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Best Sandwich in OC??

Being a sandwich connoisseur myself the LA thread inspired me...

Some of my favorites:

-Tummy Stuffer in Costa Mesa (17th st location)
-Gallos in Corona Del Mar
-Frank's Philadelphia (Costa Mesa)
-The club sandwich from Bristol Farms in Newport Beach
-Any bahn mi from the westminster area
-Italian Beef from Portillos

So many to choose from...what say you Chowhounders?

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  1. Two places at the University Center across from UCI come to mind: Le Diplomat (always packed at lunch) and the new vegetarian place Veggie Grill. Their substitute meat sandwiches are pretty darn tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: crystaw

      I don't like the sandwiches from Le Diplomate at all... the Western kind tend to be squooshy, and the Viet kind are way too heavy on some dubious pickled shredded carrot and radish.

      I'll nominate the meatball sub at Niberino's on Ball and Sunkist (next to the 57).

      1. Mattern's in Orange makes an amazing po'boy
        The Choripan sandwich at Felix's is also really tasty
        Kaffa's makes a great tuna panini

        1 Reply
        1. re: quinntran

          A real po'boy?????? I used to live in Luling, LA and I would give an arm for a decent shrimp or oyster po'boy.... please advise!

        2. Roasted Turkey Sandwich - Bristol Farms, Corona Del Mar
          Cobb Sandwich - Newport Brewing Company, Newport Beach

          1. I personally like the club sandwich at the filling station in Orange.. also LOVE tortas from Taco Mesa and enjoy club sandwiches from Lee's for a quick bite

            1. I don't know if any of these are truly "best," but here are a few I like:

              -Italian sausage sandwich at Al's NY Cafe, Costa Mesa
              -Anything at Sandwich World, off Bristol right by the Newport Beach Golf Course
              -Big O to Go in Mission Viejo
              -Some interesting panini offerings at Skimmer's in Mission Viejo (I really like the Buffalo Chicken one)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Itslikeimsayin

                I didn't know Sandwich World existed, but their website looks good and they are very close to my office. Have you tried the meatball sandwich there? Or is it better to stick to the cold sandwiches like ham/salami/pepperoni? Is a half sandwich good for lunch, or is it better to get a whole?

                1. re: kingkong5

                  Never tried a hot sandwich there but friends have, and I believe it's better to stick to the cold.

                  Re: Half or whole, I always say I wish they sold a 3/4 sandwich. Half isn't enough for me but a whole is sort of a lot. I always get a whole, though.

              2. Philly cheese steaks at John's Philly Grill in Huntington Beach
                Italian Beef sandwich at Chicago's Best in Irvine
                Beef Brisket sandwich at Tommy Pastrami in Santa Ana

                5 Replies
                1. re: Wonginator

                  I had a cheesesteak with the works from John's (Beach Blvd. location) last night. Nice amount of meat compared to Philly's Best, but I didn't like the bread John's used. It was French bread and my guess is that they get it from one of the Vietnamese bakeries in Westminster. The Amaroso roll is better for a cheesesteak and John's didn't have the option of whiz instead of provolone from what I could tell.

                  1. re: Tapeworm

                    Friends took me to Phillys Best a couple of weeks ago, the one in Fullerton, GREAT SANDWICH! Lots of meat and I loved the pickles and peppers they had at the counter. Have been to the Upland store, not even close. The founders own and operate this one and it shows. I recently ate at My Fredos in Pasadena and that was my #1 choice, but this location of Phillys Best ties it up, they are even!

                  2. re: Wonginator

                    I tried the Italian Beef sandwich at Chicago's Best after reading about it on the board, and I came away a little disappointed. IMHO, the meat didn't have that much flavor, the spicy peppers didn't pack a punch, and the bread fell apart after a few minutes. Never had this type of sandwich before, so maybe I need to try it again. Should I have had it with the sweet peppers instead, or is there something else I'm missing?

                    1. re: I got nothin

                      My initial reaction to the Italian beef sandwich at Chicago's Best was somewhat similar to yours at first, but as I've gone back again and again, I enjoy it more now, especially since I can rarely find anything similar nearby, even at the Portillo's in Buena Park. I tend to prefer the sweet peppers over the spicy, but I don't know how much of a difference it makes.

