A friend sent me a link to a post on the food blog Slashfood yesterday, concerning what seems to have become a national obsession of late: sandwiches. Blogger Emily Matcher first posted a list of her top ten favorite sandwiches in America (sans anything from Portland), and then asked her readers to submit their favorite sandwiches. The list is not so much a "Best Of," but rather a conglomeration of blog reading foodie favs. Of the replies she received, Portland is represented four times: Autentica’s Pambazo, Meat Cheese Bread’s BLB, Best Baguette’s Saigon Bacon Banh Mi, and Kenny and Zuke’s Rueben Slider.
This got me thinking about my favorite Portland sandwiches. And look, here they come in no particular order:
BLB - Meat Cheese Bread
Nice bit of thick, slightly sweet heirloom beet paired with an equally thick slab of smoky bacon.
McIsley - Pine State Biscuits
Pickles, fried chicken, honey, mustard, crammed into a biscuit. Hurts so good. It’s A little morsel from some North Carolinian’s nirvana.
Gallego — Evoe
On ciabatta: anchovies, with a mildly spicy fennel and red pepper slaw. Strong fish with wonderfully mellow fennel tones and a hint of heat.
Ham and Cheese on Pretzel - Little T
This one is simple. I like simple. Much of the appeal is from Little T’s awesome pretzel bread with its resilient shiny crust pocked with salt. The ham, mustard, and cheese inside are just a bonus.
Doner Kebab - Doner Kebab
The late night drunk food of Germany, this Doner is salty shaved turkey kebab on a house made roll with spicy sauce, shredded lettuce, and tomato. Pure unadulterated grub that will kick your gyros ass.
Pork Belly Rueben - Bunk
It’s messy, fatty, insanely easy to eat, and an interesting jab at a kosher favorite. I can’t believe they haven’t received letters. Or have they?
Anything Pastrami - Kenny and Zukes
Everybody should know this one by now. Literally as big as your head and quite good. Looking forward to more with the opening of their second shop in NW Portland.
Italian Beef — Wayne’s Chicago Red Hots
Maybe it’s 'cause I’m going to watch the Cubs play today, but damn I do love this sammy. Aggressively meaty and perfectly tender, with a splash or three of au jus to make it really sing.
Southwest Beef - Nosh
Nosh is a place with a down to earth, quiet, non-foodie clientele. It doesn’t get much recognition for the things that it does well, like this sandwich: big piles of tender beef with pepper jack and a roasted green chili. Like a Philly Cheese Steak, if it moved to New Mexico to retire.
Plain Old Plus — Dots
I don’t care what you think. Dot’s is close to home and has the best hangover cure I know of: a bloody mary and a plain old plus. It’s your average grilled cheese with the added bonus of bacon. Melty, salty comfort food. It’s like the adult version of your childhood favorite. Foodies need not apply.
Let me just say that these are my favorites in Portland so far. Of course I haven’t eaten every goddamn sandwich in town, so take it with a grain of salt (and some horse radish and a Picklopolis dill). Better yet, just tell me about your favorites in the comments, below.
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