PBS's "Sandwiches That You Will Like" - what's your favorite sandwich shop?

You may or may not have seen WQED’s PBS show “Sandwiches That You Will Like”, a documentary/travelogue on the most popular sandwich shops in the US and the specialties that make them that way. But no matter - Here’s the list of places visited:

Buffalo, New York, Schwabl’s, Beef on Weck
Natick, Massachusetts, Soldier Systems Center, Shelf-Stable Sandwiches
Watertown, Massachusetts, Sepal, Falafel
Boston, Massachusetts, Kelly’s, Roast Beef
Wiscasset, Maine, Red’s Eats, Lobster Roll
New York, New York

  • Katz’s Deli, Pastrami & more
  • Peanut Butter & Company , PB&J, the Elvis & more
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
  • George’s Sandwich Shop, Roast pork, tripe & more
  • Pat’s, cheesesteak
  • Geno’s, cheesesteak
  • Dallesandro’s, cheesesteak
  • Chickie’s Italian Deli Hoagies (veggie & more)
    Chicago, Illinois
  • Mr. Beef, Italian Beef
  • Buona Beef, Italian Beef
    Marshalltown, Iowa, Maid Rite, Loose meat
    St Louis, Missouri
  • C&K Barbecue, Snoots, Ears & Rib Tips
  • Kim Van, St. Paul (egg foo young and tomato)
    Louisville, Kentucky, Brown Hotel, Hot Brown
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Isaly’s Chipped Ham “Slammer”
    New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Domilise’s Po-Boys
  • Central Grocery Muffalettas
    Houston, Texas, Thelma’s, Barbecue
    Los Angeles, California, Philippe’s French Dip
    San Jose, California, Huong Lan Sandwiches Banh Mi (Vietnamese subs)

There are several cities I’m going to visit now that I’ve seen what they make - even Marshalltown, Iowa for some loose meat (my own pick). But I have to be loyal to my Kelly’s, even if I prefer their fish and chips to their roast beef sandwich. The beach atmosphere, with the grossly-fat seagulls cleaning up the leftover fries, just adds a little of what the French call a certain I don’t know what, that no neighborhood BBQ joint can offer. But of course, you’ll all have to do the same for your own local favorites. You can keep the Army’s never-goes-bad stuff, naturally. I’m going to make a detour to Wiscasset, ME for the best lobster roll pretty soon, too.

So, other than your hometown favorite, whose sammidges from the show make your mouth water the most? Who should have been on there that wasn’t?

I love Italian beef, and one of the two they list is a favorite of mine. My other favorite is Jay’s.

However – for deli purposes, the best place in Chicago is the Cold Comfort Deli on North Avenue. My favorite sandwich there is the Che Guevara – turkey pastrami on toasted bolo bread with tomatoes, spinach, feta, and garlic oil. So incredibly delicious.

If they went to Pittsburgh and neglected Primanti Brothers, then PBS is grossly negligent.

Worse, if they did so with WQED (Pittsburgh’s PBS station) producing the show.

I hope this is only a partial list. Best sandwich in the country.

I loved that special. Really really made me hungry for a sandwich at both Geno’s AND Pat’s, but I think I’d get killed if I were spotted going to one after eating at the other.

Horribly absent is:

Kansas City, Missouri, Arthur Bryant’s, Beef and Pork BBQ combo
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Mama Mia’s, meatball grinder

They went to Boston and did Kelly’s? What a grave, grave disservice to the Roast Beef Sandwich. They should have come up to Beverly and visited Nick’s, or at least stopped off on Rt. 1 at Bill and Bob’s, at Kappy’s.

Kelly’s is evil, and an insult to the Roast Beef Sandwich.

Damn! MIssed it! How bad did they bungle the origin of some of those sammiches?

I’m sorry mate, but Primanti Brothers is as overrated as it gets.

Take a sandwich…triple the meat content (as if Pittsburgh women aren’t fat enough) put some french fries on it and act like you’ve invented oxygen. Yippie fukin doo daa.

You sandwhich connesiours are going to hate me for this…


The veggies are always fresh, they have excellent mustard and sweet onion sauce and get this…

I actually like the bread. I don’t like bread usually, but I like it there.

