Sandwiches

John Montague, the Earl of Sandwich was such a rapacious gambler that he would sit at the gaming table for hours without meals.  During one particular marathon gambling session, he dispatched his manservants to get him two slices of bread, meat and cheese.  So as not to get his cards greasy, he put the meat and cheese in between the bread slices.  Voila, the birth of the sandwich, officially named for him in 1762.  You can literally put anything on a sandwich, but only the best ingredients dress the sandwiches below, hence the best sandwiches in Albuquerque. By clicking on the name of the restaurant for which you wish to know my opinion, you will be magically transported directly to my review of that restaurant.

Sandwich Restaurant City What Makes This Sandwich Special
Southwestern Grilled Cheese Mucho Gourmet Sandwich Shop Santa Fe Named the best sandwich in New Mexico by Food Network Magazine, it’s just one of many outstanding sandwiches in a family-owned and operated shop which specializes in sandwiches, service and soup.
Duke City Ruben Bocadillos Slow Roasted: A Sandwich Shop Albuquerque The very best Ruben sandwich in Albuquerque and no other Ruben is even close.  The corned beef is slow roasted for twelve hours.  The quality shows in every single bite.
Banh Mi Coda Bakery Albuquerque Essentially a Vietnamese po’ boy on a French baguette, this is Albuquerque’s best bargain sandwich, one loaded with ingredients and packed with flavor for a price anyone can afford.
Duck Confit Panini Torinos @ Home Albuquerque Duck which has been confit in its own fat for ten hours, herbaceous (fresh thyme and cilantro) goat cheese spread and grilled zucchini on a focaccia canvas.  This is a masterpiece!
Proscuitto Egg Sandwich  Counter Culture Cafe
 Santa Fe
Breakfast is served until 5PM which means you can sleep late and still get New Mexico’s best breakfast sandwich.  You may forever swear off Egg McMuffins for the Counter Culture’s waker-upper sandwich.
Pastrami Sandwich California Pastrami Albuquerque As the restaurant’s name indicates, the pastrami is imported from California.  It’s made with with lots of marbling and heavy, briny seasoning, but can be made lean if that’s your preference.
New Mexico Po’ Boy Tia Betty Blues Albuquerque Carne adovada, cheese, pickled jalapeños and Fritos corn chips on a sandwich!  Why didn’t anyone think of this sooner?   This isn’t a sandwich; it’s a revelation in deliciousness!
Grilled Vegetable Ciabatta Cafe Bella Rio Rancho Chef Michael Gonzales is a stickler for freshness and flavor.  grilled garden vegetables, fluffy egg, Parmesan cheese and organic greens on a Ciabbata roll with sun-dried tomato cream cheese make this a sandwich even carnivores will love.
Red Chile Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwich Fresh Bistro Albuquerque First, your taste buds will discern a smoky sweetness that will trigger a wanton desire for more.  Then the endorphin-generating heat kicks in and that wanton desire becomes unbridled lust.  Fortunately the generously stuffed pulled pork sandwich will quell that lust.
Philly Cheesesteak “Whiz Wit” Philly Steaks
Albuquerque
Philadelphia transplants, brothers Jim and Joe Lelii have brought the City of Brotherly Love’s fabled Philly Cheesesteak to Albuquerque.  Call it the Philadelphia sandwich Duke City diners love.  It’s a behemoth brothers can share.
 Reuben  2G’s Bistro
Albuquerque
There are at least five transformative Reuben sandwiches across the Duke City.  This is one of the very best with slow-roasted corned beef made on the premises.  You’ll enjoy it best in the shady patio in back.
Rail Runner Reuben
The Farmacy
Albuquerque
If you haven’t visited the Sawmill District recently, you may be in for a surprise.   This up and coming neighborhood boasts one of the best smallest in one of the smallest restaurant spaces in town.  You can’t call this Reuben small, however.  It’s large in size and even larger in flavor.

