8.30.2014

La Sureña

La Sureña at Rika Arepa Express
A
The Rika Arepa Express food truck hasn't displaced Viva Las Arepas as our go-to spot for these scrumptious masa cake sandwiches, but damn, this thing is delicious. The toasty griddled corn concoction is a little sweet and savory—maybe just a bit on the dry side—and absolutely stuffed with juicy, marinated and grilled chicken meat (dark and white), succulent slabs of a spicy smoked sausage, and mounds of creamy, rich avocado. It's one of the most satisfying bites you can imagine, hearty and bold and impossibly cheap ($7). It's a fantastic meal all by itself. Grab yourself one whenever you get the chance.

8.23.2014

Detroit Coney Classic

Detroit Coney Classic at Haute Doggery
C-
After showing early promise, Haute Doggery has us a little worried. Its selection of gourmet dogs still makes it a solid stop if you're wandering the Linq, but this wiener—a grilled beef frank traditionally topped with chili, cheddar, onions and mustard—leaves a lot to be desired. The dog itself is fine, but the bun is cold and dry and there aren't enough toppings. Plus, what's there doesn't bring a lot of flavor, and that's simply unacceptable for a joint that wants to be known for a fun, over-the-top take on a hot dog stand.


8.17.2014

Sandwich Sundays Presents: The Colby Burger

The Colby Burger
homemade
B
It's called this because it's full of Colby cheese, right? Wrong. It was made by brother Colby, one of the originators of Sandwich Sundays. It's his take on a Juicy Lucy, a massive beef patty magically stuffed with cheese before being cooked into a gooey, greasy, delicious mess. He filled these babies with sharp cheddar, creating a lava flow of cheese when you cut or bite into them. We grilled 'em and plopped 'em on soft rolls with griddled ham, homemade spicy brown mustard, and yes, another layer of cheese … Colby Jack! There's no doubt that this is the cheesiest burger ever consumed.

8.14.2014

Philly Joe

Philly Joe at Hank's Philly Steaks
B
The owner's of Hank's hail from South Philadelphia, and they claim to be the only true Philly steak shop in all of Las Vegas. We are not concerned with such proclamations. All we care about is if this cheese steak is delicious, and it is. The Philly Joe blends tangy Cheez Whiz with an American cheese sauce created at Hank's, and drops a lot of it all over these tender, satisfying slices of hand-trimmed ribeye steak. This is not a chopped steak sandwich, with thin ribbons of meat, which seems to be the most frequently munched style of cheese steak sandwich around town. This is a little bigger and bolder, topped off by a truly wonderful soft roll holding it all together. Is it the best? Not sure. But it's good enough to go back for more.

8.13.2014

TNB Cafe Signature Hamburger

TNB Cafe Signature Hamburger at Truffles N Bacon Cafe
A+
I don't want to like this burger, which seems ridiculous and gimmicky and gluttonous. I damn sure don't want to love it, but I do. It's undeniably delicious, and despite the indulgence of its toppings, it works. It really works.  The first thing you'll notice: Despite the fact that this beef patty is absolutely drenched with melted cheese, there still appears to be a need for a "slice" of crispified mac and cheese onboard this luscious cruise ship. That mac is fantastic; You'll want a side order of the stuff. All this meltiness, all this velvety cheesy texture is almost too much to handle, almost too rich to be awesome. But not quite. Because there's bacon jam on top, a thin but powerful layer of swine as condiment, and it's sweet, spicy, salty and salacious. There's a little sriracha ketchup inside this soft brioche bun, too. But it's undetectable. The flavor that's not overpowered by cheese, more cheese and bacon amazingness—the flavor that you need most—is cow. The burger patty itself is cooked exceptionally, juicy and just right. Truffles N Bacon Cafe is a tiny little hideaway in a weird little antique mall, but it'd be worth braving any environment to get your mouth on this masterpiece.