                      It took me a bit used to having the sandwich pre-dipped in au jus, kinda like Phillippe's French Dips in downtown LA, but I try to use the wrapping around the sandwich to keep it together.

                      1. re: I got nothin

                        Like Wonginator said, give it another try...trust me, it grows on you. I'm not a pepper guy, but even better that the IB is the combo (italian beef and sausage)...the textures and flavors play off ewach other very nicely (and fillingly). The combo at Portillo's has been noticeably light on the beef when I've had it but Chicago's Best gives you the full deal. Despite the blah surroundings, lunch at CB with a combo, their excellent fries and a Diet Coke is probably my favorite lunch in OC.

                    2. Pastrami or any sandwich with the Avocado Spread at Lil' Pickle in Costa Mesa
                      Philly's Best (had a great one at the Lake Forest location, and this replaced Frank's Philadelphia as my favorite philly place)
                      Meatball Sub from Nick's Pizza in Costa Mesa
                      Lamb/Goat cheese/tomato panini from Pascal's Epicerie

                      I think some of these may be influenced by a little nostalgia, since I've been eating at Nick's and Lil' Pickle since I was a lil' kid

                      1. Oooh, and let's not forget the Italian sausage sandwich at Sabatino's...

                        1. New Zealand grass fed hamburger from the Health Emporium in CdM..... I know its a burger, but mmmmmmmmm.........

                          1. I've heard great things about the Lil'Pickle in Costa Mesa - but have never been myself.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Hoover13

                              I used to eat there all the time and maybe my taste has gotten more refined over time. It's decent for a quick bite to eat, but don't go in with high expectations.

                                1. re: Hoover13

                                  I am not a fan of the Lil pickle either.

                                  Great calls Wonginator, I completely forgot to include Tommy Pastrami, I had a rueben there last week, really awesome.

                                2. Wow, you and the others have mentioned some great ones...

                                  I'll take the italian beef (or better yet the combo beef/sausage) at Chicago's Best in Irvine over Portillo's (although Portillo's is still very good).

                                  Claro's and Sabatino's are 2 of my other favorites. I've never had a sandwich at Big O's but they certainly load their pizzas so I bet they are good.

                                  A couple that I will throw in are the French Dip at Houston's and the prime rib sandwich at the Carvery...and for for the south end of the county...a BBQ sandwich at the hidden gem called Rick's Secret Spot in San Clemente.

                                  1. Just discovered Sandwich World at Tustin Marketplace and what I love love love about them is the BREAD! Chewy, delicious and it isn't soggy when everything is on it. I just had them make 60 sandwiches and they were individually wrapped and marked!

                                    2nd discovery this month...Bristol Farms! The sandwich with the turkey wrapped around warm asparagus ...DELISH!!! I could have that sandwich every day! IT was not only fresh tasting but for me, a sauce lover...the sauce was perfect.

                                    Claro's for a fast Italian Sub.

                                    Zov's for the lamb sandwich!

                                    1. A couple off-the-wall adds:

                                      My wife would bring home italian "style" sandwiches from Peppino's Italian Restaurant when we lived in Tustin. Located off Newport Blvd, its a very popular family-style place. These were really quite good. If you're aiming for authentic Claro's, then go there. But if you want a tasty sandwich of a different style, give them a try.

                                      I might as well put in a decent word for the Carne Asada Torta at Taco Mesa (19th in Costa Mesa; Chapman in Orange/El Modena area). Sometimes carne asada doesn't lend itself well to a sandwich with all the chewing, but still a good sandwich when you want something different. I've found the chicken torta less good because of the density of the lump of chicken breast not pairing with the whole sandwich thing.

                                      Hollingshead's Deli in Orange (near CHOC / Santa Ana Mainplace) has good sandwiches because the ingredients are good. I've enjoyed the roast beef with bleu cheese one. But if you're looking for rustic, chewy bread; micro-greens and hothouse tomatoes, this is not the place. On the other hand, they serve very fine beer there.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: BruinEric

                                        "Oh Those Donuts & Sandwiches" located in Costa Mesa, right where the 55 freeway ends. Best sandwiches and the donuts are good too... interesting combination but it works.