The greatest thing about sandwiches, beyond their hand-held portability and general deliciousness, is the infinite variety of sizes, shapes and flavors they come in. There are wraps, deli sandwiches, heros, paninis and more, and they come filled with just about anything you could otherwise consider edible. A sandwich can sate any craving your endorphin loops can conjure, and it can do it while you're walking down the street from your favorite sandwich shop. (Don't act like you wait till you get home.)
But for all the variety, some sandwiches are icons -- combinations of bread, meat, condiments and other garnishes that have stood the test of time. Iconic sandwiches can stir great debate when, say, Russian dressing is swapped out for Thousand Island or pastrami stands in for corned beef. Iconic sandwiches can stir old memories, and as the baton is passed from one sando-lover to the next, will surely create some new ones. But to make a lasting sandwich memory, the 'wich in question has got to be a great one. Here are a few of Dallas' most elite.
¡C.Señor! Cuban (above) This heavyweight pressed sandwich hails from Florida and can be found in countless Cuban restaurants in Dallas. It's hard to find a bad Cuban, but when ¡C. Señor! opened earlier this year, it instantly rose to the top as the go-to spot for this Latin American classic. Ham, roast pork and Swiss cheese, balanced with mustard and pickle slices form a sandwich with heft that's hard to put down. Consider bringing a friend.
Lakewood Landing's BLT There are fancy BLT's all over this city, and not a single one of them can beat the classic rendition your mom used to make. That's how you'll find it at the Lakewood Landing: Crispy, salty, grocery store bacon piled high on toasted wheat bread with humble iceberg lettuce and thinly sliced tomato. Add a little mayo before you add a little more and you've got lunch or dinner, or screw it -- add an egg and you've got breakfast too.
Cock and Bull's Reuben The origins of the Reuben are contested, but who cares: it's the greatest sandwich of all time. The Cock and Bull is where you want to go to get your hands around the best rendition in Dallas. It's a mess of a sandwich, but it's worth the trouble.
Nammi's Banh Mi Long story short: France invaded Vietnam, left behind baguettes, and the banh mi happened. Grilled pork, pickles, hot peppers, cilantro, pate and mayonnaise, all delivered on one of Dallas' best food trucks. It's lunch.
Truck Yard's Cheesesteak The Eagles may suck, but the Phillies don't. At least not when you're referring to shaved steak and melted cheese. At the Truck Yard, that steak is shaved from a rib roast right behind the counter. It's without a doubt the best cheesesteak in Dallas right now.
Tortas la Hechizera's Torta The torta is the king of hefty sandwiches, piling what amounts to a basket full of groceries into a roll that's bigger than your head. If you finish one, lay down and consider dialing 911 as a precaution. Look for the rainbow lights of Hechizera, where you can buy a week's worth of groceries stuffed into one roll.
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Italian Combo at Carbone's I wish the folks at Carbone's would call a spade a spade, or in this case a hoagie a hoagie. The chewy bread on this Italian combo is just like you'd expect it if you grabbed it from an East Pennsylvania deli, but the cold cuts have gotten a serious upgrade. Eat too many of these and life could be hard if you travel back east.
Vagabond's Ham Sandwich Vive la France! Or at least this decadent sandwich we've lovingly borrowed from the country's larders. The only thing better than a ham and cheese sandwich is a ham and cheese sandwich draped in an oozing cheese sauce. And the only thing better than that, is one topped with a gently fried egg. This sandwich is a work of art, and you can get a great one at Vagabond on Greenville Avenue. Be sure to ask for an extra napkin.