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Best Sandwich in the Triangle?

Thoughts? Looking for a great sandwich--bonus points if it's in Raleigh, so I don't have to drive as far. Something super-delicious and satisfying, something that makes you think, "That's the best sandwich I've ever had!"

The best one I've had so far was at Alon's in Atlanta: Air-cured beef, grilled fennel, shaved parmesan and pink peppercorn dressing on ciabatta.
But there's got to be something to top that around here--I'm on a quest & would love some guidance.


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  1. For me, in order
    1. Sandwhich
    2. Neal's
    3. Parker & Otis
    4. Guglehupf

    1. I can't pick a best. Good ones include
      steak sandwich at Coquette
      chicken & bacon at La Farm
      bleu cheese burger w onion rings at Abbey Road

      1. One of my all-time favorite sandwiches in Raleigh is the Plethora at the Third Place coffee shop at Five Points. It's a veggie delight - with homemade hummus, homemade tabouli, pico de gallo, sprouts, scallions, sunflower seeds, havarti cheese and mustard served on whole grain bread. (Plus - I love that they've been serving that same sandwich since they opened some 15 or so years ago.)

        1. Philly steak at Pizza Italia- Westgate at Rt. 70 in N'West Raleigh.... this place is a hidden gem!

          1 Reply
          1. re: jiminea

            Pizza Italia makes a darn fine pizza too. Ultra thin. I'll have to try the
            Cheesesteak. thanks for the tip.

            I like the club at Scooter's biker bar on Atlantic Ave.

          2. I'm not generally a cold sammy fan, but I do love the warm focaccia sandwiches at Food Factory in Cary. I also like the chicken and tuna salads at La Farm in Cary (although that's primarily because of the bread, natch), and Hayes Barton in Five Points makes a mean egg salad.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Suzy Q

              I really like the BLT at Sandwhich in CH. Great interpretation of the classic sandwich.

              One day a couple of years ago, the the Federal had a braised warm brisket on some kind of a roll. I don't even remember the specifics beyond the fact that the bread and brisket seemed to combine. It was great! One of the best sandwiches I ever had.

              1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                Merritt's Country Store BLT is the best in the land.

            2. Braised pork/jalapenos/cheddar at The Federal

              1 Reply
              1. The Merritt BLT is a winner, I really like the flank steak ciabatta at the Food Factory. My winner is the croque monsieur at La Farm. Ham, cheese in toasted La Farm bread with mornay sauce on top. A little messy, but the cheese goodness from the gruyere and mornay have my mouth watering as I write this. It's regularly $5.95 but at brunch on weekends it's less than $7 including fruit salad and fried potatoes.

                2 Replies
                1. re: blewgo

                  Is it true that if you got Merritt's you'll come out smelling like bacon? I just wantt to know before I go on a workday.

                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    So much of visiting a restaurant is a personal experience. People have different tastes and perceptions of the same thing. Go yourself and tell us what you experience, not what you read on the internet.

                2. While I too don't tend to eat sandwiches when I go out. I do love a good Monte Christo and had one in Cary at a place across from where Trader Joe's is.. can't remember the name at the moment. Anyways, I went to SandwHich in Chapel Hill and was a bit disappointed and didn't think the price was right (even with their special going on). Do you consider Falafel and Gyros sandwiches? I'm assuming you mean non burger places. Neal's deli makes a good sandwich though they use Guglhupf bread. I also am found of some of the selections at Foster's Market (Durham or Chapel Hill), but they too are expensive for a sandwich. I really like Village Deli's Chicken Salad on Ciabatta (they have al ocation in Cameron Village) and I'm curious about Side Street's offerings in downtown Raleigh.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                    Thanks for sharing some of your experiences!

                    I have been to Side Street a couple of times. My SO's family are long time Raleigh folks and love it. I think it probably was progressive and had a menu with something a little different when they opened in the late '70's. I doubt they have really updated the menu since.

                    The food is fine, it didn't excite me or wow me enough to really remember the details. The atmosphere is what I call southern tea room - brick-brack, florals, shabby chic furniture. The service is gracious but very spotty. Glasses repeatedly promised to be refilled, dishes "auctioned" (a pet peeve) when delivered, side dishes screwed up, condiments forgotten.

                    Those I know who like Side Street seem drawn largely by the memories dining there holds for them - "We always go to Side Street after the Christmas tour of Oakwood" sort of thing. Not sharing those memories and experiencing it in real time leaves me underwhelmed. It is good for a time capsule experience of a ladies lunch place 25 years ago!

                  2. Don't get over to Raleigh much for lunch, although Porter's does a damn fine burger.

                    Another vote for the Merritt's BLT, though it's really at its zenith in late july-august, when local tomatoes are in season.

                    Some other tasty sammies in Chapel Hill/Durham--
                    The Reuben at Piedmont made with house-cured corned beef.

                    The Manhattan at Neal's Deli.

                    The braised pork Banh Mi at Jujube.

                    The Italian Stallion at J & J's deli.

                    The shrimp po' boy at Watts.

                    The duck confit and french fry crepe (does this count?) at Rue Cler

                    I have always been underwhelmed by Guglhupf, although their pastries are rockin.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Pigloader

                      From NY with Love in Raleigh has a sandwich called a Tasty Tongue with tongue and salami that's just heavenly. There area lot of tasty sandwiches on their menu.

                      1. re: Tom from Raleigh

                        Yeah it's a shame so many people I know here tongue and turn their nose up at it. It really is a great piece of meat for sandwiches (if cooked right). I get the same reaction when I mention Mortadella too. Though other people will eat liver mush or souse meat. Kinda funny what makes people think of something icky.

                    2. One of the Baguettes at Spize Cafe on Fayetteville St in Raleigh

                      1. The best sandwich I've ever had in the triangle is the Torta Cubano at Tacos Y Mariscos Vallarta on Capital Boulevard. If you've never had a torta cubano, this one is forking awesome!! The torta is built on an 8" round, crusty white roll. There is a breaded, fried pork cutlet as the base. On top of this is a spicy ground beef mixture with mayo, avocado, lettuce, tomato, salsa, guacamole, two fried eggs and loads of white spanish cheese. The whole thing is then pressed on the grill making the cheese melt all over the place. I guarantee that nothing in the triangle compares to this gastronomic monstrosity!

                        11 Replies
                        1. re: jrfulbright

                          Is that restaurant on the left - as you head north? Free-standing in the parking lot of a shopping center - with a colorful and slightly tacky sign?

                          1. re: cackalackie

                            You got it! Best thing is, it's open 24/7!

                            1. re: jrfulbright

                              24/7? No way! Anything else you'd recommend?

                              1. re: cackalackie

                                Pretty much anything on the menu that I've had has been awesome. They offer a great variety of seafood dishes: ceviche, etc. They have one crazy dish that's like $80 and feeds 6 people that looks like some giant type of paella or something. Their chile rellenos are some of my favorites.

                          2. re: jrfulbright

                            I like that restaurant but haven't been in a while. That sandwich sounds amazing. Keep in mind, though, that a Mexican cubana has very little in common with a Cuban cubana. Both pretty darn fine sandwiches, but different creatures.

                            1. re: jrfulbright

                              I have had a torta cubano in N. Durham where it was more like a Cubano sandwich in Torta form and not like this which sounds more like what a torta cubano would be (which in and of itself sounds like a kitchen sink of latino sandwiches). Once I get better I'll have to try this out and make sure I have plenty of napkins I'd guess.

                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                I had that Sandwich once (at Vallarta's), pretty good, thought that I was going to die after finishing it though.

                                The Version at Fonda has hot dogs in it.

