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Lord Sandwich (Calgary) [moved from Canada board]

Hi Hounders,

Who makes the tastiest assortment of sandwiches, paninis and/or subs in this city? Please do not include Subway or Quiznos.... been there, done that! Anything from a high end restaurant to a street-side hawker will be investigated thoroughly.


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  1. Try Peppino's in Kensington (not bad), Chachi's in TD Square (brand new), or Palace of Eats just off 17th Avenue (smoked meat and steamers). Everyone will rave about Spolumbo's but it's no big deal IMHO.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ureviewcalgary

      Went to Palace of Eats for a Steamer, but no such luck. They don't sell them. Does anyone know where you can get a real Montreal Steamer?

      1. re: Bob Taylor

        I think you might have to head to Alberta King of Subs, Bob. Palace used to sell superb steamed dogs w/ shredded cabbage, just delicious, and they stopped when Tubby Dog opened, which to me made no sense since their steamies were those little things you eat 2 of and Tubby's are of course grilled dogs that are meals in themselves.

    2. The best Italian sandwich I've ever had in my life was at Caffe Mauro (Sal's) on 1st St and 8th Ave downtown. Sal is a genius with peppers and eggplant. I really think his sandwiches blow Peppino's out of the water. Get the calabrese and prosciutto with everything on it - great on baquette or foccacia.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ennui

        In fact, I just had the calabrese and provolone on baguette for lunch and it was excellent. Highly recommended.

        1. re: timuruski

          Thanks to you Chowhounders, I had sandwiches at Caffe Mauro twice last week! A little steep at $10.25 but the ingredients are quality. I like the calabrese & hot capicolla with provolone, mushrooms, peppers & jalapeno spread on Focaccia. A brought it back to work and everyone walking back asked where I got it from!

          Its too bad they don't have a hot salami, the hot capicolla lacks kick. I also tried one on a French baguette but its really thin so it falls apart, and I don't like crispy breads (hurts the top of the mouth). I'll try the meatball next!

      2. Caffe Mauro's meatball is sublime.

        I actually think that Peppino's is terrible. I liked it once upon a time, but too much bad bread (doughy, underbaked), piles of horrible shredded iceberg lettuce, fake white cheese a la Subway circa late 1980s, and cramped setting (not to mention idiotic hours) drove me away. I have to add that the owner went on and on about how his espresso is better than Second Cup et al, and he pulled for me what was, without question, the worst espresso I have ever had, and that includes espresso I've had made in garage-sale mocha pots in college. A single espresso was about 4 ounces of crema-less garbage (a single should be ONE OUNCE), boiling hot, with actual grounds floating in it, and the stale, ancient "autentico Italiano" beans were not fit for human consumption. Their gelato is also thin, too cold, and flavourless, like frozen milk with sugar added to it.

        Now, having said all that, I think the best Italian sandwiches in the city are at Lina's Italian Market! Great bread, often an option with roasted pork fresh off the bone, great stuff!

        5 Replies
        1. re: John Manzo

          I find bad bread to be a staple in Calgary. It is rare to find any place that gives you something not resembling pizza-box-like consistency. It's worse once you have had GOOD bread in other cities. I haven't tried Caffe Mauro but will have to give it a go based on the above recs. Maybe Pep's has gone downhill (their bread always sucked, meats are okay) but after hitting Janice Beaton and the Kensington wine market I often need a quick fix lest I gobble down hunks of cheese and a bottle of wine on their sidewalk!

          1. re: John Manzo

            I like Cafe Di Mauro as well.
            Not a huge Lina's Sandwich fan.
            Good bread is available at Manuel Latreuwe.
            My favorite "regular" sandwich is actually at Extreme Bean on Memorial and 2X Street N (it's next to the gas station on the southside of memorial (river side) after the kensington turnoff). Their bread is fresh, but more importantly organic veggies, fresh roasted pork, really good deal. Get the sandwich and salad special.
            There is no truly great sandwich shop in town (place that roasts fresh turkey, beef, etc every day, bake's their own bread, etc...)

            Im tired after a 14 hour day - can you tell? :)

            1. re: yen

              Bad news for foodies - Caffe Mauro closed a couple months ago (along with another fave, Falafel King) due to restorations on the 1st Street block south of Stephen Ave. Any news as to when/where its going to re-open?

              1. re: Vancity Vic

                The owner of the other falafel king (the one off 17th, they're a franchise so they have nothing to do with the 1st St one) said she thinks they're opening next to flames central- CPU pizza? I'm not sure what she could be referring to.

