Kathleen’s Art Cafe’s meatloaf sandwich.
Angelo’s brisket is U.S. Choice or better, slow cooked and served “Texas style” with mustard, pickles, onions, and some of the best barbecue sauce around. Of course, simple geography plays a big role—at Angelo’s, almost every human transaction reminds you of why you love the Lone Star State. 2533 White Settlement Rd., Fort Worth. 817-332-0357.
BAGELSTEIN’S: Brisket and Chopped Liver on Rye
Most local Jewish delis don’t measure up to New York standards. But Bagelstein’s does it right: toothsome rye bread is stacked with thick slices of tender, slow-roasted brisket and topped with chopped liver of the perfect consistency. Add a little deli mustard and enjoy. The cost? $8.95 plus medical expenses. 8100 N. Dallas Pkwy., Plano. 972-712-3050.
JIMMY’S FOOD STORE: Cuban Sandwich
There are a lot of good reasons to visit this tiny neighborhood treasure, most of them Italian, including delicious imported cheeses and homemade sausage. Oddly, our favorite of those reasons—Jimmy’s classic version of the media noche—is not Italian at all. Thin slices of roasted pork and ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles are layered with mojo criollo and toasted in a Cuban press. ¡Fantastico! 4901 Bryan St. @ Fitzhugh Ave. 214-823-6180.
KATHLEEN’S ART CAFE: Meatloaf Sandwich
It ain’t pretty—layers of mayo, ketchup, lettuce, and tomato beneath two thick slices of meatloaf on fresh bread tend to bottom out after the first bite. Nevertheless, the spicy concoction justifies every dry cleaning bill. 4424 Lovers Ln. 214-691-2355.
LA HECHIZERA: La Poblana
Pound for pound—and it weighs about a pound, easily enough for two—this may be Dallas’ best sandwich value at $5.50. Spicy as hell (it is, after all, built around a poblano pepper) and loaded with melted white Mexican queso, avocado, tomato, and onion, it’s a perfect balance of flavor, texture, and heat of both kinds. 5611 Maple Ave. (It’s hard to find. Look for the sign with the word “Tortas.”) 214-688-0236.
PALOMINO: Salmon BLT
A hefty wedge of grilled pink salmon on toasted sourdough, piled with plenty of comforting bacon, lettuce, tomato, and Brie, has elevated the pedestrian BLT to regal status. Topped off with vermouth garlic butter and surrounded by crisp fries, it’s a hearty meal—and a bargain at $10.95. 500 Crescent Ct. 214-999-1222.
PHILLY CONNECTION: Original Cheesesteak
Headquartered in Atlanta, of all places, Philly Connection knows how to do it right. Lean meat is griddled with onions and peppers and popped into a steamy, soft roll. The best place to enjoy one is from a cart way out on the third base line at the ballpark in Frisco, but if you’re not up for a game, the chain has 11 stores around town. Dr Pepper/ Seven Up Ballpark, 7300 RoughRiders Tr., Frisco. 972-731-9200. Multiple locations.
STREET’S FAMOUS SANDWICHES: Brownwood Turkey
Freshly baked turkey breast, grilled onion, mild and sweet cherry peppers (or jalapeños), combined with an excellent barbecue sauce and optional cheese, make a marvelously messy creation on grilled French bread. 3848 Oak Lawn Ave., Ste 190. 214-526-2505.
URBANO PANINOTECA: Portabello Panini
The small, stylish Uptown sandwich shop is perfect for a relaxing lunch break on a hectic day. And the meaty mushrooms topped with spinach, thyme, roasted red pepper, and Parmesan pressed in ultra-fresh, crusty ciabatta bread is a vegetarian’s dream. Crisp, seasoned matchstick fries make a tasty accompaniment. 2418 Fairmount St. 214-969-6911.
WHICH WICH: Egg Salad
The new kid downtown doesn’t make the typical hard-boiled eggs tossed in Hellman’s and French’s—this version is a little like a New York-style fried egg sandwich. They start their egg salad with a soft-boiled egg, which cooks harder as it moves on a conveyor through the toaster. The process gives the egg a layered texture, a new and subtle blend of white and yolk that improves on one of life’s most familiar foods, particularly when you add mayo, salt, and pepper. 1410 Main St. 214-741-9424.
Local adman and freelance writer Spencer Michlin likes to eat.