Sandwiches are the greatest thing since sliced bread, for obvious reasons. They can be behemoths, stacked so tall the size makes your jaw ache just looking at them. On the flip side—as in the butt end of the loaf nobody wants—sandwiches can underwhelm. For the purposes of this round-up, we’re looking at ones that satisfy without fuss or highfalutin ingredients or a big price tag.
Now I feel we should be clear about something. The purpose of this handy sandwich summary is to shout out some places making meals that feel affordable to most—not “cheap” as in cheaply made, but these won’t break the bank. That’s not to say that really good ingredients and even better business models mean food is, well, frankly more expensive. Labor and responsibly sourced goods mean paying fair prices. This is a great thing! So, yes, some of the loveliest sandwiches in town may clock in at well over 10 bucks—$15, even, or nearly $20!
Here, we’re talking midday lunch break fodder. Okay, allow me to Rick Roll myself already and just get to it.
The Pit at Slow Bone
Anything from Jimmy’s Food Store
Tortas Las Tortugas’ Milanese
Quoc Bao Bakery’s Bánh Mì
The BEC at Shug’s Bagels
Green Mater Sandwich from the Market at Bonton Farms
The Original at Antoine’s Foods
There is no more ubiquitous sandwich from a local chain in Houston than the Antone’s original: ham, salami, provolone, cabbage chow-chow, dill pickles, and mayo between a pillowy, crusty loaf from Royal Bakery in Montrose. It’s been a staple in the city for more than half a century. You can even find it pre-made in grocery stores. And it’s been damn hard to find something in Dallas that takes me back to my childhood. That is, until I drove past Antoine’s Foods on Harry Hines near Market Center. The bread isn’t from Royal, but the sandwich is basically a facsimile of what I grew up with. And you can’t beat the price: $5.41 after tax, with a can of Pepsi, and your choice of chips. It, too, has been here since the 1960s. And I don’t know how connected Antoine’s has ever been with the chain I grew up with, but if you look, you can still see the old logo behind the register. And the sandwiches immediately take me back. — Matt Goodman
Chicken Tinga Torta at Las Almas Rotas
When done right, chicken tinga is a saucy song of chipotles and tomatoes. And Las Almas does it absolutely right. Whereas some chicken tinga taste like it could be stewed for hours longer, the tinga torta here is a loving punch in the mouth. Wedges of avocado adds a creaminess to each bite. Continue punching yourself in the mouth, flavor wise, through whatever flights of mezcal the pros behind the bar recommend.
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