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Boston's 9 Best Sandwiches to Try Right Now

By Scott Kearnan
March 31, 2014

Don't be fooled: It takes a lot of skill to make a simple sandwich. Bread and random lunch meats do not a winner make. But we found nine of what we consider the best sammies around. In a world of wannabes, they are quite literally the heroes. 

  • Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown; All Star Sandwich Bar

    The star of this sandwich is the palate-igniting Inner Beauty Hot Sauce, the creation of All Star's original owner Chris Schlesinger, who also popularized it during his time at hothead favorite East Coast Grill. Now owners Johnny and Kosta Diamantopoulos use it for a standout sourdough sammie with grilled meatloaf, Jack cheese and red onion jam.

    Price: $9.95

    Insider Tip: Psst. Look behind you. Across the street from this legendary Inman Square sandwich shop is its younger sibling, All Star Pizza Bar, which opened in 2012. 

  • Smoked Turkey; City Feed & Supply

    The grab-and-go salad and sandwich counter at these two Jamaica Plain markets is stocked with the same local farm-raised meats and produce that line the shelves. The result: the best turkey sandwich in the city, hands down. A brioche roll is stuffed with smoked turkey, smoked cheddar cheese, red pepper relish, pesto, mayo and marinated red onion. Outrageously fresh and flavorful.

    Price: $8.79 (add $1 for avocado)

    Insider Tip: Though it automatically comes on a brioche, we suggest mixing it up and asking for focaccia when available. 

  • Crab Cake on Brioche; Legal Crossing

    The new, one-off upscale entry in the Legal Sea Foods family takes its long-famous crab cake and gives it a spin. Its lunch menu boasts a succulent cake on brioche with Sriracha aioli, fried egg and avocado. Just like that, an old favorite feels new - and delicious. 

    Price: $17

    Insider Tip: Downtown parking is notoriously hard to find, but Legal Crossing validates in a nearby garage for a bargain rate: a discount of two bucks an hour for the first two hours. Cheaper than a T ride. 

  • Double Awesome; Mei Mei 

    This aptly named sandwich became an immediate hit with food truck nerds once Mei Mei Street Kitchen rolled onto the scene. They flipped for the scallion pancake stuffed with slow-poached eggs, pesto and cheddar, served with a spicy ketchup. When Mei Mei's brick-and-mortar restaurant finally opened in November, we were just happy we knew exactly where to find this 24/7.

    Price: $7 (add ham or bacon for $2)

    Insider Tip: We like our "farm-to-fork" philosophies served with a side of transparency. Check out the "Good Stuff" page on Mei Mei's website; a map tags every New England farm and small purveyor whose produce they use, and explains exactly which ingredients come from where.

  • Corned Beef Reuben; Michael's Deli

    Arguably the Boston area's best swing at an NYC-style Jewish deli, this Brookline spot hits a home run with its corned beef Reuben: perfectly pink slices on pumpernickel with Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and sauerkraut.

    Price: $9.99

    Insider Tip: Among the food truck newcomers rolling out tomorrow is Evan's Deli, the creation of Evan Madoff, who credits his knowledge of "deli-ology" to cutting his teeth under Michael's Deli founder Michael Sobelman. The legacy lives on. 

  • The Fancy; Mike & Patty's

    This tiny Bay Village sandwich shop has only a few seats, yet legions of dedicated locals know it has some of the best, most creative sammies around. And plenty of commuting pedestrians stop in to grab the famous Fancy on their way to the office; the breakfast sandwich is stuffed with a fried egg, bacon, cheddar, avocado, red onion and house mayo. 

    Price: $8

    Insider Tip: Mike & Patty's closes at 2 PM on weekdays, and our anecdotal research suggests that 10:30 AM might be the best time to avoid lines. It seems to be the perfect "miss breakfast buyers, beat lunch crowd" point in time.

  • Roma; Nebo

    If you're not from the North End, it's quite possible you never heard of a "spuckie." Trust us: it's Italian-American speak for a sandwich. And Nebo has a whole lunch menu full of them, including the glorious Roma - slow-roasted porchetta with a fried egg, topped with crispy onion rings and a housemade tomato jam.

    Price: $16

    Insider Tip: Nebo owners Christine and Carla Pallotta are sisters to Celtics owner Jim Pallotta, so be sure to stop in on game days, when the place is particularly hopping.

  • Porchetta Sandwich; Pennypacker's

    Speaking of porchetta, one tender roast is what made Pennypacker's a success as a food truck - and continues to fuel its first brick-and-mortar location, which opened in October. There you can always find an amazing porchetta sandwich with fruit mostarda.

    Price: $8

    Insider Tip: Tickets are available ($45 here) for a collaborative dinner on Monday, April 7, hosted by Pennypacker's and its Magoun Square neighbor, Daddy Jones Bar. Expect four courses paired with Angel's Envy bourbon and Harpoon beers. 

  • Spuckie; Cutty's

    Choosing one sandwich from this tiny, 16-seat sandwich specialist in Brookline is like choosing one (very delicious) child. But we'd probably have to deem the spuckie the best of the already top-notch lot: fennel salami, hot capicola, mortadella, mozzarella and an olive-carrot relish on ciabatta conspire to make one perfect pick.

    Price: $4.95 half; $9.35 whole

    Insider Tip: Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 6, when Cutty's will run its next "Super Cluckin' Sundays" deal. From 10 AM until they run out, Cutty's will offer just one sandwich (another legend): buttermilk fried chicken with cheddar and tangy honey-Dijon. 

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Places Mentioned

All Star Sandwich Bar

Sandwich Shop • Cambridge

Food24 Decor20 Service23 Cost$13
 
 
 
Nebo Restaurant

Italian • Waterfront

Food- Decor- Service- CostE
 
 
 
City Feed & Supply

Coffee Shop • Jamaica Plain

Food25 Decor18 Service18 Cost$13
 
 
 
City Feed & Supply

Sandwich Shop • Jamaica Plain

Food25 Decor18 Service18 Cost$13
 
 
 
Michael's Deli

Brookline

Food27 Decor10 Service19 Cost$13
 
 
 
Cutty's

Sandwich Shop • Brookline

Food26 Decor18 Service21 Cost$12
 
 
 
All Star Pizza Bar

Cambridge

Food24 Decor20 Service23 Cost$13
 
 
 
 
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