8.09.2014

Fried Catfish

Fried Catfish Sandwich at Brooklyn Bowl
B
Call it a fancy po' boy. Brooklyn Bowl's fried catfish sandwich drops huge, flaky filets of crunchified fish on a fluffy soft French roll—super soft—plus lettuce, tomato, onion and a light, sweet, slightly tangy corn tartar sauce. It's a mighty mouthful and supremely satisfying, with perfect proportions of meat and vegetables and stimulating textural contrasts. The only drawback is perhaps the fish coating could be flavored with some spice, to add some eat to the overall mix. But we're not complaining.


7.29.2014

C.B. Hash

C.B. Hash at The Goodwich
A
Is the breakfast menu at The Goodwich the greatest thing ever? Six sandwiches for $3, $5 or $7, impossible to choose a favorite, each crafted with love and talent. We are determined to work our way through what is surely the best breakfast sandwich selection ever assembled, starting with house-made corned beef hash plastered between two tasty, toasty slabs of marble rye with melty Swiss cheese, a fried egg and liberal splashes of green Tabasco. The hash is melt-in-your-mouth lovely, a blend of salty, fatty, and toothsome, flavor-absorbing potato morsels. And look at that cheese stretch! It's a work of art, and it tastes beautiful, too.

7.26.2014

Egg Sandwich with Salami

Egg Sandwich with Salami at Capriotti's
C
So a few select locations of Capriotti's serve a simple breakfast menu. This is mostly occurring at mini-Cap's stores in food court locations. At the Green Valley Ranch Resort spot, it seemed like a good idea to snag an eggwich before work. It turned out to be a mediocre idea. This is a version of the NYC egg sandwich, a soft kaiser roll with a quick scrambled egg, cheese and maybe a meat of your choice. I went the salami route, and was happy to discover they actually grilled the slices of meat for a bit on the flat top to achieve some crispy, greasy goodness. The roll was nice and fluffy, too. But overall, this is just too bland a bite. Don't be afraid to put a spicy, creamy spread of some sort to make breakfast come alive. Or, maybe don't be so skimpy with your salami. 

Texas BBQ Thickburger

Texas BBQ Thickburger at Carl's Jr.
D
What's on the latest monstrosity from Carl? A third-pound Black Angus beef patty (or a half, if you like), American cheese, "smoked brisket" in cloying "mesquite BBQ sauce" and fried jalapeño and onion bits. The brisket goes on the bun first, a mushy amalgam of fat and sugar. There's no trace of the guilty pleasure satisfaction that comes with putting additional meat on a cheeseburger. Carl's Jr. makes what is probably the best-known barbecue burger on the planet, the old Western Bacon Chee, so it's kind of disappointing that this adjustment—brisket for bacon, fryer leavings for onion rings—is so much crappier. But then again, it's certainly not surprising. I will say this: the new buns at Carl's are an improvement. A tiny improvement, but progress all the same.


7.17.2014

Chicken Fried Foie Gras

Chicken Fried Foie Gras at Comme Ça
A
Dude. Do you understand the concept of dirty food? Stuff that is so rich, so over the top, so decadent, that it can't be described any other way? This is the dirtiest slider ever invented or consumed, and it defies description. A sweet roll. A mound of crunchy, ridiculously guilt-inducing chicken-fried foie gras, pure pleasure in every way. Way, way, way too much black truffle gravy. Caramelized onions. Ho. Lee. Fuck. Dirty, y'all.

7.13.2014

Regular Al

Regular Al at Al's Beef
A+
So we're told this is the way to eat your Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich: with provolone cheese, plus the combination of hot giardiniera and sweet peppers, plus "dipped." What does that mean? It means this finely shaved roast beef, which is simmered in a savory gravy forever, not only goes straight from the gravy to your roll—bringing all kinds of delicious juices to the sandwich—but then the entire sandwich takes a quick bath into the gravy. Is it messy, a little bit soggy, and impossible to eat without getting a little Al all over you? Yes. Is it worth it. Oh hell yes. Not surprising to many of the Windy City transplants living in Las Vegas, this is the best Italian beef we've ever tasted. The meat is incredibly tender and delicious, a great dish on its own. Augmented with the sweet, spicy, vinegary blast from the peppers, it's just amazing. Of course, you don't have to do it up with the works like this. But this is perfection, guilty pleasure food we want to eat every day.

