Mount Rushmore – Sandwich Edition



One man. Two boys. Twelve kids.

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122 Responses

  1. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    1. The Roast Turkey Sandwich from Arguello Market on a Dutch Crunch Roll with mustard, lettuce, porvolone, tomato, and pickle.

    2. A Proper Pastrami on Rye with Mustard

    3. Meatball Heroes especially the Super Mario from Ike’s Place

    4. PB and J.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    French dip. Invented entirely by accident in Los Angeles, the French dip combines hearty flavorful roast beef with hot, moist, salty jus. If you’ve got it on a nice, fresh roll, lean forward when you eat it, because that sucker is getting the juice all over the place. I generally prefer mine without cheese, but sometimes some melted Swiss on there is just the thing. Others really like some horseradish in the mayonnaise, for some heat and bite back. I’ve heard that there are those who put mustard on their French dips, but to me this is apostasy. Also, there are some places I’ve heard that put grilled onions in there, but that seems a lot like…

    The Philadelphia cheesesteak. Another hot beef sandwich, this one with lots of the thin beef mixed in with onions and peppers, and melted cheese. Oh yeah. When I was in Philadelphia, they put cheese whiz out of the spray can in there. When I first heard of this it sounded awful. But it worked quite nicely. Most other places, they put the beef and the peppers and onions on a griddle and then towards the end they know the slice or two of American or cheddar or Swiss and then that goes on the roll. A former friend once put ketchup on his Philly cheesesteak, but how could I stay friends with him after that?

    In the world of cold sandwiches, conspicuously absent from your list was the club. If you ask me, the best club sandwiches come with three slices of bread. This makes them pretty tall, so you have to kind of squash them to get them to fit into your mouth. That’s part of the fun, feeling the crunch of the bacon as you squeeze the sandwich. For my money, the best meat to accompany the bacon is chicken, although more often you find turkey. The restaurant attached to the local driving range where I live puts in ham, turkey, and bacon as well as the vegetables and bread. Fantastic! And for those of you who must have your condiments, a club sandwich seems to acceptably take just about any kind of goo that you want to smear on there. Note that I am calling the club sandwich a cold sandwich despite the fact that the bread is to be toasted, because the meat is cold.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Burt Likko says:

      The Philly Cheesesteak was in the “Also received consideration” category.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Burt Likko says:

      For my fourth sandwich, I shall pick the McDonald’s sausage McMuffin with egg. It is the summit of all breakfast sandwiches. There can be no greater. Sure, the original Egg McMuffin is pretty darn good. Let’s swap out the Canadian bacon for that sausage, and you get extra flavor, extra salt, extra grease, extra delicious. The fact that the egg has been quasi-poached on the griddle, and the melty McDonald’s cheese-like substance is used as a substitute for hollandaise sauce, makes this the skanky-but-hot second cousin of an Eggs Benedict. Sure, you can get a sandwich made with sausage and cheese like substance on a biscuit, served atop some folded scrambled eggs from Hardees/Carl’s, and I admit that’s probably pretty good too. But why would you, when you can get the real thing right across the street?Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Burt Likko says:

      I order the club sandwich all the time, but I’m not even a member, man. I don’t know how I get away with it. How’d it start anyway?
      “I like my sandwiches with three pieces of bread.”
      “So do I!”
      “Well, let’s form a club then.”
      “Alright, but we need more stipulations.”
      “Yes we do; instead of cutting the sandwich once, let’s cut it again.”
      “Yes, four triangles, and we will position them into a circle. In the middle we will dump chips. Or potato salad.”
      “Okay. I got a question for ya, how do you feel about frilly toothpicks?”
      “”I’m for ’em!”
      “Well, this club is formed; spread the word on menus nationwide.”

      “I like my sandwiches with alfalfa sprouts.”
      “Well, then you’re not in the fuckin’ club!”

      – Mitch HedbergReport

    • Avatar James Hanley in reply to Burt Likko says:

      My top two, as well, counselor. You’re a lawyer after my own heart. (Especially these days, as you’re on my mind a lot due to the fact that we’re evicting a deadbeat tenant.)Report

  3. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    I cannot believe you left off the Reuben, which is the king of sandwiches. You are dead to me.Report

  4. Avatar Patrick says:

    Let me first say that you cannot have a sandwich without a side. The side is critical.

