Debris Po-Boy

Debris Po-Boy at Zydeco Po-Boys
Let me just say this: When I took my first bite, "We Are The Champions" started playing in my head. This is exactly the rich, fresh, ideal po-boy we were expecting when we first visited Zydeco, and the debris is the sandwich that seals the deal. That's just the way it is when you find a sandwich you want to eat every day. It starts with Leidenheimer bread, of course, but the oven-roasted brisket is the star, well-spiced, unbelievably tender, falling apart and saturated in the gravy-ish drippings from the pan it was cooked in. Please give me a whole plate of this stuff? Add Swiss or provolone (I chose the latter) plus fresh lettuce and tomato, and the secret weapon: jalapeƱo mayo. It's no joke. Creamy and zingy, its brightness magically weaves in and out of each rich, meaty bite, providing the perfect foil for the brisket's fatty flavors. Now time to stop typing and head Downtown to Zydeco. 

The Winston Cooper

The Winston Cooper at The Sandwich Spot
Back to the friendly neighborhood Sandwich Spot for this mega meaty bite. We're not sure who Winston Cooper might be or may have been, but his sandwich is certainly satisfying. Hot pastrami, salami and roast beef mingle as an ultra-savory, slightly oily and spicy combination, with the addition of your cheese choice (we did Swiss) and the standard SS toppings of mayo, mustard, the garlic-herb-oil "secret sauce," lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and peppers. It's basically the sandwich equivalent of a meatlover's pizza, for those who just can't get enough. This is enough, trust me.


The Houseburger

The Houseburger
We almost called this the Endless Summer burger because, here at home in Las Vegas, it's still 100 degrees and we're two days away from October. It can be tiresome, but it's mostly awesome, because we get so many more weekend cookouts during the year. On this particular weekend, we decided to re-create the great American burger with standard great American flavors. We mixed the seasonings into the ground beef and smashed them into medium-thin patties, grilled them up and melted Kraft American cheese on top, plopped them on top of potato buns with raw onion slices, and added beefsteak tomato, butter lettuce leaves, spicy dill pickle coins and straight-up Thousand Island dressing. It was a delicious summer bite, which is why it's now the burger of the house.


Bresaola Montadito

Bresaola Montadito at Bin 702
Offering up a plethora of Spanish mini-sandwiches at a cozy wine bar is simply genius. The montadito is the ideal snack for an afternoon of leisurely boozing, and this one, cramming a neat stack of salty dried beef and triple-creme Saint-Andre cheese into a baby French roll, is a fast favorite. The only problem is: do we eat another one of these with our next glass of red, or do we get one with cured pork loin, or lobster salad, or prosciutto? It's a wonderful dilemma.



Pabellon at Viva Las Arepas
I dream about this sandwich. Slightly spicy, endlessly rich, succulent and tender beef in the style of mechada (Puerto Rican pot roast) is stuffed into a savory grilled cornmeal cake, crowded with queso fresco, black beans and plantains for a sweet and salty explosion. The texture of the juicy meat inside the crisp arepa "shell" is sublime, but that meat is just so good. I had this one for breakfast. It's also the perfect lunch. And dinner. It's not huge but it's unbelievably satisfying and filling. It's perfect. And it's $7. Why am I not eating this right now?


Jumbo Dog

Jumbo Dog at Woody's Chicago Style Hot Dogs
This may be the first time in the history of allsandwich that I cannot find an internet presence for a sandwich venue. Sigh. It's because Woody's is a cart that is periodically parked in front of the Lowe's hardware store on the northeast corner of Buffalo and Washington in northwest Las Vegas. It's a cart, not a food truck. And it's likely my last hot dog of the summer, a massive Vienna Beef link in a perfectly steamed poppyseed bun, served plain to my paw. I then decorated it vigorously with yellow mustard, nuclear green relish and raw onions. Then I ate it in few bites, something I've done at least twice every summer for as far back as I can remember. Woody's is awesome, and hot dogs are street food, and they taste best when you're eating them from a cart on the street ... even if that street is in suburban Las Vegas.

Bacon Clubhouse Burger

Bacon Clubhouse Burger at McDonald's
I suppose I need to give credit to McDonald's for crafting a burger that doesn't taste like a McDonald's burger. But I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing. Also, I'm not sure if it tastes better than a Quarter Pounder with Cheese, for example. Instead of a sesame seed bun, it has the clown's "artisan roll," which is shiny and fluffy. It has the same cow disc, and the same sauce as the sweet goo that comes on a Big Mac, but there are respectable bacon strips, caramelized grilled onions (which appear to be the key element in the non-McD taste phenomenon), leaf lettuce instead of shredded iceberg, tomato and a slab of white cheddar. It looks like fast food but it doesn't really taste like it. I suppose it's a step up, or at least a half-step. Three quarters of a step?