7.11.2014

Vegas Burger

Vegas Burger at Bobby's Burger Palace
A-
It's summer in Vegas. It's time for a burger. And it was time to return to Bobby Flay's new (to Vegas) burger joint to eat the Vegas Burger, a perfect patty topped with white American cheese, Fresno chilies and Lay's barbecue potato chips. It sounds a little ridiculous, but it's mighty tasty. The dominant factor in its awesomeness are the juicy, beautifully cooked and seasoned beef, and the double dose of cheese melted completely over the patty. BBP makes burgers you'd make at home if you knew what you were doing. It's as simple as that. And they keep the toppings minimal, allowing you to sauce your own burger with a variety of condiments available on your table. I smothered this sucker with green jalapeño sauce and some chipotle ketchup, spicy-sweet flavors that played well with the chilies. BBP isn't revolutionary, but it is one of the top burger joints on the Vegas Strip, a fun and delicious spot without the pretension and high prices of other celeb chef restaurants.

Tzatziki Burger

Tzatziki Burger
homemade
B-
It only recently occurred to us that a veggie burger patty—especially one with a bit of Indian spice like this one—is a perfect fit for cool, creamy tzatziki sauce. So we put these friends together on a potato bun with some greens, and boom, a sorta Greekish veggie burger that satisfies. It would have been better with some sort of crunchy, spicy pickled thing on top, but hey, it's a process.

Irish Club

Irish Club at Bennigan's
C
The allsandwich summer vacation continues in … wait for it … Iowa. Whatever, don't judge. The most famous Iowa sandwich is probably the deep fried pork loin sandwich, but our first taste off the plane in Des Moines was at Bennigan's, which I didn't believe was a real place until I ate this monster—turkey, roast beef and corned beef piled high on a pretzel bun with strips of bacon, lettuce, tomato and onion. There was a Russian dressing-like spread, too. It was a lot to handle, a meat load that ate more like a burger than a sandwich. But in the end, it was just something odd at a decidedly not odd chain restaurant. I'm also pretty sure the Bennigan's menu claims to have invented the Monte Cristo, which is some amazing bullshit.

6.30.2014

B.E.A.C.H.

B.E.A.C.H. Breakfast Sandwich at Kono's
B+
We wrapped up vacation week in Oahu with a killer breakfast sandwich that makes all kinds of sense. First, Kono's in Haliewa is known for stuffing hungry surfers, so of course they're making hearty grub that hits the spot for not a lot of money (this thing is $7). Second, it's called the B.E.A.C.H. because it's a crusty roll crammed with bacon, eggs, avocado, cheese and ham. But yes, we had to screw up the acronym by replacing the ham with sliced roasted turkey. Not sure whether we improved on the sandwich or not, but no one was complaining. The creamy hunks of avocado really makes this one, turning a piled-high breakfast sandwich into something special.


6.28.2014

Pineapple Burger

Pineapple Burger at Kua 'Aina
B+
Kua 'Aina burger has expanded in recent years, going from a roadside stand feeding surfers hearty sandwiches to a burgeoning chain with locations in Tokyo and London. We hit the new and improved spot in Haliewa along Oahu's North Shore, and it was a cozy, family-friendly spot serving up grass-fed deliciousness. All burgers are served on fresh-baked buns with lettuce, tomato and onion, and you get to customize from there. Of course, we had to go the pineapple route, adding crispy bacon as well, and finding success and textural variety in the sweet and smoky combination. But in retrospect, we should have gone bigger, stacking on melted cheese and avocado, too. This is a big, messy, wonderful burger, and it deserves to have as many toppings piled on as you can stand. Extra points for the juicy grilled meat and soft, tasty bun.

