for the cities we know well, like the pork-and-provolone number at John’s Roast Pork in Philadelphia, or the Monte Cristo at Canter’s in L.A., are exactly the ones we would have picked, and the ones from cities we’ve never visited, like the Reggie Deluxe in Pine State Biscuits in Portland, Oregon (“fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, gravy, and an over-easy egg on a cream-top buttermilk biscuit still hot from the outdoor oven”), make us want to travel more.
As for the New York picks? There are only a few, but they’re defensible choices. Personally, we think you’d be better off going by the Underground Gourmet’s Sandwiches of the Week, but who could object to the Katz’s pastrami sandwich, or the three-terrine bánh mì (a favorite of the UG, by the way) at Ssäm Bar, or the sweet coppa with hot Peppers and rucola at ’ino? Not us. In fact, we wish we had one now.