A veggie sub with pepperjack cheese on italian herbs and cheese bread, hold the olives, extra pickles and onions, mustard, sweet onion sauce, black pepper and oregano…


A meatball with provolone on italian herbs and cheese, onions, pickles, green peppers, black pepper and oregano…

now I’m hungry.

Jewish Mother… Best at the beach… there mustard is to die for…

I wouldn’t rank it with the finest in the country, but the Jewish Mother does have mighty fine food. Mrs. Moto and I always stop in whenever we’re in Virginia Beach.

They were very kind to the Moto Twins when we brought them by as well, even though they made a horrendous mess (couldn’t be helped, as they were only 10 months old at the time).

I won’t hate you… although I will question your taste. I’ve never had a sandwich from Subway that I would rate above “edible”. Usually the only times I ever eat there is if I’m on the road and there is one in the gas station or if someone else really wants to go.

I don’t really care much for Philly cheesesteaks, I mean the real ones, not the imitations. Just give me a cheesesteak with lettuce, tomato, mayo, with swiss cheese on a toasted roll. Although I can understand why Philly’s are popular, they aren’t my thing.

My favorite was Hy Sofer’s in Schenectady, but they’ve been out of business for a couple of decades. Let’s just say if God made sandwiches, they would taste like those as Hy Sofer’s.

Current is the Center Stage Deli in Rotterdam, NY. It actually replaced Hy Sofer’s, but is now at a new location. Just plain great sandwiches.

For Philly-style steak, it’s Morette’s in Schenectady. From what I’ve seen of the real thing (Velveeta? Gag!!!), they’re better than the original.

Oh, man! I miss the Jewish Mother. It was one of the few things I liked about living in Tidewater.

My favorite restaurant sammiches are Primanti Brothers. According to National Geographic, there are 1000 calories in a Primanti’s cheesesteak. There are zero people who care, including me.

However, as most MADs will attest, my own husband makes the Best Damn Cheesesteaks to be found in the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am a lucky woman. :slight_smile:


I always thought that Al’s (on Taylor?) was the place to go in Chicago for an Italian beef. Best I’ve had, anyway.

Best sandwich in the world is an NYC Italian hero…capicola, prosciutto, Genoa salami, mortadella, provolone, pimientos, oregano, oil & vinegar. My favorite places are the Italian Food Center (charming name, huh?) on the northwest corner of Hester and Mulberry, or Pollio’s in Brooklyn.

Close runner-up is the ham and debris po’boy at Mother’s, in New Orleans.

Bill and Bob’s? Are you nuts? Take some dry, tough RB slices, put them on an onion roll, and (here’s the secret ingredient) add French dressing! Tada! Still, if that’s what you like …

Subway? That’s where you go to lose weight, if you believe the Jared commercials. I’m not interested in even trying one.

The company cafeteria is pretty much useless except for the cheesesteaks and clam chowder. Hell, they even taste good in the same meal.

Ooooookay… what am I missing here. That sounds like sandwich heaven to me, man.

They missed Tony Luke’s roast pork and broccoli rabe sammie in Philly.

To me, the very best meatball and sausage grinder is found at John and Sons 2 in Wormtown, MA. Homemade sausage and meatballs steeped in homemade sauce for hours, then stuffed into a boot, a half loaf of Italian bread hollowed out for maximum stuffage. I actually got into a bike accident and broke my kneecap because of one of those.

Well, Bill and Bob’s is hardly my favorite, but if they can’t be bothered to drive all the way to Nick’s, it’ll do.

As for the french dressing remark, what the hell are you talking about? They use James River Barbecue Sauce, just like Nick’s and every other Roast Beef place that is truly appropriate, because it is the ONLY choice.

Somehow, I can’t seem to find the Hot Italian Sub like I used to get as a boy in Chelsea, Mass.

It’s a hoagie roll, with salami, mortadella, prosciutto… whatever, and provolone, with tomato and shredded lettuce and onion, with oil and vinegar, and then put into the pizza oven…

There was a place here in Pasadena, CA that served a close approximation, Primo Italian Deli, but they closed…

If you go to Quizo’s, and get a classic Italian sub, then you’re getting almost as close… but they’re missing something.

People in Philly see those Philly names as ‘touristy’. We have corner jonts that kick all ass.