Read why Scoop Factory is not thinking Arby’s:
Yes, today is the birthday of John Montagu, aka the fourth Earl of Sandwich. (Not to mention our editor’s son. Happy Birthday, Benton!) History has it that this 18th-century English noble didn’t want to break up a 24-hour gambling binge to eat, so he instructed his servants to serve him his lunch meat between two slices of bread. In celebration of this gambling addict /gastronomic genius, November 3 is now celebrated as National Sandwich Day! (Who knew history could be so delicious?) In other words, it’s time to bite into the Valley’s best sammies.
So where should you go to honor the Earl’s most famed invention? AZ Central‘s longtime food dude, Howard Seftel, tackled this savory subject back in October with his “Top 10 Sandwiches in the Phoenix area” list. Here you’ll find plenty of no brainers (Los Reyes de la Torta‘s signature Torta del Rey and Pane Bianco‘s housemade mozzarella, tomato and basil), as well as a few more obscure offerings such as a Lee’s Sanwiches‘ Banh Mi, a French-influenced Vietnamese baguette sandwich “sprinkled grilled pork, pickled carrot and daikon radish, cilantro, onion and jalapeño.” That said, we personally favor Chris Bianco’s to-die-for Soppressata sandwich, or dry-cured salami, topped with aged provolone and house-roasted red peppers.
Still hungry? Gnaw on this Phoenix Magazine feature, where four in-house foodies break down the Valley’s 21 “Best Sandwiches.” Plenty of two-fisted winners here, including the eggs-tastic Croque Madam at Scottsdale’s Petite Maison and the classic Prime Rib & Cheddar at The Stockyards Restaurant, which will have you never thinking Arby’s again. However, the real scene stealer here is the Salami, Pesto & Goat Cheese at Bertha’s Café, although loyal readers know we prefer the Breakfast Brioche absolutely brimming with bacon, arugula, pesto and Parmesan.)
Still undecided? Well, a quick flip though our archives reveals more meaty masterpieces, including Stacy’s Smokehouse. Here you can knock back a fork-tender pulled pork BBQ sandwich topped with crisp coleslaw and served with a side of decadent deep-fried pickles. Or you can taste a slice of the Valley’s original gourmet sandwich shop, the Duck & Decanter. However, after much consideration, we’re off to Cheese N Stuff. This quirky, 60-year-old family-run deli near Central and Camelback has built up a diehard following over the past 60-plus years. In fact, it’s signature Tyler sandwich was named one of the nation’s best by Esquire magazine. We’ll see you there!