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Angry About Sandwiches

March 28, 2018

So what did you do last night?

Me? I got angry at the internet. And not for any of the stuff that’s happening in the world one should probably get angry about. My anger was focused on sandwiches.

Well, really it was directed at Chowhound, because who could be angry at sandwiches. Sandwiches are wonderful. So when I somehow stumbled onto a Chowhound post about The Most Delicious Sandwich Recipes of All Time, I had to take a look.

What I saw was a disgrace. Let me count the ways.

1) Repetition
When you’ve got a limited list, you need to keep it tight. Banh mi belongs on the list. Sure, there are many different delicious banh mi. But choose one dammit. Three grilled cheese sandwiches, multiple “deli style” sandwiches? Are you kidding me? Also, strangely, egg and crisp pancetta are listed twice as #9 and #29. Egg and crisp pancetta? Hold your horses. We’ll get to that in a moment.

2) Sandwiches that aren’t sandwiches
Wraps are not sandwiches. Period. And just because you make a recipe with something between two pieces of bread, doesn’t make it a thing. I’m looking at you “Salade Niçoise Sandwich” because you only exist in some exasperated editor’s imagination. There are so many actual classic and famous sandwiches that should have made this list that didn’t.

3) Overly fussy versions of great sandwiches
Remember that egg and crisp pancetta from a couple paragraphs ago? Well, what about a goddam bacon, egg, and cheese? That wasn’t on the list, and let me tell you, a well made bacon, egg, and cheese is one of the forty most delicious sandwiches you’ll ever find. Come at me with a “Smoked egg sandwich with greens and dijon mustard” and tell me that should have a spot on this list instead. I’ll fight you.

So here’s what I did.

Tearing something down is easy. Building it up is a bit harder. So I decided to do the hard thing. I took the Chowhound list, and I edited it. Some things came out completely. Others were modified. And to be fair, Chowhound got some sandwiches completely right.

Below, you’ll find my annotated list.

Chowhownd’s 40 most delicious sandwiches as modified by Daniel B.

  1. Fried chicken on a biscuit (Chowhound pick)
  2. Oyster po boy
  3. Thanksgiving dinner sandwich
  4. Chicken parm sub
  5. Buffalo chicken sandwich
  6. Porchetta (modified from Chowhound’s Porchetta and fried egg)
  7. Egg salad (Chowhound pick)
  8. Carolina style pulled pork with slaw (modified from Chowhound’s Pulled jerk chicken)
  9. Bacon, egg, and cheese on a hard roll (modified from Chowhound’s Crisp pancetta and egg salad sandwich)
  10. Crab cake sandwich (modified from Chowhound’s crab salad)
  11. The Elvis – grilled peanut butter, bacon, and banana (modified from Chowhound’s Grilled peanut butter and jelly)
  12. Grilled cheese (modified from Chowhound’s Parisian panino)
  13. French dip (Chowhound pick)
  14. Monte cristo (Chowhound pick, but it should be deep fried, you bastards)
  15. Philly cheesesteak (modified from Chowhound Bourbon steak sandwich)
  16. Reuben (Chowhound pick)
  17. Fried fish sandwich
  18. Cubano
  19. Brie, pear, and arugula baguette (instead of the Chowhound Portobello burger)
  20. Carnitas torta
  21. Pork and pâté Vietnamese sandwich banh mi (Chowhound pick)
  22. Beef on weck (instead of Chowhound’s Roast beef and caramelized onion sliders)
  23. Muffuletta from Central Grocery
  24. Bacon cheeseburger (instead of Chowhound’s Bison bacon cheeseburger)
  25. Croque madame
  26. Ham and butter baguette sandwich (modified from the Chowhound Ham and camembert)
  27. Hot pastrami on rye with deli mustard
  28. Club sandwich (instead of Chowhound’s Triple-Pork Club Sandwich)
  29. Bagel with cream cheese and lox (Chowhound repeats #9 – egg & crisp pancetta)
  30. Classic BLT (Chowhound pick)
  31. Italian pork
  32. Caprese sandwich (instead of Chowhound’s ridiculous Salade niçoise sandwich)
  33. Sausage with onions and peppers (instead of Chowhound’s Italian venison-sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions)
  34. Vada Pav
  35. Chicago’s Italian beef
  36. Pittsburgh style hot capicola (with fries and slaw on the sandwich)
  37. Meatball sub
  38. Midwestern pork tenderloin
  39. Lobster rolls
  40. Liverwurst and pickled onions with mustard on black bread

And there it is. Surely, there are omissions. This is far from a perfect list. But it’s not an attempt at perfection. My goal was to merely clean up the Chowhound list with better versions of sandwiches they suggested. Some had to be removed entirely, which left room for a small handful of new sandwiches. But there are also still some glaring omissions.