                                1. re: chazzer

                                  Yeah, it's definitely an instant nap sandwich. It comes with fries, which I never touch. If you go, make sure you request the salsa verde. They won't bring it out unless you're spanish or request it. =)

                                1. re: jrfulbright

                                  Tried the Torta Cubano last Sat. night.......place was packed and the place had a nice/ authentic feel.
                                  I had the sandwich to go, which was probably a mistake........it was very disapointing.....cutlet was overcooked in overused oil......I don't know how much better it would have been had I eaten in.....$9.19 with tax for the guige, fries, chips and a 2oz salsa.......I was so looking forward to this sandwich am debating a second try....
                                  PS this in no way was a "monstrous" sandwich...

                                  1. re: Saddleoflamb

                                    Also don't let that keep you from trying a Torta from another taqueria some make them better than others. It's like burgers in the sense that the basic components are usually the same but some places just do them better.

                                2. Wow - How has no one mentioned the Rockford? Not only is it actually in Raleigh proper, but it's even INSIDE THE BELTLINE!! It's on Glenwood South, across from the Hibernian. The ABC sandwich is outstanding, but I've never heard any complaints on anything ordered from there.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: wb247

                                    Thank you! I was thinking that earlier. I haven't been there in ages --- must go!

                                    1. re: wb247

                                      +1 on the ABC from the Rockford. Just be prepared to wash your hands after finishing.

                                      Great bar too!

                                    2. Sandwhich-hard to go wrong with anything, but their specials are always fun

                                      Busy Bee-all of their burger variations are great

                                      Capital Ice Market-best authentic shrimp burger

                                      Green Basil-any of their bahn mi's are good, but the red cooked pork is solid

                                      Dalat-only ever tried the grilled tofu bahn mi, only tofu sandwich that I've every liked

                                      Neomonde-can someone make a better falafel around here?

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: initialdrew

                                        I always assumed this thread was outside of the burger realm.

                                        1. re: initialdrew

                                          I second Dalat! I like to get the pork sandwich, it is on crusty french bread with mayo, daikon, jalapenos, carrots, sliced seasoned pork topped with fresh cilantro. Make sure you get some fresh rolls too, Dalat makes the BEST peanut sauce.

                                        2. Not the best I've ever had, but the panini at Toast in Durham are very good, and certainly worth an honorable mention.. especially the three cheese panino with parmigiano reggiano, asiago fresca, pecorino and truffle oil.

                                          345 W Main St, Durham, NC 27701

                                          1. All the years I worked in Raleigh, I was addicted to just about anything with the homemade mustard on it at Sunflowers. (If anyone can tell me how to rip that one off, I'll worship you!) Veggie melt, new club in town, tuna melt - all yummy. They also make their tuna salad with sweet relish - just like my momma used to make!

                                            Also in Raleigh, BB&Y makes an unbelievable Mushroom and Swiss burger. It's small but decadent.

                                            Tylers and Seaboard Cafe both have rockin' tuna melts. They both have cranberries in them - Seaboard puts cranberry sauce on top of a traditional tuna salad; Tylers mixes the berries in. Mmmmmm, tuna melt...

                                            My new addiction is the French Beef at Saladelia in Durham. Really thick cut roast beef, provalone and some sort of magical yum sauce called "white french dressing."

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: eh27713

                                              What's BB&Y? Thanks for the rest of these recommendations. They all sound great!

                                              1. re: cackalackie

                                                BB&Y is totally hidden! It's in an office building in an older office park on National Drive in Raleigh. From Glenwood Avenue - on the other side of the beltline and other side of the street from Crabtree - turn onto Women's Club Drive. Continue past the roundabout. It's in the first building on your right. First floor. Turn down the hallway to the left. It's really cute and the family that owns it is great. (I've seen grown men go in and just tell Johnnie, the lady who owns it, to feed them. She'll say, "well you had the burger yesterday, so I think you need a salad.") I think their website is bbycafe.com. They also do great catering for business meetings.