    Let me then say that lettuce makes many sandwiches better, but nearly all uses of lettuce are the nuclear option. One or two leafs of very crisp lettuce are more than sufficient.

    First sammitch is a Roast Beef and Swiss on Rye. Horseradish or a spicy mustard is required. Thinly sliced tomatoes are nearly a must. Bread, mayo, tomato, swiss, meat, mustard, bread. Peppers optional. For the side, salted kettle chips.

    Second is the Hot Dog, which I include because Kazzy included the cheeseburger. There are three ways to have a Hot Dog: bacon-wrapped, with chili, and ballpark style (mustard, onions, relish). For the side, of course, fries.

    Third is a California Club, because a regular club is a good sammitch, but throw some avocado on there and you’ve got yourself a miracle. Side is a pickle.

    The last is an Italian Sausage and Peppers Sandwich. The side is fried potatoes and onions.Report

    • Avatar Glyph in reply to Patrick says:

      I don’t know why, but focusing on sides is always comedy gold.

      Cartman: “Am I to understand there will be no side dishes?”

      Smoove B: “Finally, my dinner of lobster, shipped to me that morning in only the coldest of ice from the finest lobster region in all of Maine, will be completed and placed on the table. Along with the lobster will not only be melted butter, but also side dishes.”Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko in reply to Patrick says:

      Now hang on just a minute there partner. I thought we established that a sandwich is meat between two (or more) slices of bread. If you have meat around which bread has been wrapped, like a burrito, that’s a wrap, not a sandwich. So can we properly call a hot dog or other sausage on a bun a “sandwich”?Report

    • Avatar Slade the Leveller in reply to Patrick says:

      Well said, Patrick.

      I will nominate the Vienna hot dog, with mustard and onions. Specifically, the one you get from Gene and Jude’s hot dogs whose fries are the ultimate side. Or in this case, top. Yep, they come right on top of the dog, and are gloriously greasy and salty, and plentiful. If you ever get to Chicago, I can’t emphasize strongly enough how much you need to go here. And don’t ask for ketchup!

      Next is an Italian beef, dipped. With or without peppers, your choice. No side necessary because the things are so damn big.

      I’ll second the roast beef mentioned above, but on pumpernickel. And the chips have to be salt and vinegar.

      Lastly, the sliced brisket from Smoque. Everything else is a pale imitation. Side: slaw, but not theirs. Cole slaw should be creamy. The other kind is just cabbage in vinegar.Report

    • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick says:


      Where do you stand on using garlic bread as a stand in for the basic roll on hot sandwiches like the sausage and peppers (or chicken parm)?Report

  5. Avatar Wagon says:

    1. The Reuben – corned beef, rye, sauerkraut, russian dressing; a god among mere mortals

    2. The Muffaletta – all the perks of your italian hero plus olive salad

    3. The Cheeseburger – ditto all you said

    4. Stepping outside the box here, just to give a little variety: a Fried Chicken Biscuit with honey. I knew that I wanted to do some form of biscuit sandwich, and I think a very well done buttery flaky biscuit with some fried chicken breast, well-seasoned with a touch of cayenne, topped off with honey is the apex of breakfast sandwiches.

    I could talk for days about sandwiches. Really, I could. I understand your inclusion of PB&J and a grilled cheese, but I wouldn’t take them before any of the above. And while a grilled cheese is great, it’s not even the best form of a cheese-based sandwich. That accolade has to go to the pimiento cheese sandwich.

    The only reason I didn’t include pimiento cheese is that I typically prefer my pimiento cheese with crackers, rather than in a sandwich form. That being said, those of you not from the South should try it if you haven’t: grated very sharp cheddar cheese, mayo, cracked black pepper, a dash or three of hot sauce to your liking, pimientos. Do not, under any circumstances, use pre-shredded cheese. That stuff is never high quality and it screws up the texture. Add just enough mayo to give the pimiento cheese a pasty consistency. Too much liquid and it throws off the flavor and texture. I like to drain off much of the juice from the jar of pimientoes, and then squeeze them out in my hand before I toss them into the cheese. That prevents the pimiento cheese from getting too liquidy, and prevents the pimiento juice from overpowering the cheese. Some add more than these basic ingredients. They get fancy with minced onion, or different cheeses. That’s all fine, but you can’t go wrong with this basic recipe. I can’t give amounts. I just eyeball it. Again, your goal is a pasty consistency, firm enough to break a saltine if you try to dip it in there, but with enough give to spread with a knife. Enjoy.Report

  6. Avatar Damon says:

    I’ll second the Ruben and the Cali Club. Both are excellent.

