Something about meat and condiments shoved between two pillowy slices of bread does it every time. Sandwiches are worthy of love sonnets and dying words. They can even unite the world.
"All of humankind has one thing in common: the sandwich. I believe that all anyone really wants in this life is to sit in peace and eat a sandwich," says our favorite fictional foodie, Liz Lemon. We hold that notion as our core universal unifier, and in the spirit of the late, great Warren Zevon, "Enjoy every sandwich."
Without further ado -- soft French roll, please -- we present the ten best sandwiches in Miami.
10. Ultimate Sub at Publix
If you ask Miamians what makes a Publix sub so great, you will probably get a response like "I dunno; it just is." We agree even if we can't sum it up in eloquent words. You start by taking a number at the deli and picking your roll; then the ceremonial stuffing happens. If you order the Ultimate ($7.89 for a whole), the roll will get the the quadruple treatment: ham, turkey, roast beef, and Swiss cheese. Then it's christened by condiments and the toppings bar, where everything from black olives to green peppers get placed inside. Always say yes to the oil and vinegar and salt and pepper. Somewhere in that synergy, magic happens, and it isn't limited to the bread, paper wrapping, or plastic bag it inhabits.
9. Philly Cheesesteak at a A Little Bit of Philly
For a little taste of Philly in Virginia Gardens, head to A Little Bit of Philly. The cheesesteak ($8) is too legit to quit. The rolls come directly from Amoroso's, the leading roll of Philly since 1904. The thinly sliced steak is placed on the griddle, where it is quickly cooked and cut. It is topped with sliced provolone (no Cheez Whiz) until the two combine in a beautiful marriage that rests on heavenly-soft bread. For even more brotherly love, you can get caramelized onions and sautéed mushrooms thrown into the mix.
8. Honey Mustard Chicken at Best Subs & Sandwich Shop
Normally an eatery with "best" in its name makes us easily dismiss the superlative, but Best Subs & Sandwich Shop backs up the claim. This shoebox-size sub shack has been slinging the best sandwiches for more than 35 years in East Kendall. It is not to be ignored. The honey-mustard chicken sandwich is colossal, and the juicy meat with the sweet and tangy sauce is delectable.
7. Cuban Sandwich at Versailles Restaurant
You know a sandwich is stellar when it's responsible for a story arc in a major motion picture. In Chef, the Cuban sandwich at Versailles is a revelation. The secret is something simple and executed perfectly: lots of ham, melted Swiss cheese between perfectly flattened slices of fresh Cuban bread, and no gratuitous grease.
6. Lobster Roll at Mignonette
Mignonette may be new to the Miami scene, but we have long been a fan of Danny Serfer's sandwiches (see below). This New England favorite rarely graces menus in the Magic City, and this roll ($22) is just what we've been waiting for. Even with Maine lobster, it has Miami flair presented on a toasted Portuguese roll and served with homemade fried potato chips.
5. The Big Ragout Sandwich at Blue Collar
For an unprecedented Serfer doubleheader, we present the Big Ragout ($16). This sandwich is enormous and filling -- even with some bread removed! The hollowed-out crusty roll is then stuffed with pork shoulder, veal shoulder, and brisket in a rich tomato sauce with fresh mozzarella and Parmesan. We challenge you to finish this in one sitting. Pro tip: Snag a side of artichoke hearts and throw them on top.
4. Frenchie at La Sandwicherie
The sandwiches at La Sandwicherie are all so memorable it's difficult to pick a favorite. Late-night hours and proximity to drinking establishments mean that some of those memories are fuzzy. Regardless, the fresh French bread, imported meats and cheeses, crisp veggies and cornichons, and that famous Dijon vinaigrette can be ordered in any combination. For more than 25 years, the permutations of meat and cheese have run rampant, but if you want a classic, take a French lover. The Frenchie ($9.40) comes with french salami and Brie.
3. Crabby Cheese Melt at Ms. Cheezious
Kick your tuna melt up a notch. The crabby cheese melt ($8) from the famed Ms. Cheezious food truck (soon to be brick-and-mortar) features fresh crab salad, cheddar cheese, and sourdough. The sweetness of the crab pairs perfectly with the sharpness of the cheddar and sourness of the bread.
2. Croqueta Preparada at Enriqueta's Sandwich Shop
Do you like Cuban sandwiches? Do you like croquetas? Of course you do. Now combine them. After your mind is blown with this happy union, try Enriqueta's croqueta preparada ($7.50). The golden croquetas get smooshed just enough, and the foundation of this Cuban sandwich is already a slice of roast pork above the rest.
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1. Jewban at Josh's Deli
In the spirit of two becoming one between the bread, this sandwich is the most beautiful hybrid. Take a traditional Jewish deli sandwich -- the Reuben -- combine it with a Cuban sandwich, and you get a Jewban ($13.95). It's more than a portmanteau and a pun; it's the essence of Miami between slices of bread.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst