B.E.A.C.H. Breakfast Sandwich at Kono's
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.


Pineapple Burger

Pineapple Burger at Kua 'Aina
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.


Pho French Dip Banh Mi

Pho French Dip Banh Mi at The Pig and the Lady
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.


Banh Mi Ca Moi

Banh Mi Ca Moi at Dakao Sandwiches
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.


Big Dipper Sandwich

The Big Dipper Sandwich at Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar
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
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.


Club Sub

Club Sub at Jersey Mike's
Jersey Mike's has skittered between a mild disappointment and an overall solid sub sandwich joint. It seems you just have to know what to order. Take this Club Sub, for example: it's a common sense choice. Turkey, ham, provolone, bacon and mayo. Solid. Then let them add their house toppings of red onions, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, vinegar, oil and spices, and you're good to go. This is the same hoagie or grinder or whatever-you-want-to-call-it you can find in thousands of sandwich shops across the country, with the same ingredients. But it's a good pick at Jersey Mike's, a tasty bite that reveals what this franchise really needs to upgrade its game—better bread.


Mangalista Burger

Mangalista Burger at Comme Ça
Sorry, you'll probably never get to eat this. It was a one-night special during Comme Ça's springtime burger and beer nights on the patio at the Cosmopolitan, where for $20 you get one of Las Vegas' most amazing burgers, two beers, and $1.25 oysters if you choose to add a little more fun to your evening. It's one of the greatest deals on the Strip, and there might be a few more Wednesday nights left for this event, so check into it. But it's not likely they'll bring back the Mangalista Burger, since they're always cooking up new burger concoctions, and that's a shame. This deserves a permanent menu spot. The juicy, savory patty is ground from all sorts of different pig parts with tender, silky, swine-alicious results. There's also pickled slaw, thin slices of house-made mortadella, Saint Agur blue cheese, fried onions and a barbecue sauce made with smoked pork fat. Yes, you read that last one correctly. Flavors don't get any bigger than this sweet, smoky, rich sauce. If you can manage to get a bit of everything into a single bite, it's one of the most wonderfully over-the-top mouthfuls you'll ever experience.