    Peanut butter and Jelly (ONLY apricot jam will do)

    Panera Bread: Asiago Roast Beef sammach. Tasty Have a Cobblestone as a side 🙂Report

  7. Meatball, Philly Cheesesteak (though the kind that Philadelphians scoff at, from what I understand), turkey-cheddar-mayo, and Wendy’s Spicy Monterrey Chicken Sandwich.Report

  8. Avatar Chris says:

    The best sandwich I’ve ever had was grilled cheese (havarti) with fresh pears slices, spinach, and a honey mustard sauce. I have dreams about it (and try to get one every time I’m home). I have no idea what that’s called, but we can easily put an image of one on a mountain, right?

    Second, a jibarito.

    Third, a Cuban (you know, with pork).

    Fourth, hmm… a Reuben with egg salad.

    And the sides for these, since some people think that’s important, are chips, maduros or tostones, maduros or tostones, and potato pancakes, respectively.Report

  9. Avatar Saul DeGraw says:

    Cubanos are also really goodReport

  10. How far does the definition stretch? Do the various ethnic ground meat with assorted stuff and seasonings baked in a pastry count?Report

  11. Avatar Hoosegow Flask says:

    Monte Cristo – I’m not talking about those grotesque creations you find in some restaurants, with the french toast or some other desert bread that has no business in a proper sandwich. One of the best sandwiches I ever had was piles of hot ham and turkey and swiss and russian dressing and egg bread, grilled individually then together until everything was nice and hot and melty. Half of one of those used to fill me up (and I can put away the food, mind you.) Sadly, what the restaurant nows offers is but a mockery. Not only is the bread smaller, there’s not even enough meat to cover the whole sandwich and you end up with just bread.

    French Bread Pizza sandwich – When I was a kid, my friends and I used to go to local pizza joint and get french bread pizzas. Then we’d fold them over and eat them as sandwiches. The bread was great and a little crunchy on the outside and nice and soft in the middle, with all the cheesy goodness.

    Pulled pork – Always delicious, varies greatly depending on sauce used. I tend to prefer the slaw on the side instead of on top, but I can eat either way.

    Cheeseburger – Ubiquitous, hard to screw up, and when it’s done well (but not necessarily well-done), it’s hard to beat.Report

    • Avatar Patrick in reply to Hoosegow Flask says:

      A good pulled pork sandwich is a mighty contender.Report

      • Avatar Kazzy in reply to Patrick says:

        Agreed. Some smokey pulled pork on a soft bun with a vinegar based slaw and some sweet-heat BBQ sauce is a thing of beauty. I’d probably take it over any of the sandwiches on my own Mount Rushmore. But notability matters. Many of the people I associate with don’t even know you can make a pulled pork sandwiches. I’ve had to give tutorials. That matters.Report

      • Avatar Chris in reply to Patrick says:

        I would have had a pulled pork sandwich on my list, but several years ago now, the restaurant with the best pulled pork sandwich on the planet closed (in part because of city government… maybe I should be a libertarian), so I remain too sad to include it on my list.