6.23.2014

Pho French Dip Banh Mi

Pho French Dip Banh Mi at The Pig and the Lady
A+
That's right, we took the allsandwich show to Hawaii. Try not to be jealous. Day one of our summer vacation was all about Honolulu Chinatown, and the amazing, not-to-be-missed Vietnamese-ish cuisine at The Pig and the Lady. What happens when you take the flavors of pho and mash them into a hybrid banh mi-French dip? Perfection, that's what, and an easy A+ to add to our list. This crispy, crunchy baguette is absolutely filled with juicy, unbelievably rich 12-hour brisket, great, thick slabs of beefy supremacy. There's a chimichurri-style sauce based in Thai basil, crisp bean sprouts and fresh cilantro leaves, too, and honestly, this would probably be an A+ sandwich all on its own. But it's not alone, oh no. There's a steaming cup of au jus waiting for dippage … but it's not jus, it's pho! See what they did there? This is the ideal, upgraded banh mi we've been searching for our entire sandwich loving lives. Thank you,  Pig. Thank you too, Lady. Yum.

6.16.2014

Banh Mi Ca Moi

Banh Mi Ca Moi at Dakao Sandwiches
B-
I love banh mi and I want to love them more, but I am having a hard time finding some next level shit. Chinatown's Dakao Sandwiches has been around a few years now but this was my first time trying it, and the results are the same as when I go to Lee's or Mr. Sandwich or Hue Thai: It's good, crackly bread with savory fillings and crisp vegetables, but not great. Not spectacular. That's what I want. This is the No. 4 on Dakao's small menu, crammed with sardines in an oniony, possibly tomatoey sauce, plus mayo, standard do chua of pickled carrot and daikon, cucumber (which also seemed slightly pickled), jalapeño and cilantro. The fishy filling was really good, briny and tangy and lovely against the bread. The veggies were just fine. The bread, of course, was a little dry and hard—same as all those other places. Good stuff, nothing to freak out about.

6.15.2014

Big Dipper Sandwich

The Big Dipper Sandwich at Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar
A-
The host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives better bring some knockout sandwiches if he's going to open a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip, and Guy Fieri does just that. This new eatery in the unfortunately renamed Quad hotel and casino boasts several over-the-top burgers—including the 2013 NYC Burger Bash-winning Mac-N-Cheese Bacon Burger—and four other classic sandwiches with Fieri's crazy flavor twists. We weren't expecting much more than a standard French dip from the Big Dipper, but it caught us by surprise with rich, meaty goodness. A monstrous portion of smoked, thinly shaved prime rib is crammed into a dense, crusty, lovely toasted garlic torpedo roll, topped with creamy horseradish sauce and pepper Jack cheese, and piled on with crispy onion straws. So much great flavor and texture is packed into this bad boy that you really don't need the jus, but it's there anyway. We sampled much of the menu here and this hearty creation was our favorite bite … so far.

Really Sloppy Joe

Really Sloppy Joe at Brooklyn Bowl
C
We love the ultra comfort food at the new Vegas Brooklyn Bowl, from the killer Southern fried chicken to the nostalgic fun of French bread pizzas. But this Sloppy Joe needs some work. The sweet meat mixture is right on the money, including finely ground beef and crisp bits of chopped bell pepper, but there's not enough of it on the sandwich. A Sloppy Joe needs to be overstuffed with meat. This one's got a ton of coleslaw—crunchy, sweet slaw—with the meat on top. The final straw is the sesame seed bun, which is light and airy, but also incredibly sweet. We love a bit of sweetness in a meat sandwich, something to play against the satisfying savory notes. But this sucker is just too sweet, with no balance.