With 2011 slowly tumbling out of sight in our rear view mirror, it's time to take one more glance back at some of the best bread fillers of the past 12 months. Here are the Top Five 'Wich Trials Sandwiches of yesteryear (in a very particular order):
5. Granny's Sunday Gravy at Gennarino's (pictured above): The quality of the sandwich is complemented by the great spirits of the three brothers running this mobile friggatoria. The "gravy," a slow-simmered tomato sauce, perfectly coats each element of the dish perfectly, making for a great alternative to the classic meatball sub. With the recent loosening of the vise grip on Dallas' food truck laws, here's hoping Gennarino's uniquely fried and sauced fare will be seen more often around town.
4. The Italian Hoagie at Fred's Downtown Philly: While the name showcases the featured sandwich at this neighborhood sandwich joint, the Italian sub here is no slouch. Packed with meat and sandwiched between an Amoroso's hoagie, it'll make you briefly relent on your sports-malice for the city that seduced Cliff Lee. Also worth a try is the Fat Fred, a burger (single, double or triple) topped with cheesesteak. "Obese," though not as alliterative, would be much more fitting.
3. The Prosciutto Panini at Cavalli: You easily get your money's worth in the stacks upon stacks of cured prosciutto ham on the sandwich. The mild mozzarella and acidic tomato take the bite off the saltiness of the meat, with the fresh baked pizza dough keeping everything together. If there was a sandwich equivalent of the VPN, this thing would be certified in a heartbeat.
2. The Whole Hog at Smoke: You know you've got a stacked list going when this beaut comes in at number two. Decadent pulled pork and creamy bleu cheese slaw combine to make sweet love atop a fresh baked roll. Living up to its near-perfect reputation, Smoke hits yet another deep bomb with this dish.
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1. The Philly Roast Pork at Jimmy's Food Store: As soon as I opened the foam container, the Thompson Twins' "Hold Me Now" started playing all around me. This sandwich just went above and beyond any I'd tasted before. Warm roast pork and provolone paired perfectly while the broccoli rabe would make anyone with an aversion to greens change their tune.