What doesn’t appear on the list above were the total Chowhound fails. I’m happy to discuss each and every one of them. But for now, I’ll just leave them in the list below. Some you may recognize from the annotated list above. If you’re curious for some more information about why they are the object of my disdain, just let me know. In theory, this could result in a month of blog posts. However, I suspect there will be more pressing food topics in the days and weeks ahead.

CHOWHOUND FAILS
Deli Style Tuna
Smoked Egg Sandwich with Greens and Dijon Mustard
Deli Style grilled chicken
Chicken-Fried Chicken and Pickled Pepper Sandwiches
Crab salad
Grilled peanut butter and jelly
Chicken salad sandwich
Smoked Duck and Cherry Pressed Sandwich
Double-Decker Marinated Portobello “Burger”
Spicy Meatloaf
Grape and Taleggio Grilled Cheese
Asian Pear and Gouda Grilled Cheese
Lentil Hummus Wrap with Pomegranate Molasses
Gruyere Tuna Melt
Salade Niçoise Sandwich
Pineapple-Braised Pork Sandwiches
Banh Mi Chicken Burger

16 Comments leave one →
  1. March 28, 2018 10:42 am

    I see you had to click through link by link to view all the sandwiches. Great dedication! Cambridge Analytica must be having a field day with your data right now.

    Re the list, I don’t see the Italian Mix Sub. Talk about a fail.

    Also, it is unfair to blame Chowhound for this even though their name is at the top of the page. Chowhound was purchased several years ago by chow.com, which has gradually eviscerated this once-noble discussion group. Note that this article was not written by any actual chowhound but most likely by bots, similar to those who are now picking through your credit card numbers etc.

  2. Michelle permalink
    March 28, 2018 11:05 am

    Are you including open faced sandwiches? A bagel with lox is meant to be consumed open faced, so I am assuming OF is OK. If so, you have missed one of the best open faced sandwiches around-the pizza bagel.

  3. March 28, 2018 11:15 am

    I don’t like your list. Too many hot sandwiches. Cold sandwiches sing the true songs of the genre.

  4. Bob W. permalink
    March 28, 2018 11:55 am

    Egg salad stays but tuna salad goes?

  5. RogerK permalink
    March 28, 2018 11:59 am

    If wraps aren’t sandwiches, then lobster rolls and meatball subs are certainly in question. However, Ruth Bader Ginsburg did declare that hot dogs are sandwiches. https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/22/politics/ruth-bader-ginsburg-stephen-colbert-workout/index.html

    Colbert brought up one of “the most divisive issues in our country”: whether a hot dog is truly a sandwich.
    “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” Colbert asked Ginsburg, to which she quickly replies, “You tell me what a sandwich is and then I’ll tell you if a hot dog is a sandwich.”
    Colbert goes on to tell the justice that a sandwich is “two pieces of bread with almost any type of filling in between — as long as it’s not more bread.”

    She pressed him for more information. “You said two pieces of bread,” Ginsburg said. “Does that include a roll that’s cut open but still not completely?”
    “That gets immediately to the question: Does the roll need to be separated into two parts?” Colbert asked, then pointed out that a sub sandwich is, as its name implies, a sandwich — “and yet, in the case of a sub, the bread is not split apart,” he explained, before asking for a final time, “So then, a hot dog is also a sandwich?”
    Ginsburg, confident in her decision, replied by saying, “On your definition, yes, it is.”

  6. March 28, 2018 12:04 pm

    I don’t think an “All Time Best” list for anything should be 40 items long. I’d say ideally 5 things and certainly no more than 10. In terms of sandwiches, my list would place the turkey club solidly in the top 5.

  7. KingOfBeacon permalink
    March 28, 2018 12:25 pm

    A peanut butter and jelly sandwich without sliced pickles on it is worthless. You can thank me later.

  8. March 28, 2018 1:27 pm

    I often take credit for inventing the Buffalo chicken sandwich c.1995

  9. March 28, 2018 1:32 pm

    Fried chicken on a biscuit? Nope.

    Chik-fil-A style chicken sandwich, yes.

    • Benjamin Maggi permalink
      April 6, 2018 4:25 pm

      And, if you have a boarding pass you can enjoy it in the Albany International Airport. Or, if like me you live a mile away and love Chik-fil-A but don’t fly on planes you can cry yourself to sleep.

  10. Randy K permalink
    March 30, 2018 12:51 pm

    I haven’t actually laughed out loud at a blog post in a while. Thanks for that, Fussy Daniel 😂😂😂

  11. March 31, 2018 11:23 pm

    Tuna melts forever.

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