        Requiescat in pace, Herbert’s, rest in peace.Report

  12. Avatar j r says:

    Not sure if this is a nomination, but I just wanted to leave this here:


  13. Avatar Murali says:

    In no particular order

    1. Classic grilled cheese with whole wheat
    2. Grilled cheese with sundried tomato pesto and olives on wheat
    3. Panini with grilled haloumi, avocado and olives
    4. Vege-burger with lentil/soy patty, provolone cheese, onions, pickles, spicy brown mustard, no ketchup.Report

  14. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    1. The classic Reuben. Accept no substitutes.
    2. Chicken salad on a wheat roll with just enough lettuce to make it crunch,
    3. The club, with the four triangle surrounding a dollop of potato salad.
    4. The patty melt: burger, cheese, and lots of onion on rye bread, all grilled.Report

    • Avatar Chris in reply to Mike Schilling says:

      There used to be a place in Austin that had amazing chicken salad sandwiches. They used some sort of spice (I don’t know spices well, but I think it was taragon or something that started with t or s) that put it over the top. That place, too, is out of business, and all other chicken salads disappoint me relative to that one. But a good chicken salad makes for wonderful comfort food.Report

      • Avatar Dan Miller in reply to Chris says:

        I find that chicken salad is the most variable of all the sandwiches. Roast beef is pretty much the same no matter where you go, but chicken salad is all over the map, from great to terrible. When it’s great, though, it’s really great, and would be a strong contender for my personal Mt. Rushmore. Ultimately, that would be:

        1. Cheeseburger
        2. Grilled Cheese
        3. Chicken salad
        4. PB&JReport

  15. Avatar aaron david says:

    While there are some contenders for the crown, such as a true pulled pork (pork, slaw, sauce on wonder bread) or a tasty cubano (preferably with hot dogs, pork and eggs) the king is obivous…

    The true Rueben. (No spicy mustard)Report

  16. Avatar North says:

    I personally despise PB&J but I would never contest it’s place on the mountain. It is fundamental. Grilled Cheese I heartily endorse, another fundamental. I am unsure of the Italian Hero but I reject entirely the Cheeseburger’s place on the mountain. I just feel that burgers are in of themselves a distinct category than cannot be squished into the term sandwich. You don’t call it a Cheeseburger sandwich do you?

    No, I would eliminate the cheeseburger and in its place put up the indispensable BLT. The incredible combination of bacon, lettuce and tomato with the handmaiden of mayo is a towering monument of the sandwich world. Also it contains bacon. I rest my case.Report

  17. Avatar trizzlor says:

    Have you people not heard of breakfast!

    If the Rushmore concept is to mean anything, it must be representative of the pillars of the sandwich world. Surely a toasted everything bagel, generous cream-cheese and fresh lox deserves a place just as much as the lowly PB&J. I’d also be willing to accept The Super Heebster or similar extensions of the concept as an alternative.Report

  18. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I agree on the PB&J, but the one on my list is the fancy crap that you are against. Fresh ground peanuts, locally made, chemical free jam, absolutely nothing jelly like, and homemade whole wheat bread. Mmm. I have similar feelings about the cheeseburger (vegetarian bean burger, of course), and the grilled cheese.

    My fourth would be the panini or the pita.Report

  19. My list:

    1. The spicy chicken sandwich at the Four Shadows bar in Chicago. It’s hard to describe, but if you like spicy (grilled) chicken sandwiches, I recommend it.

    2. Italian beef sandwich with hot peppers.

    3. Maybe an Italian hero, but it depends on what’s in it. I’m not a big fan of ham, but if it has pepperoni, then count me in. (The spicy Italian that Subway stores in some markets offer is what I have in mind, which is the Italian BMT without ham, I think.)

    4. Thin-sliced corned beef on rye with mustard.Report

  20. Avatar LeeEsq says:

    My personally favorites:

    1. The PB&J but using raspberry or strawberry jam rather than grape jelly. The peanut butter must be Jiff’s extra crunchy.

    2. The reuben.

    3. The classic bagel with cream cheese and lox.

    4. The french dip.

    5. Cubano.

    6. Ban minh. (spelling?).Report

  21. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    1) The Hot Brown

    2) Mexican torta

    3) Sausage biscuit

    Honorable mention) PB & JReport

  22. 1. Hot dog mit kasekrainer. Unconfirmed reports indicate that an American family has spent the last several days cornering the global market on this.

    2. philly cheese steak from Jim’s on South St.

    3. Grilled cheese.

    4. Burgers.Report

  23. I heartily commend the inclusion of PB&J, grilled cheese and cheeseburger.

    Hero sandwiches are fine, but they ain’t got nothin’ on the reuben. Or pastrami on rye with a really hearty mustard.Report

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