The List: Our Weekly Bread top ten sandwiches
After fifteen months of reviewing sandwiches, it's time to take a step back, time to consider what has passed between many, many slices of bread, time to take a break from sandwiches and offer a countdown of the ten best I've had.
It's easy to pick twenty good sandwiches, but narrowing those down to ten is hard. Still, eating all those sandwiches has given me some stomach fortitude, so here, in reverse order, are my favorite sandwiches of the past fifteen months.
10) Spanish Ham and Cheese
Fisher Clark Deli
723 South University Boulevard, 303-722-2091
Nine bucks is a lot to spend on a sandwich, but the ingredients used here are so good and so fresh that I always find a stop is worth it. On this sandwich, I'm not sure what I like better -- the incredible, tangy-sweet onion and pear jam, or the ham and chorizo, or the soft, fresh focaccia made Bluepoint Bakery-style. Fair warning: Try to take small bites, as the meat is piled high. Yes, just try to take small bite - if you can.
9) Chrysler Building
After a trip to NYC, pastrami on rye was on my mind all the time, so when I returned, I headed for Deli Zone, which celebrates the Big Apple deli tradition with authentic sandwiches, and treats like black & white cookies and whole mini cheesecakes. The Chrysler Building was a half pound of pastrami - straight from Carnegie's - with Swiss cheese and mustard on grilled marble rye (with sauerkraut). Deli Zone does everything well, and this sandwich was no exception.
4401 Tennyson Street, 303-561-0234
If Italy is like Disneyland for adults, then Parisi is like the Disney store at the mall, except that the sandwiches here live up the magic and fantasy. The warm, olive oil-doused bread was light and soft and criss-crossed with smoky grill marks. The pesto was perfectly understated and the non-spicy red peppers and tomatoes gave the sandwich a rich, full taste. The real hero here, though, was the fresh mozz. It's a small world after all, and Parisi makes the ride worthwhile.
7) Bronx Bomber
Heidi's Brooklyn Deli
Pastrami and Egg Salad. The words go together awkwardly like Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe, Lyle Lovett and Julia Roberts, Michael Jackson and Priscilla Presley. But unlike the other three pairings, the deli world's odd couple belongs together. The Bronx Bomber is stacked so high with pastrami and egg salad that you have to use a fork to eat everything that falls out. I had mine with lettuce and tomato on two thick slabs of chewy sourdough bread that helped move this creation beyond the level of ordinary sandwich into the realm of near-perfect finds.
6) Aye Conyo
Buchi Café Cubano
2651 West 38th Avenue, 303-458-1328
I would like to tell you about the awesome Cuban bread that Buchi Café Cubano uses for its stylish sandwiches, but I can't. Why? Because it's a secret, so secret that the proprietress of this elegant little café wouldn't even tell me where she gets it. But I can tell you about the Aye Conyo, described on the menu as "the mother of all Cuban mixes," and combining the typical Cubano ingredients -- roast pork, ham, cheese, pickles, onions and mustard -- with pepperoni, turkey and peppers. Don't tell anyone else, though. It's a secret!