Depending on the maker, sandwiches can be very creative and delicious creations. There is also an ongoing debate about what defines a sandwich, but we won’t get into that. Instead, let’s take a look at some of the best regional sandwiches across America.
New York | Beef On Weck
“Weck” refers to the kümmelweck roll on which this sandwich is served. The German-style roll is topped with salt and caraway seeds, then loaded with thinly sliced beef, horseradish, and a half dip into au jus.
Florida | Cuban Sandwich
The origin of this sandwich is a bit ambiguous, either originating in Tampa (where it is served with salami) or Key West (sans salami), where factory workers would enjoy them for lunch in the 1800s. It then traveled to Miami via Cuban immigrant communities. It’s made up of ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on Cuban-style bread, which is then hot-pressed and served.
Los Angeles | French Dip
This sandwich is similar to the Beef On Weck in that it is made of thinly sliced beef on a roll and served with au jus. And like the Cuban, there is debate on who gets credit for it. Cole’s Pacific Electric Café and Philippe The Original in Downtown Los Angeles both claim ownership, with the former serving it with a side of au jus and the latter dunking the whole sandwich ahead of time.
Another regional favorite is the Italian Beef, served with shaved beef, sweet or hot peppers, Chicago-style giardiniera relish on an Italian-style roll and dipped in au jus. In addition, Baltimore’s Pit Beef sandwich contains thinly-sliced char-grilled beef and horseradish on a bun. Yes, thinly-cut beef in a sandwich is that good.
Massachusetts | Chow Mein Sandwich
If you’re not familiar with this sandwich, it probably sounds strange. This sandwich is made out of fried noodles in a brown gravy sauce with pork, chicken, or vegetables on a hamburger bun and is served in Chinese-American restaurants in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Don’t knock it ’til you try it, right?
St. Louis | The Gerber
In the early 1970s, it is believed that a Ruma’s Deli customer by the name of Dick Gerber had this made to order. Some even say that it’s not truly a Gerber unless you’re at the Ruma’s Deli. This toasted, open-faced sandwich features ham and cheese with garlic butter on crispy Italian bread. The real kicker is the processed Provel cheese (which is a hybrid of provolone, cheddar, and Swiss) that is specific to the area.
Springfield, Illinois | The Horseshoe
This is another open-face sandwich and was known as fancy hotel food back in the 1920s. It’s made with two slices of toasted bread (usually, but not always, Texas toast) topped with a thick slice of ham or two hamburger patties and fries, then covered in cheese sauce. The “Pony Shoe” is a half portion of this massive sandwich, with only one slice of bread and one hamburger patty.
Louisville, Kentucky | Hot Brown
The original 1926 Hot Brown from the Brown Hotel is an open-faced white bread sandwich with turkey and bacon smothered in Mornay sauce (a Béchamel with shredded cheese) and then broiled. Around town, some may choose to serve it with tomato or ham, or replace the Mornay with American or cheddar cheese.
Bay Area | Dutch Crunch
The Dutch Crunch is a dense, doughy bread with a moist, giraffe print crust on top that give it its signature crunch. Elsewhere it is called tiger bread because of its print. This is not tied to a specific type of sandwich, but is the basis of many different sandwiches in the area.
New Jersey | Jersey Breakfast
Served on a roll, it features pork roll (or Taylor ham) with egg and cheese. There is debate because it is so similar to the New York breakfast sandwich which consists of egg, cheese, and breakfast meat of your choice on a bagel or roll.
Chicago | Mother-In-Law
In this sandwich, you will find a tamale in a hot dog bun, which is then topped with chili. Although its origins are unclear (name and recipe), its legacy lives on for being a cheap, creative and delicious sandwich.
Pittsburgh | French Fry Sandwich
In Pittsburgh, the Primanti Brothers created what would come to be their signature sandwich for truckers that would pass through. This sandwich features Italian bread filled with meat, Italian dressing-based coleslaw, tomato slices, and French fries.
Hawaii | Musubi
Some may argue that this is not a sandwich, but it is still a notable regional snack. Musubi is made of grilled or fried Spam sandwiched between rice, sometimes with a thin piece of omelets, with furikake (a Japanese seasoning) and wrapped in nori.
Louisiana | Po’ Boy
While this sandwich has branched out from its place of origin, it still remains a staple in New Orleans, where the preferred ingredients are deep-fried shrimp and oysters with lettuce, tomato, and Tabasco in baguette-style submarine bread. You may also see these served with catfish, crab, roast, beef, or even chicken or ham elsewhere.
Southeast | Pimento Cheese Sandwich
The Pimento cheese sandwich is a Masters Tournament tradition. Pimento cheese is a sharp and spreadable orange cheese made with cheddar, mayo, red chili pepper (pimentos) and other regional ingredients. The cheese is often referred to as “the caviar of the South.” Common additions to this favorite include pickles, jalapeños, and ham.
Massachusetts | Fluffernutter
The list comes to a close with this dessert sandwich. Peanut butter and marshmallow fluff on white bread is the basic recipe, but there is room for creativity. It was reportedly created by Paul Revere’s great-great-great-granddaughter Emma Curtis, who originally called it the “Liberty Sandwich”. The name “fluffernutter” came about in the 1960s from an advertising agency. Call it what you will, it’s a deliciously sweet sandwich.
Visit us for the best sandwiches made from the finest and freshest ingredients available. We are located at 105 E Arrow Hwy in Pomona (northeast corner of Garey Ave and E Arrow Hwy – next to Johnny’s) and are open weekdays 7:00am-4:00pm and Saturdays 8:00am-4:30pm.