Top 10 sandwiches in the Twin Cities
The venerable sandwich has long been lauded as the ultimate portable meal, and yet the best sandwiches are well worth sitting down for and lingering over. We've eaten our way through umpteen slices of rye, torpedoes of baguettes, and towers of toast (not to mention the meats-and-cheeses situation) to find the very best the Twin Cities has to offer. Here are our top 10 favorites. If we've missed anything totally unmissable, we trust you'll let your fellow Twin Citizens know in the comments.
10. Jasmine Deli's Grilled Beef Bánh Mì
Twin Cities dwellers are lucky to have an abundance of top-notch Vietnamese fare, and no list of best sandwiches would be complete without a bánh mì. Jasmine Deli's grilled beef bánh mì ($4) comes on a crunchy baguette (heaven forbid a bánh mì might come on anything too soft or pliable; a decided crunch and chew is essential), with pickled carrots, cilantro, and fresh bites of cucumber to counter the smoky grilled beef and kick of jalapeño pepper. At $3.50-$4 a pop, it's always worth grabbing a bánh mì from Jasmine if you're out and about on Eat Street.
(2532 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.870.4700; website)
9. Saffron's Lamb Bacon "BLT"
Sameh Wadi's Lamb Bacon "BLT" ($9) at Saffron in Minneapolis might win the title for most creative sandwich on this list. The lamb bacon is house made from lamb belly seasoned in a rub of sugar, salt, and a blend of spices, including cardamom, paprika, and orange zest. The bacon is served on vanilla egg bread with a generous swipe of saffron-tomato jam and crunchy, peppery arugula, making this a mesmerizing spin on an American classic that everyone should try at least once (though we bet you'll be back for more).
(123 N. Third St., Minneapolis; 612.746.5533; website)
8. Manny's Tortas' Cubana
Are you hungry? You'd better be if you're thinking of attempting the Cubana from Manny's Tortas ($8.45). Crunchy-crusted French bread is stuffed with juicy ham, salty pork loin, Swiss cheese, and creamy avocado. Fresh lettuce, tomato, onion, and jalapeños enhance the crunch factor, and a chipotle mayonnaise leaves a slight tingle on your tongue, perfectly complementing the rest of the sandwich. A huge, messy affair: Come to Manny's hungry and you won't go home disappointed.
(920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612.870.3930; website)
7. Butcher and the Boar's Lobster Grilled Cheese with an Egg
Butcher and the Boar brings luxury and decadence to the forefront with its lobster grilled cheese ($18, or $20 with a fried organic egg). The simple, downplayed description on the menu belies the extravagance within. Rich and buttery, the lobster and cheese absolutely ooze from between perfectly glistening slices of Texas toast in this indulgent sandwich. Add the fried egg. (You know you want to.)
(1121 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612.238.8888; website)
6. Sun Street Breads' Southern Fried Biscuit Sandwich
The Twin Cities may not be the first place you'd think to come looking for a decent biscuit, but come you should, in order to be wooed by Solveig Tofte's delicately crusted, deeply buttery, tender biscuits. The former head baker at Turtle Bread could bring tears to a Southerner's eyes with her Southern-Fried Biscuit Sandwich ($7.25). As indulgent as the name suggests, you'll be delighted by fried chicken that's crisp on the outside, tender straight through each bite, with thick bacon and a peppery sausage gravy that smothers the whole thing. One of the best, butteriest ways to start your day in the Twin Cities.
(4600 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612.354.3414; website)
5. Brasa's Scrambled Egg & Chorizo
Brasa's scrambled egg & spicy sausage sandwich with gooey Jack cheese and a fresh slice of tomato ($6.95) was described by Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl as "the sort of thing a chef serves himself," and we couldn't agree more. Brasa might be better known for rotisserie chicken, pulled chicken, pork shoulder, and braised beef, but overlook this sandwich at your peril. Take a trip to the St. Paul or northeast Minneapolis location for a rich taste of breakfast between pillowy bread slices that is guaranteed to send you into the most delicious food slumber of your life.
(777 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651.224.1302; website)
4. Clancey's Meats and Fish's Smoked Ham
Clancey's has already been lauded as the best butcher shop in the Twin Cities by City Pages -- a place where you can satisfy every carnivorous need. It makes sense, then, that they also makes some of the best meat-filled sandwiches around. The smoked ham sandwich ($8.50) comes on a crusty, crunchy Rustica baguette -- the ultimate vehicle for layer upon layer of their sweet-salty smoked ham. The baguette is prepped with grainy, hot mustard and a mouth-popping swipe of horseradish. House-pickled jalapenos round out the hotness and provide an excellent contrast to the deep smoked flavor of the ham. Additional accoutrements include slivers of red onion, a little Swiss cheese, mayo, lettuce, and fresh tomatoes, if the season is right.
(4307 Upton Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612.926.0222; website)
3. Be'wiched's Pastrami on Rye
Everyone we asked named Be'Wiched Deli as the purveyors of some mighty fine sandwiches in the Twin Cities, and we couldn't agree more. The pastrami on rye ($9.50) is a fine example of the kind of magic that Be'wiched can concoct. One bite and you'll be sold on its layers of smokey, house-cured pastrami, and the balancing, mouth-puckering crunch of pickled cabbage and coarse, grainy mustard. If you're feeling brave, order double the pastrami ($13.50). We bow down to you.
(800 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 612.767.4330; website)
2. Cheeky Monkey's Pressed Cubano
Cheeky Monkey Deli has become a St. Paul favorite since setting up shop back in 2009 -- and for good reason. The place has serious substance, baking their own bread, curing and smoking their own meats, as well as listing homemade mayonnaise and mustard on their condiments list. This is the real deal, folks. Cheeky Monkey's Cuban sandwich ($8) is packed with cumin pork, salty-sweet slices of smoked ham, Swiss cheese, crunchy pickles, and a tangy-bright combination of their house-made mustard and mayo. Every element is lovingly squeezed together as it's pressed warm on ciabatta bread with a crunchy, chewy crust.
(525 Selby Ave., St. Paul; 651.224.6066; website)
1. 112 Eatery's Bacon, Fried Egg, and Harissa
Nothing sounds as musical to our ears as one of the Twin Cities' best restaurants offering up a decadent sandwich on their menu at as competitive a price as any of the options in this list. Much like Brasa's chorizo and scrambled egg, 112's bacon, fried egg, and harissa sandwich ($8) seems like the kind of thing that was dreamed up late at night by a hungry chef. The outcome, however it was conceived, is perfectly balanced and craveable. Thick and smoky-sweet bacon, crisp toast, a luxuriously soft, runny egg, and deep spiciness from the harissa. You'll want a moment alone with this unique sandwich: We recommend coming to 112 solo and sitting at the bar to watch the bustle of the evening carry on around you as you sit back and enjoy one of these.
(112 N. Third Street, Minneapolis; 612.343.7696; website)
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