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Oct 28, 2010 10:06 AM

I think I've found the best sandwich in MSP

I stopped by the St. Paul Cheese Shop for lunch yesterday. Since discovering I a few weeks ago, it's become a regular in my lunch rotation. Decided on the grass-fed short rib and provolone sandwich, dressed simply with what I assume is just some of the reduced braising liquid.

I can't say enough about how fantastic this sandwich was. The short rib was tender yet toothsome, the essence of beef. The cheese was flavorful and pungent, hits you in the nose when you bring it up to your mouth. And while the bread is crusty and chewy, the juices turn the interior into custard-like heaven. After devouring it back at work, I spent the next four hours at my desk, smelling my hands.

Sadly, it will surely disappear from the menu soon, so of you'd like to try it you better get there quick. Hopefully it will be replaced by something that can at least approach its magnificence.

Any other candidates out there for best Sammie in MSP?

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  1. On a day to day basis, I don't think anything can top the Special at Manny's Tortas. I've had the one you describe above and it's fantastic, but like you said, it is for a limited time only. But if anyone can out do the Special on a day to day basis, I'd love to know.

    Manny's Tortas
    920 E Lake St Ste 125, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    1. heh. sounds like an awesome sandwich, and i just picture your co-workers stealing glances over at your desk, and the water filter conversation: "keith keeps smelling his hands!" "look, he's doing it again. . ." "going in for another big sniff. . ." --i'm entertained just thinking about it.

      what a great topic for the local board. i'm assuming we're excluding burgers, please let's-- done to death on other threads and we always get into the jucy lucy molten cheese tarpit.

      anyways i'll open with b'wiched-- and not the lunch pastrami you'd expect me to say-- how about their breakfast sandwich with harissa, pastrami & egg?

      3 Replies
      1. re: soupkitten

        Agreed - no burgers or JL's. We've beaten that horse into something resembling pudding.

        1. re: keithinmpls

          I'm quite fond of the cheesemonger, which is think is available at both cheese shop locations.

          I love the pastrami at Be'Wiched, but would love to try that breakfast sandwich.

          The Manny's Special is excellent.

          I would add the Reuben at V-44, and the Monte Carlo at Monte Carlo.

          Monte Carlo Bar & Cafe
          219 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55401

          1. re: keithinmpls

            i also think the catfish po-boy (fried) at sea salt is almost perfect. the bun is obviously part of the not perfect, but the sandwich itself, with plenty of crystal hot sauce, is one of my favorite summer things.

        2. I third the Manny's Special--love it! A close second would be the fried egg sandwich at the Town Talk. Especially with a side of the beer-battered cheese curds.

          1. Tuna Confit @ Be'Wiched
            Italian Hero @ Be'Wiched
            Those little stick sandwiches @ Surdyk's with the butter, sopresata and arugala
            Roast Pork Banh Mi @ Jasmine Deli

            Red Stag used to have a terrific Club with local turkey, Fischer Farms ham and really good cheddar, but they changed it and now it's just ok.

            ...and I'm sure I'll get flack for this but: Uncle Franky's cheesesteak.

            Jasmine Deli
            2532 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

            Uncle Franky's
            1316 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

            2 Replies
            1. re: Foureyes137

              "...and I'm sure I'll get flack for this but: Uncle Franky's cheesesteak."

              Speaking as a former 13-year Philadelphian, I'll say that Uncle Franky's comes closest in MN to satisfying my cheesesteak craving.

              To me, there's a big distinction between a hot and cold sandwich - I think they need their own categories. For a hot sandwich, I'd definitely put Uncle Franky's cheesesteak in the running.

              Uncle Franky's
              1316 4th St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

              1. re: foreverhungry

                I am only giving this 4 stars because I have only been there once. I love the Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. I am not from Philly, never been there, but enjoyed the sandwich immensely. We ordered it with the hot peppers. It was just the right amount of heat -- not overpoweringly hot, but you knew it was there. Because my partner and I split the sandwich, we also ordered their onion rings, which I also liked a lot. Uncle F must have put some other seasoning in the batter for the onions because the batter was less bland than the usual onion rings. My partner swears by the Nor'easter sandwich which contains turkey and other stuff. I especially appreciated the bread. It was interesting, tasted like something and was nice and warm. I intend to work my way through the menu.

                Uncle Franky's
                728 Broadway St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

            2. Ditto on the pastrami at Be'wiched.

              Chicago beef at Uncle Franky's or the Italian Beef at Brianno's in Eagan. Also the Brianno's Special (Italian cold cut sandwich) or their meatball sub.

              The bacon, egg, and cheddar breakfast biscuit at Colossal Cafe.

              Cubano torta at Olmeca in Burnsville.

              I've enjoyed a couple different sandwiches at the St. Paul Cheese Shop but can't remember exactly what was on them at the moment. I might have to get over there in the next couple days and grab the one keith recommended (and wash it down with some Izzy's).

              Maverick's roast beef.

              5 Replies
              1. re: MSPD

                On your recommendation, I went to Olmeca on Friday. Got the cubano torta and now really wish I hadn't...mainly because I have to drive 45 minutes to get another. :) Simple ingredients put together to make a really good sandwich. The bread is outstanding. I'll take it over Manny's special torta every day.

                1. re: BigE

                  I was also there Friday for the torta (I have had it before) and it was even better this time around. I'm glad my drive is only 10 minutes ;-)

                  1. re: BigE

                    I'm glad you liked it! I would have been morified if anyone drove that far on my recommendation for something that sucks.

                    1. re: MSPD

                      I was in the area, which I never am, so I had to make the stop. Well worth it.

                      1. re: BigE

                        I work off the Parkway and 35W and made the run over to Olmeca today. I agree that it is a really good sandwich. I had the Milanese (fried steak). I feel bad for the people who settle for the Jimmy Johns/Subway trap when this is here in Burnsville.

                        Personally, I prefer the Manny Special. One, Manny's doesn't fry/bread their meat which I prefer. And I like the chipotle mayo that comes on the Special. But that is my opinion and you really aren't going wrong with either of them. It's like arguing juicy lucy burgers really.

                        Great call MSPD. Rack Shack for BBQ. Olmeca for sandwiches. Now, it's time to find a Chinese Buffet in this area! Most of the ones I've tried are god-awful.