Ham, Egg and Cheese

Ham, Egg and Cheese at Chocolate & Spice
Just killin' you, Burger King. Fuck yo' croissan'wich. Because this is what a breakfast sandwich is supposed to be, a carefully crafted marvel of simple, top quality ingredients. It's not really fair, though, because superchef Megan Romano's croissants at Chocolate & Spice are some of the best you'll find in Las Vegas, incredibly flaky and tender, and wonderfully buttery in a light, cloudy way. They're amazing all alone. Stock them with soft scrambled eggs, melted cheddar cheese and thinly sliced Black Forest ham, and you have pure bliss. You'll try not to eat it all so you can save room for something sweet, another pastry creation from this brilliant westside shop, but you can't help yourself. This is the breakfast bite of your dreams.


Sandwich Sundays Presents: The Prime Steak & Cheese

The Prime Steak & Cheese
So the big error we made on this Sandwich Sundays creation was not putting enough cheese to make it Philly-ish, to get that melty, gooey excessiveness that makes all the difference. But the reason we didn't put too much havarti on this toasty creation is that we didn't want to overpower the meat, which is sliced and sizzled filet mignon left over from one of the greatest steakhouse meals of all time at Prime at Bellagio. While we were gorging ourselves on fancy deliciousness and watching the Bellagio fountains dance, we never considered we'd be making a sandwich out of this perfect steak the next day. Sometimes things go your way.


French Dip

French Dip with Au Jus at Peppermill
So the question with the French Dip is simple: Is it better with shaved roast beef, shreds of tender meat that fall apart deliciously when you dip and bite, kinda New Orleans debris-style? Or should the meat be sliced slightly thicker so each piece holds its form, leading to a less messy sandwich experience? It's a tough call. The Peppermill goes the route of the latter, with thin slices of savory beef that keep it together. Add a little melted provolone because why not and you've got some very pleasant textures when the toasty French roll gets dipped into the jus for soft, warm, juicy goodness. Peppermill does many sandwiches simply and well, and this is one of them.


Dublin Corned Beef Brisket Sandwich

Dublin Corned Beef Brisket Sandwich at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
Superchef Gordon Ramsay opened three restaurants in one year on the Las Vegas Strip in 2012—a steakhouse, then a pub, then a burger joint. The steakhouse and burger joint are both among the best in their category compared to other Vegas options. The pub? Not so much. At least not when it first opened. We had some disappointing meals there, and we weren't the only ones. But because it's Ramsay, and because it has the best possible location in Caesars Palace, and because of the type of restaurant it is, we knew that in due time we'd be back at this pub to see if it turned out to be as delicious as we'd hoped. Our recent visit proves that to be the case. And the highlight of the lunch was this killer corned beef sandwich, fatty, tender, moist, savory brisket brined to absolute perfection and stacked tall on dark caraway rye. Guyere cheese, a proper portion of tangy sauerkraut, pickled onions and gooey cucumber dressing make it a messy masterpiece, and quite Reuben-esque, too. This is one of those sandwiches that comes out, makes you drool, and forces you to eat the whole thing even though half is more than a meal. Perhaps Ramsay's pub has come a long way.


Catfish Po-Boy

Catfish Po-Boy at Zydeco Po-Boys
The first shot at this promising new Cajun joint and sandwich haven is, well, promising. Downtown's Zydeco Po-Boys starts with Leidenheimer bread shipped straight from New Orleans, a wise and delicious move. Perfectly fried catfish, meaty fillets coated in crispy goodness, provide the foundation for this sandwich, finished off with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and a Creole spiced mayo. There's a nice, light crunch to this sandwich, and the fish is definitely in the spotlight, but it is in need of several healthy splashes of hot sauce. But that's on the table so you can do it yourself. We are very much looking forward to returning to Zydeco to get at the fried shrimp and debris sandwiches as soon as possible.


Overstuffed Lobster Roll

Overstuffed Lobster Roll at Del's Lemonade & Lobster Rolls
Now I know it seems like Las Vegas has every kind of foodstuff you could imagine, and a decent to great version of each dish, too. But it's not completely true. One of my most sandwich-happy friends recently asked where to find a great lobster roll in Vegas, and I was dumbfounded. Should I send them to the transplanted Del's at Bally's Grand Bazaar Shops, a Rhode Island institution known for fresh, sweet, icy lemonade slushies and buttery delicious lobster 'wiches? Meh. This franchised version of Del's is a tiny little spot at this weird outdoor mall thing that just doesn't seem to be equipped to crank out a solid lobster roll. The soft, toasty, buttery roll is okay, and the sweet lobster meat coated in mayo-ish sauce and mixed with celery and dill is plentiful if mediocre. There could be more of it, I suppose, but after a couple bites you won't care. It doesn't pop with freshness, and that's what you want from this iconic sandwich. The hunt for a great Vegas lobster roll must continue.