                Mauro- no idea

            2. re: John Manzo

              I couldn't agree more on both accounts! Luckily, I haven't tried any espresso there at Peppino's...but the gelato is terrible. A caterer for our wedding...of which the whole point was to have Amato Gelato's stuff.... insisted that Peppino's gelato is the best and all they can get. The same caterer runs 2 restaurants in town. It was a deal breaker, and we ran screaming!

              Ahhhh the pork from Lina's is very nice indeed. (this was supposed to be posted after JM's first comment, but is accidentally down here!)

            3. I know extreme bean, nice stop when you're by edworthy park.

              Yen, there are also some really good looking panini now at Steeps Tea- I was there, marking papers, this afternoon.

              I think I speak for everyone who was around a few years ago that I miss Wild Sage, which blessed Eau Claire Market for maybe a year around 2001-2002. Best sandwiches I have ever had- their spit-roasted lamb, blue cheese and arugula on a latruwe baguette was the best I've ever had. I dream about it. It was a Witold Twardoski project and now I am wondering if Victoria's has good sandwiches since he redid that resto.

              1 Reply
              1. re: John Manzo

                Wild Sage was really good - i just don't think the location was optimal. There's a place for that kind of place here, but i think someplace more convenient would be better.

                As for panini's, i just remembered Holy Grill (across from MEC), which is quite decent as well.

              2. I'm so embarrassed to say this, but Safeway.

                * runs away before the beatings begin *

                4 Replies
                1. re: Shazam

                  Actually, their deli sandwiches that they make fresh on their "market bread", and let you choose what deli meat you want, are really really good. If you're going to take some beatings for this, i'll take them with you.

                  Though really, this is pretty much the same as John M saying that Coop has the best thin crust pizza in town, so we can always hide behind that :)

                  1. re: yen

                    Agreed, I buddy brought 5 $10 Safeway deli subs camping and it easily fed 8 guys with leftovers. Nothing fancy, just decent bread with mayo & mustard, tomato & lettuce, and lots of cold cuts inside.

                  2. re: Shazam

                    Now I'm thinking of the Tuscan Pesto Chicken sandwich. Mmmmmm... I know it's not always the freshest chicken but I think that the pesto or something else in that sandwich must be an addictive substance.

                    1. re: Shazam

                      Haha. I've found that (when made right) their Greek sandwich is excellent. Spicy chicken breast (real, not sliced) with olive tapenade and shredded pepperoncini peppers. Sometimes they run out of the olives or peppers and then it's boring.

                    2. Put me down for a fan of Safeway sandwiches too.

                      1. Safeway's new sandwiches kick ass! I forgot about them.

                        And, yes, I never thought I'd write something like this... but I said in an earlier thread that Co-op's Midtown Market (and maybe its other fancier suburban stores too) has what might be the best thin-crust pizza in town.

                        Supermarkets have sure changed since I was a bag-boy at Burger's in Hammond Indiana in high school, when one of our nightly assigments was to clean out all the ashtrays overflowing with cigarette butts in every corner of the store.

                        1. Divino's lamb confit melt (with fig jam, leeks and cambozola). I *want* to try the rest of their menu, but just can't get past this sandwich.

                          1. Phew, I'm still alive ;)

                            My brother started buying sandwiches there because he said they were really good. He let me try his once and I was amazed by how good it was.

                            1. Two more:

                              I had a very decent, simple, honest sandwich, nothing fancy but quite tasty, at Chachi's at TD Centre last Sunday. I had the day's special: roast beef and salami with cheddar (REAL cheddar), lettuce (ick, gotta remember to always ask for no lettuce wherever shredded iceberg is- I hate this stuff), pesto and garlic mayo. It was on a kind of chewy, very fresh roll from Calgary Italian Bakery. $7.50. I liked it. The owner of this place is the brother of the fellow who founded Jugo Juice and is franchising. It's much better than Subway or Quizno's for a chain (or intended to be a chain) sandwich.

                              I normally go to Bumpy's for their inestimable, best-in-the-city macchiato or cappuccino, but as I've been teaching myself latte art the last few months (and just got a naked portafilter for my Brasilia- look up "naked portafilter" to see what I'm talking about) I've been drinking a LOT of espressos at home, so I went there for proper food with a Boylan soda today. I forgot how excellent Bumpy's food is- I had the ham-swiss-artichoke panini and it was fantastic, with a handful of potato chips and a pickle. All the food I've had there- oatmeal with fruit puree, the "oh my God" chocolate muffins, these panini- has been really good. Love, love, love this place.

