Sunday, October 18, 2009

Outrageously Fabulous Sandwiches

In my book, pizza and sandwiches are tied for first for the most diverse and all purpose food. Every once in a while I get a hankering for what we call "outrageously fabulous" sandwiches with about a hundred different things tucked in between some kind of killer bread.

I did a little research on the history of the sandwich and found that the first one came to be in the 1st century, and it has continued to evolve since then. Ironically my current home, Hawaii, is also known as the Sandwich Islands. Turns out the 4th Earl of Sandwich was patron to Capt. Cook, who named the Islands after him!

I think there are a lot of reasons that sandwiches work so well. First of all they are a portable meal. Second, they can contain all four food groups within their walls. Third, there are a million different options of what to do with them. As far as being able to be breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a burrito might be the only closest runner up.

But really, there's the breakfast sandwich ingredients like eggs, bacon, ham, cheese & sausage. And I dare you to try it with tomato & avocado and of course, hot sauce.

For lunch or dinner, we could go on for eternity. I'm going to hit on just a few combos that have rocked my world recently. How about these two from my favorite sandwich joint on Oahu, Mix Cafe. The first is roast pork, gorgonzola & carmelized onions. They also make the best tuna sandwich I've ever encountered. They mix tuna, red onions, capers, calamata olives & cherry tomatoes and some olive oil & a little vinegar, then put in some blanched green beans and dare I say, some cheese! These are both served on a baguette. If you're in the neighborhood, they are on the corner of Beretania & Bethel St. in downtown Honolulu.

I really need to go back to my roots though. You see, I grew up in a restaurant. My parents had B.J.'s BBQ & Deli & I worked there from the seventh grade until I graduated form high school. And, ehem, I humbly confess, I had a sandwich named after me. The "Heidi Special" was basically a Philly cheesesteak; this one made with grilled prime rib, onions, peppers & jack cheese on a toasted bun. But really my favorite creation was the sliced bbq beef sandwich on an onion roll. I souped mine up with swiss cheese and pickles.

I have also become a loyal fan of the Cubano sandwich at Soul de Cuba Cafe. It is slow cooked lechon (pork), ham, salami, swiss cheese and pickles (I always snag some extras for mine) with mayo & mustard on french bread, squashed in a panini press. So simple. So good.

And then there's the classics. Pastrami & Swiss. French dip. When's the last time you had a Monte Christo? Remember that crazy combination of french toast meets grilled ham & cheese?! Or how about a BLT with cucumbers and sprouts? And of course chicken and turkey sandwiches - I'm not even going there, with the exception of the post-thanksgiving turkey sandwich with stuffing and cranberry sauce. That one's gotta be the biggest comfort food of the holidays.

I'm going to save hamburgers for a whole other post. These might just be the king of the sandwich in my book.

So, if all of these options don't get you salivating for the endless options of the almighty sandwich, something might be wrong. Go on... whip up something outrageously fabulous!

Quote of the Day:
"I just had a sandwich, ... and I felt much better".
~Steve Elkington


  1. A great sandwich is such a delight. Yours look so delicious I want to pick one up and eat it for lunch!

  2. Thanks Joy! Let me know what you come up with for lunch!

  3. You gotta try the Reuben at Grand Cafe! And be sure the check-out the grilled portobello "burger" at mariposa for your blog on burgers.

  4. You rock Jacky! I have tried Grand Cafe's reuben, & I will have to get over to Mariposa for a fancy lunch soon! Meet you there!

  5. Can you come cook for me?? You're killin' me with your mouth-watering photos and food descriptions!

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