Everyone loves sandwiches. The rich, the poor, the young, the old, rockers, mods, women, men, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, Satanists, businessmen, Occupiers, vegetarians, vegans, twinks, bears, power bottoms—put some meat, vegetables, and sauce between two slices of bread and you will satisfy all of these people (although, obviously, no meat for the vegetarians/vegans). A widely known but little-discussed fact among anthropologists is that some version of the sandwich has existed in every human culture from the dawn of time—that Earl of Sandwich sucker just got lucky with the name. (For the sake of argument, burritos, pitas, etc. count as sandwiches, because, duh, they have meat and veggies and sauce surrounded by bread.) In large cities like New York where sandwich shops are practically on every corner, everyone has their favorite lunch place and can get into debates about the best chicken parm hero that last for days and destroy friendships. So, we asked some New Yorkers what's the best sandwich they've ever had, and got some disturbing answers. (Really? Subway? Someone get these people some taste buds.)
Samir, unemployed: I think it was from Subway.
When did you have it?
I think like last week.
What was in it?
Some veggies, chicken. Buffalo chicken, I think.
And that's the best sandwich you've ever had, ever?
Well, there’s sanwiches in my country.
Drop some Algerian sandwich knowledge on me.
Oh, it's like mixed meats. Like beef, and some cheese. And some vegetables. Something like that. [Note: We told you. Every human culture.]
What's that called?
Friteomalkjfladsjf [We didn’t catch the name.]
How do you spell that?
I don't know, it's too difficult.
Is it a hot sandwich?
You can put some peppers, like green peppers, but hot ones.
So if I wanted to make this sandwich, how do I make it?
You can put like, a little bit of meat, then like some onions, a little bit of garlic... some black pepper, just a little bit, and then some more meat, and then you put in the sandwich some cheese.
Like what kind of cheese?
Just regular cheese. And then you put the beef, some tomatoes. And that's it. Oh, and some salt. But just a little bit. I could make it for you if you want.
Ethan, student: Roast beef with cheese. Tomato. Something simple. Something from when I was a kid probably.
What’s the best sandwich from a store?
I don't know. Like a meatball sub from one of the brands or something. Like Subway or Quiznos.
How does a Subway meatball sub compare to a Quizno meatball?
They're the same, I think.
You're not much of a meatball connoisseur, are you?
Yeah, I don't know. You just pay eight bucks for a sandwich and--
Eight bucks for a meatball sub??
Isn't that how much it costs?
No, dude. Not even in Manhattan.
Have you seen that thing that's like a pizza sandwich? We were talking about it at work it's like two calzones with bacon and stuffed sandwiched in the middle.
So what about mayo? Team mayo or team no mayo?
Team no mayo, for sure. I would pretty much eat any sandwich as long as there wasn't mayo on it.
Would you eat a tarantula sandwich?
Are you serious?
Yeah, like if it was a native dish from a different culture that I've never heard of, then yeah, I'd probably be culturally sensitive and try it. But if I thought that you just made one in your house, then I'd be like no.
Kevin: A Philly cheesesteak from Philly. I like falafels too.
Best place to grab a sandwich in New York?
Just a sandwich?
Well um I don't know what it's called but there's this place and they have like a chicken and pesto panini?
Why do you like Philly cheesesteaks so much?
I like cheesesteaks.
Nidha, aspiring architect: I had this adobo chicken in Austin once that was pretty good. I mean, it was adobo chicken marinated overnight and then grilled onions, chipotle peppers, pepper jack cheese on ciabatta bread.
That sounds dope. You ever try to recreate it?
Where in Austin is this place?
15th and Martin Luther King.
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