Country Club

Country Club at Jimmy John's
All these years I've been eating Jimmy John's subs and only ordering from the 8-inch sub sandwiches portion of the menu, eschewing the more meat-filled, slightly more expensive giant club sandwiches portion of the menu. Why? Well, the bread-meat-veggie proportions for the regular subs are just right. Moderation in all things, right? Still, the bigger sandwiches are pretty great, too, like the Country Club, crammed with turkey and applewood-smoked ham plus provolone, lettuce, tomato and mayo. It's a simple sandwich to be sure, but the ingredients are all delicious, which is the key factor why JJ's is way, way better than Port of Subs or Subway or whatever. The chewy-soft sub rolls make a much more satisfying meal with that much more meat inside. Give 'em a shot.


Hebrew National

Hebrew National
Well hello there, summer. Toasted potato bun. Grilled Hebrew National jumbo beef frank. Beaver brand deli mustard with horseradish. Claussen kosher dill pickle spear. Here endeth the lesson.


Togarashi Chicken

Togarashi Chicken Sandwich at Glutton
We didn't expect new downtown restaurant Glutton to have a lunch menu full of delicious sandwich options, but there was this gem, right between a chicken salad sandwich with pickled tomatoes and a charcuterie panini with manchego cheese and fig preserves. (How good do those sound?) This selection, dropped on a French roll to create a sorta-banh-mi effect, features crispy chicken thighs breaded in light, crackly goodness with miso aioli, pickled vegetables and furikake, plus some greens action. It upgraded the typical banh mi, not only with much better bread but also the crunchy texture and rich, fatty meatiness of the poultry, both of which go great with the sweet brine of pickles. There are too many other interesting choices to get at this one again before trying something new, but it's a solid first step toward another great downtown sandwich destination. 


BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar SmashChicken

BBQ, Bacon and Cheddar SmashChicken at Smashburger
So far, the cow version of this sandwich is our favorite at Smashburger, so we decided to give the bird style a try. No disappointments here.  "Smashing" the chicken breast—which has already been sliced thin cutlet-style—in the same manner in which they treat their burgers on the flat-top grill proves to be an effective method with poultry as well, creating crispy, caramelized edges. Combined with thick slices of bacon and crunchy onion strings, it's a textural treat. What could be improved? Maybe the barbecue sauce could get spicier and less like ketchup, but overall this is a tasty chicken sandwich we'd eat again and again.


Hangover Slopper

Hangover Slopper at Tom's Urban
Temporarily straying from the Tom's Road Trip Sandwiches section of the menu, we discover one of the specialties of the house at Tom's Urban—the unfortunately named, incredibly craveable Hangover Slopper. This is the late night/early morning version of the Slopper, a super-solid Angus beef burger on buttery brioche smothered in pork chile verde, pico de gallo, queso fresco and cheddar and jack cheeses. And yep, you guessed it, now it has two fried eggs on top. It's a huge mess. It must be eaten with knife and fork. It's a silly something that could have only been conceived by someone drunk or stoned … and it's fantastic. The meat patty is satisfying in every way, the surprisingly spice green chile soaks into the bread to fabulous effect, and the eggs and cheese add over-the-topness. The burger or the chile would be great by themselves but they're better together. Two straight As for Tom so far.


KLC's Pastrami Reuben

KLC's Pastrami Reuben at The Sandwich Spot
The Reuben is a classic sandwich, one that lots of restaurants are happy to put their own spin on. The Sandwich Spot version gets it done, using wonderful pastrami as the core along with crunchy sauerkraut, creamy Thousand Island dressing and slabs of Swiss cheese. We doubled down on the salty crispness by adding thick slices of dill pickle, plus yellow deli mustard to bring it all together. This is also the first time we've ever had a Reuben on Dutch crunch bread, a Sandwich Spot signature and a delightful, satisfying way to work through any sandwich on this menu. It might look familiar, but this is one of the most unique Reubens we've ever chomped.


Double SmokeShack

Double SmokeShack at Shake Shack
National Hamburger Month isn't over yet, so let's get back into it. The SmokeShack is probably the single best bite at Shake Shack, and maybe it should be the signature burger. Maybe it already is, but it seems like the standard Shack burger is more popular and iconic. This one, however, offers more unique flavors, a spicy and salty combination not readily available at most fast-food burger spots. Shack's supreme-quality beef is topped with smoked applewood bacon—we're talking legit bacon strips with fat and everything, not the paper-thin bacon flakes that sometimes spoil fast-casual bacon cheeseburgers—and a sort of chopped cherry pepper relish, two elements that bring smokey, savory, vinegary notes to the beefy-cheesy party. Those peppers cut through all the fatty richness like no other Shack burger ingredient can. Add some creamy, tangy Shack sauce and it's quite the combo. The only thing that prevents me from going A+ on this one is the simple fact that too much of a good thing is a real concern when it comes to Shake Shack; I prefer these burgers with a single patty for perfect proportions. This double is a monster … a super-delicious monster.