                              1. I'm not sure if this is worth reporting, as it's not a good sandwich place or even one decent sandwich. It's more like half a tasty sandwich:

                                Among the horrors of the university's food offerings, the cafeteria in the Education building sometimes has a wonderful feta and grilled vegetable (faux-)panini. Because the place is very busy at lunch, the sandwiches are often not heated long enough and remain cold on the inside. However, when this panini is heated long enough, I find it very, very good. The feta melts in a delightful cream over the eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and onions, and the bread is densy, chewy, soft but crispy on the outside.

                                Unfortunately, it really is hit-and-miss since this sandwich isn't offered everyday and even when it is, it can less-than-ideal if icy-cold.

                                1. Aktivistin, have you tried the vietnamese place in mac hall? I made the mistake of getting lemongrass chicken with the most horrible mushy rice, and since their rice sucked, I made the additional mistake of writing them off entirely. I have them another change with rice vermicelli and it's like night and day- the noodles are hot (which I hate w/ rice verm, but by the time I walk it back to my office and have punched a hole in the bottom of the clamshell it's a better cooler temp, but the noodles in Bun dishes should never be hot), but great texture, and the meats are pretty excellent- I always get beef (sweet-ish, with onions) and this food of the gods they call "honey fried chicken." I could be buried in this stuff.Their lemongrass chicken is good too.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: John Manzo

                                    Thanks for the tip, John Manzo! I've seen the line-ups at the place with person after person ordering the Bun. Definitely will try the next time I'm over there at lunch.

                                    1. re: aktivistin

                                      Well now that John has brought up Vietnamese I feel safe in talking about my favorite sandwich, the Vietnamese Bahn Mi (vietnamese sub). Excellent and often less expensive then their western counterparts. My favorite Bahn Mi shop is accross from the Harry Hays building (next to Pho Pasteur), I believe it's called Thi Thi Bahn Mi. Their regular sub with cold cuts and pate on a baguette with cilantro, pickled carrots and chili peppers. hot of the toaster oven is one my favorties. The Sate Beef or Chicken are great as well.

                                      1. re: GordMM06

                                        Thi Thi is awesome, I concur - although the waiting outside is a mixed blessing - very nice on a day like today, and keeps the crowds down in the winter. Another place I like (I need to do a taste test some day) is the one in that same mall, just inside the south doors. The previous owners were better, particularly with the meat ball sub, but the current place is almost on par with Thi Thi, plus they have tables.

                                        One place that sucks in my opinion is My Vietnamese Village (I think that's the name), which is on the lower floor of the Dragon City mall, across from a really good bubble tea place (Pearl House). They load up their subs with some hokey junk that's almost sweet-and-sour sauce or something.

                                        1. re: GordMM06

                                          mmm... speaking of bahn mi, I had an excellent beef sate sub at Hunterhorn Bakery the other day. I kind of had my doubts but they actually pickle their carrots! and that's a must for me in a vietnamese sub.
                                          They don't have a big selection though, only chicken and beef sate.

                                      2. re: John Manzo

                                        There's finally a Vietnamese place in Mac Hall, eh? Man, I wish they had one when I was a student there. I would've never bought groceries.

                                        1. re: Shazam

                                          There's sort of two- The Bake Chef has really poor banh mi, and then this place I mentioned that does rice/bun/pho. They get good lineups, but not as good as Tim Hortons. This is find an absolute tragedy.

                                          1. re: John Manzo

                                            I'm a pretty big fan of the Vietnamese place you speak of, and it has pretty much monopolized my on-campus eating since it opened. I usually get a large combo B with grilled chicken and honey fried chicken and extra peanuts. The grilled chicken is fantastic, with plenty of charring. It can be a bit pricey, but is miles better than the rest of the food court offerings.

                                            1. re: Bobatt

                                              That's almost exactly my order- except lemongrass chicken or spicy pork or "beef" (it's just "beef") with the honey fried, which should win an award.

                                              I don't find them pricey for the volume, really,

                                      3. I go to Lina's, get some provolone, Genova salami, capocollo, mortadella and prosciutto di Parma, grab a couple of fresh buns, some good balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, and then I put it all together at home with some shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. Olive oil and vinegar on the bun. It is better than I've had pre-made from anywhere in town. They have great ingredients if you're willing to assemble at home.

                                        1. Have you tried the Lazy Loaf and Kettle? They make all their own bread and the topping are always piled high. They also serve a good cup of coffee and have great pastries for dessert too.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: cdn

                                            I'm a big fan of the Lazy Loaf and Kettle too although a half sandwich is enough for me for lunch - with their fruit salad(when it's available). I've started making my own egg salad with red bell peppers because of them :)

                                          2. Well since the posts have moved to ethnic sandwich's I have to suggest Jimmy's (in the NW on 25th i think??)
                                            for a chicken schwarma. (I normally avoid meat on a stick type foods) but Jimmy makes the MOST amazing HUGE ... like super massive ridiculously HUGE sandwiches, fresh pita stuffed to explosion with well seasoned chicken breast, great humus, and fresh veg. mmm there is no way I come close to finishing a small on a visit... but worth a shot!

