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Apr 11, 2008 12:09 PM

Sandwich Contest - News and Reviews

The Sandwich Contest HAS BEEN EXTENDED - due to a recent flurry of entries the board of judges (yours truly) has voted unanimously to delay final judging until several more sandwiches have been sampled. This thing may go on indefinitely!

You remember the rules: name your three favorites - we like 'em, you're a winner!

Some entries currently under consideration:

"The turkey, swiss, arugula on fresh baguette with a sundried tomato mayo dressing with oil and vinegar" - feedthebelly

Solid turkey sandwich - fresh and quite well-constructed with greens and dressing making for a harmonious mouthful. Actually many of the sandwiches at this small venue are worth a taste: besides the turkey (#4) I liked the #3 (Sopressata, Spinach, Manchego) and the #5 (Proscuitto & Mozzarella.)

"The Shanghai - tuna salad sandwich on marble rye with chutney" - maudie5

Chow missions take us to some strange places but few stranger than the Fresh Market Cafe, a mini-eatery tucked amidst the designer duds on the third floor of Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills. I was the only male customer in the cafe - maybe the whole store - and certainly the worst dressed. But I ordered my Shanghai: generous amounts of tuna salad on black and white bread, with some sprouts and a bit of sweet chutney. Not a bad tuna salad sandwich, nothing to get excited about. Maybe the cheapest thing in the store at eleven bucks (includes chips.)

"Cemitas Poblanas - barbacoa" - Local ( & Ubergeek)

THIS is why we're having this contest - to find out about places like this. I've seen posts on cemitas poblanas before but this is the first time I've tried one. What a trip! This little Mexican dive in a mini-mall in Van Nuys calls itself a taqueria but specializes in these monster sandwiches. A variety of fillings are available: breaded pork loin, breaded beef, chicken, fish, head cheese, scrambled eggs...there are 13 different ones and I'll probably have to try them all. My barbacoa was a mess of cooked lamb on a big toasted bun with avocado, queso fresco, purple onion, lettuce and chiles. I predict this sandwich will be among the finalists.

"Buffalo Chicken Sandwich (medium spice is best)" - yogachik

What do you want from a buffalo chicken sandwich? You want 'buffalo' flavor: pungent, sweet, hot. Here is a straight-ahead version on a soft roll with lettuce and tomato. The chicken is decent and the 'medium spice' packs plenty of punch. Better than average blue cheese sauce. Not a destination sandwich but perhaps a tasty snack after a couple hours of Ayengar, eh chik? (A word of advice on a side of 'suicide sauce:' don't.)

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  1. happened to drvie by kester and victory. It's not a little sign - don Adrian spells out in HUGE LETTERS - Cemitas Poblanas.

    1. Great reports all, BIM. thanks for being a man of your word and coming back to let us know how the sandwiches are turning out. And the Das Ub reco for Taqueria Don Adrian sounds like it is very worthy (sponge worthy?) of some address info:

      Taqueria Don Adrian
      14902 Victory Blvd
      Van Nuys, CA 91411
      (818) 786-0328

      8 Replies
      1. re: Servorg

        Thanks Servorg - and btw your RB Caliente from Clementine remains a hot contender.

        1. re: BIM

          2 of my 3 sandwiches are not available anymore :( and forget about my third. i gracefully bail out of the contest. maybe next year.

          1. re: NYCnowLA

            Dude! (If you're a guy.) You're crazy! Your Liverwurst from Clementine is seriously happening and on the 'A' list. The review is written and will be on the next post. Is that one they're discontinuing (say it ain't so!)?

            - BIM

            1. re: BIM

              i'm a dudette. I don't think the liverwurst carried over on to the spring menu. I'm so glad you got a chance to try it beforehand. The other sandwich i recom. was the 5 families wartime at Cardone's and they closed up shop last week. my 3rd pick was corned beef on rye at pico kosher deli and the last time i went there they did not have any corned beef or chopped liver! what kosher deli runs out of corned beef and chopped liver 2pm on a wednesday afternoon!?!

              1. re: NYCnowLA

                I'm bummed - that wartime thing was on my 'to try' list if just for the name alone.

                1. re: BIM

                  it was soo good! i dont think i put a description last time so here it goes...

                  Wartime Five Families: $8.25
                  Prosciutto, Spicy Capocollo, Spicy Sopressata, Calabrese Salami, Mortadella, Provolone

                  all on great italian bread plus some more hot peppers!

                  1. re: NYCnowLA

                    The judges have decreed that you are welcome to make an additional entry or two, NYCnowLA, if you'd like.

                    1. re: BIM

                      i haven't lived here long enough to discover any other sandwiches, but i have been meaning to try the sandwiches offered lunchtime at Craft. for example...Hen of the Woods, Tallegio & Prosciutto. sounds good to me.

      2. Langer's -- Number 19.
        Lucques -- BLTA (but you'll have to wait a couple of months for tomatoes to be in season).
        Philippe -- Double dipped roast lamb.

        Philippe the Original
        1001 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

        Langer's Delicatessen
        704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

        8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069

        1. I don't know how I missed this thread in the first place! It's especially timely, as I've been on a real sandwich kick lately.

          I don't think anyone's mentioned it, but I alway like the Media Noche from Milk on Beverly ( It's not an authentic Cuban media noche, but you know what? I like the pulled pork, and the ham, and the cheese, and the pickles, especially when it's all hot and pressed together.

          (By the way, it also makes for an excellent sandwich when flying - it holds together well and isn't stinky. I often order it the night before I have an early-morning flight, pop it in the fridge overnight, bring it with me on the plane, and while not as tasty as it is when fresh off the sandwich press, or whatever they use, it still beats airplane food by leaps and bounds).

          (Oh, a side note. The kid's grilled cheese is the same size as the regular sandwiches, but is only $5 and they don't tamper with it [i.e., make it all fancy as they do with their regular ham & cheese sandwich on the menu) - just cheese and either ham or turkey. It is good.)

          1. Great thread! I'd have to say my go to sammie at the moment is the Venetian coppa salame with provolone & olive paste (on a baguette) at Joan's on Third, or just the classic ficelle with butter, brie and ham (cheaper than a flight to Paris). And, when stuck in Chainsville, I have to say I really like the curried chicken salad tartine at Le Pain Quotidien. Be sure to get extra cranberry chutney, as this is what elevates it to a great sandwich, imo.

            Can't wait to go to Van Nuys and try the Cemitas!