                                            2. I went back to Neal's Deli in Carrboro the other day to try something with their Corned Beef instead of Pastrami. Got their Reuben and really enjoyed it. Definitely fills a niche of how to do Pastrami and Corned beef right.

                                              Neal's Deli
                                              100 E Main St Ste C, Carrboro, NC 27510

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie

                                                if you can, try to get over there for breakfast, where you can get them with a baked egg and cheese on a biscuit. very dangerous...

                                                1. re: cervisiam

                                                  Do they make hash with their corned beef? If so, and they do it well, I'll take time of from work to go eat it!

                                                  1. re: bbqme

                                                    Surprisingly it is not on their menu. They may have it as a special. Seems like they would have all the components.

                                              2. I love the sandwiches at Hotpoint Deli in Cary. It used to be the original Maximillians, on Buck Jones Rd across from that mall. My fave is the Chicken Caesar, my wife likes the Spicy Pesto Chicken. Most are served on a herb focaccia that's outstanding.

                                                1. Sunflowers (Peace St) in Raleigh. They started on Glenwood South before it boomed and are now serving the same great sandwiches near Seaboard.

                                                  While at Seaboard, consider Tookies for chicken salad if you like Southern style on soft bread. I'm Southern but like dense breads -- this is a "take you back to your roots" kinda place.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: SES

                                                    Which sandwich - at Sunflowers?

                                                  2. My favorite is the pork bahn mi @ 9N9 in RTP. I eat them 2 at a time, and they are a reasonable $3 each. 2 of those and an iced coffee and I'm ready to go.

                                                    Second vote on pastrami @ Piedmont. That's a top 5 easy.

                                                    Roasted tomato w bacon @ Toast (on soft bread) is great as well.

                                                    Guglhupf used to have a beef and blue with arugula that I ordered for years. Discontinued and now I don't have a favorite there. Still love the place, tho. I think maybe we'll head there now...

                                                    Oh - bbq po-boy at Papa Mojos. Top 5 on that too.

                                                    And q with slaw at Bullocks. And avocado blt at Serena (although it has been going downhill without the ciabatta). And a recent favorite is the oyster po boy @ fish shack.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Nibbs

                                                      I wish I could find a good bahn mi in the triangle. I've had the pork one at 9N9 and, although it will do to curb a craving, its not very good. The bread is all wrong on the 9N9 sandwich and the pork they use reminds me more of al pastor. Plus, there's no pate.

                                                      1. re: ToothTooth

                                                        If you are willing to drive, I think the Saigon Sandwiches Bakery in Greensboro is good. And they will make a durian shake, which I can't find in the Triangle. But I stand by the 9N9 - The pork is unique and with the hot peppers and mayo, its a nice combo. Especially if they grill the bread.

                                                        1. re: ToothTooth

                                                          I still like Spize Cafe's version, but they are on Fayetteville St in Raleigh.

                                                          Spize Cafe
                                                          121 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC 27601

                                                      2. As mentioned Neal's Pastrami or Corned beef offerings. I really like the piedmont sandwich at Southern Season (I think thats the one.. it's turkey, apples and swiss). I also find myself ordering the Jammin Turkey from Foster's Market a lot.

                                                        Foster's Market
                                                        2694 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd, Durham, NC 27707

                                                        1. I don't get over to the Hot Point Cafe over near Crossroads, but they have some pretty killer stuff. They have a cuban sandwich that is a real treat, and they pour a pretty good glass of wine to boot.

                                                          Hot Point Cafe'
                                                          1284 Buck Jones Rd, Raleigh, NC 27606

                                                          1. You seem like a meat guy, and I'm a vegetarian, but I dream about Guglhupf's roasted golden beet and blue cheese sandwich on walnut bread. Just putting it out there if you're in the mood for something sweet, juicy, and beautiful.

                                                            1 Reply