My Fair Sandwich
Oprah knows what's up. And I believe that like me, she feels the pangs of sadness when we see someone's sandwich served to them on a bed of iceberg lettuce. A sandwich is not truly a sandwich unless the ingredients are nestled in-between a carb of your choice. Ciabatta or challah. Baguette or brioche. Panini or pumpernickel.
Since August is National Sandwich month, I took some time to map out where I am a satisfied repeat customer when I need my sandwich craving cured. This can be a tricky list because even the most domestically challenged among us can surely master the art of piling meat and veggies high at home.
So what establishments are worth paying anywhere from $8-$12 for something we could make in our kitchens?
I'm not exaggerating when I say I've been gently stalking the fine people behind Buttermilk Bakery for over a year. While they are well known in the community for popping up at markets and other businesses, selling their sweet delights like home made pop tarts and double baked croissants, they actually make some pretty amazing hearty items including sandwiches.
Just some of their recipes include grilled kale, corn, zucchini, pickled cherries with fresh mozzarella. Their homemade bread is really the star of each sandwich. I dare you to follow their instagram and not love each beautiful loaf that they showcase.
Soon, very soon, Buttermilk Bakery will be opening their doors at 1198 Orange Ave in Winter Park where we can all feast on their savory sandwiches in the blissful air conditioning and thank them for doing what they do best.
Yellow Dog Eats is a neighborhood eatery that a lot of Orlandoans might miss if they don't take a trip down the 408 to a little town called Gotha. I can't tell you much about Gotha other than I go there solely to eat at Yellow Dog Eats. It's got a hippie vibe, where you feel like you are literally dining in someone's two-story house or on their expansive back patio. Thursday through Sunday a live band plays and you kick back in a very relaxed setting where the only requirement is that you must love dogs and mountainous helpings of awesome food. They are known for their sandwiches with pulled pork expertly layered in-between a wide variety of accompanying ingredients.
On my latest visit I got the "White Trash". Pulled pork, topped with tangy coleslaw, Gouda cheese, pecan-smoked bacon and Fish’s Gold BBQ sauce, served on thick cut white bread.
The price tag is $10.95 which included chips. I've been going here for years and it never disappoints. If you live on the east coast you can visit their New Smyrna location.
I know, I know. I'm always singing the praises of the Strand, but I can't help it. They've won my heart for lunch, dinner and brunch. There are currently several sandwiches on the menu to try out, but the two I've most recently had and loved are the Avocado & Brie and the Georgia Classic.
The Avocado & Brie ($9.50) is pretty self explanatory. Besides the two main ingredients they add petite greens, tomato, cilantro vinaigrette on multi-grain toast. It's light and flavorful so you don't get immediate bread bloat but you still feel full. It comes with a side of coleslaw, but you can always decide to be a bit naughty and sub those out for fries instead.
The Georgia Classic ($10.50) has cheddar, pimento, grilled pork belly on thick cut french bread served with fries. Definitely a little heavier but if you like pimento, you'll love the Strand's recipe. It gives me what I call cheese feels.
Pig Floyd's is less than 2 miles from my house, so it's on the regular rotation of places we hit up for lunch and dinner. It's one of the few places where I actually explore the menu instead of sticking to the same item over and over again, because I know I'd only be doing myself a disservice by not trying everything at least once. It took a few cycles to graduate to the Matahambre, aka the "Hunger Killer".
More than likely I stalled on ordering it because I didn't want to sound like an idiot trying to pronounce the name. Once I got over that fear, I realized that I had been missing out on what is now my favorite sandwich on the menu.
Oakwood smoked brisket, roasted tomatoes, pickled carrots, arcadian greens, mayo, chimichurri, with an over easy egg served on top of an open faced sub roll. This belly buster will run you $8.99 with fries, or if you are like me you always opt for that corn.
You don't have to be a College Park local to enjoy Ollie's patio that sits right on Edgewater drive. The beers and cocktails are plentiful, as are the flat screen tvs for anyone wanting to catch whatever sport is in season.
You can see from their menu that sandwiches are what they focus on (although their pita pizzas are a delicious alternative). The Legend ($9) has been my favorite for years and I rarely stray from its hearty glory.
It's packed with genoa salami, cappicola, shaved ham, prosciutto, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onions, and mayo, served on a hero roll. I ask for it pressed and toasted and pair it with their addicting jar of pickle bites.
In a perfect world, Pom Pom's would be in a larger space with more seating, but we love its tight quarters all the same. It's colorful and eclectic with ever-changing art on the walls. What it's really all about though, is the sandwiches, oh, the sandwiches.
While Mama Ling Ling's Thanksgiving is a local favorite, my choice is usually the Cobb (8.50). Turkey, tomato, melted blue cheese, watercress, red onions, bacon & avocado. I personally substitute the blue cheese for literally anything else because I hate how it over powers the rest of the flavors and my bread of choice is always pumpernickel.
If paired with one of their iced teas it fills you up pretty quickly, although sides are available at an additional charge. The sandwich is plenty on its own.
Don't you dare put a Cuban sandwich on your menu and leave off the mustard, or not have enough pickles, or put BBQ'd meat on it! If you want the real deal, the closest thing I've found to authentic perfection is at Cafe Pinar. Venture down past the Florida Mall and you'll come across it in the Target shopping center on Sandlake Road.
Their Cuban is large, and I can barely finish it in one sitting, although I always try. It's packed with meat, they don't skimp on the pickles, and the bread...well the bread gives me all the feels and takes me back to time with my grandparents in Miami.
Beyond nostalgia, it's pressed and toasted to perfection and honestly I'm going to go get another right now because I love it that much. Visit for yourself and see how it stacks up to other Cubans in town.
(Insert your DUH here)
While our homegrown behemoth Publix is not exactly supporting our local mom & pop, the Publix Sub is iconic and cannot be denied. My newest obsession is the chicken tender sub. Lightly toasted with provolone cheese, and just a few toppings. Lettuce, tomato and pickle and I'm one happy carb eater.
All photos were taken by me and all food was purchased by me. Support local businesses, don't just steal people's images.