                                            If you chow hounds have not been to Jimmy's it' s a MUST VISIT! They have a small selection of middle eastern foods n the grocery section here as well.. including these massive paper thin breads about 40" around which are brilliant with a Croatian fig spread and a nice sharp white cheese. oh... also they have these sweet sesame balls with a peanut in the center!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: CookieGal

                                              Jimmy's empire is growing with 3 locations now- in addition to the one in Capital Hill, there is one in the huge apartment building at Macleod and 6th Ave SE (Rocky Mountain Court, I think, is the name of the complex) and another on 4th SW near the Sony Store; it's called Mediterranea and it has all your A&A faves.

                                              1. re: CookieGal

                                                I've been eating at Jimmy's for years. I just get really annoyed when I order my usual falafel and I get the employees arguing with me about my preference to have the garlic sauce over the tahini.

                                                1. re: chromatic

                                                  Was at the Lazy Loaf last week. Not a lot of choices in the West Hillhurst/Parkdale neighbourhood. I ordered the Smoked Meat to go. There was one single slice of meat on the sandwich.....one single slice. Thin slice. Was it a mistake? Is this what people in Calgary think is good food. I was shocked.

                                                  1. re: Busted Flat in Marda Loop

                                                    I have to take issue at your leap in logic from 1 slice of meat on a sandwich to what Calgarians think is good food. I do agree that seems pretty bad though.

                                                    I've never had a smoked meat sandwich there. Had others and they were more generous. The bread is particularly good and my sandwich was so big that two of us shared it. Darned if I can remember what klind it was. I tend not to order smoked meat unless I see someone carving a slab in front of me.

                                                    1. re: sharonanne

                                                      Now the thread is 2+ years old so a lot can change but I'm surprised. When I used to frequent Lazy Loaf my fave was their egg salad piled so high I could have made two sandwiches. I can't speak to the smoked meat - but I'd agree once slice would be skimpy.

                                              2. "Sandwich Nirvana"......As published in City Palate January/February
                                                Avellino's panini
                                                The Italian Store
                                                The Italian Supermarket
                                                Dino Rosa's
                                                Nicastro's Pub
                                                Caffe Beano
                                                Montreal Bagels
                                                The Main Dish
                                                Diner Delux
                                                Primal Grounds
                                                Tazza Deli
                                                The Restaurant @ Loughheed House

                                                Canmore nods
                                                Railway Deli

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: cdn

                                                  Nicastro's looks like a dive but the takeout sandwiches are good! Get the ferrari sandwich.

                                                2. Big Fish on Edmonton trail has a very good Po'Boy Sandwich...but I recommend you ask them to put it on their Tuscan Bread (made at Urban baker 1 block away), it just makes it that much better.

                                                  1. Best new sandwich concept going is definitely Chachi's - The real deal done with quality and consistency. New York style fresh bread sandwiches with real "sliced on premise" meats and cheeses. Worth checking out!!

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: Jwalk

                                                      Thanks Jwalk! Where is Chachi's? By the way, I had quite a nice pannini pressed Pastrami and Swiss at Rise Bakery in Bow Valley last week.

                                                      1. re: Hart50

                                                        There's one in TD square across from Starbucks- a very good, honest sandwich with quality ingredients. I think they're going to be opening lots more, owner is affiliated (brother?) w/ founder of Jugo Juice. I find this is a nice place to have lunch DT as it's fairly quiet in TD on weekends but not so quiet that it's creepy, and weekdays are very, very busy.

                                                        1. re: Hart50

                                                          There's one in the airport that I keep meaning to try but haven't. Now I have even more of a reason.

                                                            1. re: John Manzo

                                                              Thanks. I've been close enough to read the menu but everyone I've been travelling with wanted something else and I can't be bothered to line up at 2 places. Next time I WILL win!

                                                      2. wow not one mention of Lazy Loaf and Kettle- shame!

                                                        2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Dee_Soto

                                                            Cgy mentioned the Loaf about 1/3 of the way up. IMHO the best sandy in the city!! Get the wild salmon salad will all the fixings, just amazing. I always get mine with honey mustard, I know sounds weird on salmon but in theory honey on salmon good, mustard on salmon good.. both.. good! Try it! But just once, the place is busy enough already;)