10 Comments on “Sandwiches”

  1. Ditto that, Amigo. The hamburger in all its variations is most certainly deserving of its own sui generis category. For New Mexico, the “best of” ranking has the Albuquerque Turkey from Relish as the best sandwich in the state. Why? Green chile. It’s a generic turkey sandwich recipe but features green chile. Historically, I’m not aware of a venerable *homegrown sandwich* in New Mexico, like one associates the lobster roll in Maine, the Hot Brown in Kentucky, and the Muffaletta in NOLA.

  2. Got to try Bocadillos. Never been. Feel like a New Yorker who has never been to the Statute of Liberty. The sandwiches were sort of uninspiring on farandwide. Sure, you got lobster rolls in Maine and stacked beef in cattle country states, but other than Louisiana (oyster po boys!) I’m not wanting for nothing here in NM. Okay, maybe waterfront property, but then, that would be above my pay-scale and leave me no money for the wonderful craft beer coming out of NM. To that point, Ex Novo opened its Tap Room here in Corrales. Not sure if food is available, but I will report back to you just as soon as I get there. Cheers!

  3. Gil, got pimped again on farwandwide.com and its incessant “best of 50 states” clickbait. The very dribble act I chastise you for using as a quoting source for your end of the month reports.

    Be that as it may, and taking into account my hypocrisy, this link was to the “best sandwiches in 50 states.” Here’s New Mexico’s entry:

    “New Mexico is known for green chiles, so it’s little wonder that they end up on the state’s most delicious sandwiches. At Relish, the “Albuquerque Turkey” features turkey, havarti, chile and chipotle mayo on toasted sourdough. The TNA at Slow Roasted Bocadillos in Albuquerque, meanwhile, boasts slow-roasted honey-mustard turkey, house-made green apple chile chutney, avocado, lettuce, tomato and muenster cheese.”

    Becky, Gil, you guys agree with this?

    1. There is an inordinate amount of clickbait generated outside the Land of Enchantment purporting to tell those of us who actually live here what our “best this” and “best that” are. It’s easy to dismiss these as mindless entertainment from untrustworthy sources, but I prefer taking the stance that these “best of” compilations prompt a review of my own preferences. I may not always agree with such compilations, but vehement disagreements allow me to exercise my vocabulary of pejoratives.

      I would argue that the TNA, while an outstanding sandwich, may not even be the best sandwich at Bocadillos which is nonpareil when it comes to sumptuous sandwiches. Everything (save for the name) about the Albuquerque Turkey at Relish is terrific!

      1. But isn’t a green chile cheeseburger a sandwich, Gil? If so, why would these bushwag state ranking sites list any sandwich other than the GCCB as the official sandwich of New Mexico?

        Wikipedia even says: A hamburger (also called a beef burger, hamburger sandwich, burger or hamburg) is a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bun).

        Wouldn’t you say, Gil, a GCCB is as much a sandwich as a spider is an arachnid?

        1. You’re posing a philosophical question for which perhaps only someone as sage as Jack Handey or Solomon would be able to provide an authoritative answer. While most culinary cognoscenti agree that a burger is, by definition, a sandwich, most will categorize burgers and hot dogs separately. Otherwise every “best sandwich” compilation would be replete with burgers.

          When she wrote her fabulous sandwich-themed tomes “Sandwiches That You Will Like” and “American Sandwich,” my dear friend Becky Mercuri didn’t list a single burger. I consider Becky the foremost source of sandwich sagacity in the country and if she makes a clear distinction between burgers and sandwiches, that’s good enough for me.

          I’ve always railed against clickbait content compilers who put together “best sandwich” lists for every state, but the only burger singled out as a sandwich is New Mexico’s sacrosanct green chile cheeseburger. It’s obvious these purveyors of clickbait are too lazy to explore the Land of Enchantment’s sandwich culture. New Mexico has many outstanding sandwiches warranting acknowledgement.

    2. Tom, I agree that the “best of whatever in 50 states” lists are repetitive since they do tend to choose the same dish over and over again. Sadly, some of the choices actually miss the mark entirely and fail to be a true example of a particular state. From what I understand, these on line lists are based upon weird web search formulas using strange algorithms known only to their creators, resulting in a strong possibility that the “winners” are repetitive or not exactly the most popular. Suffice it to say that many of the eateries have never been actually visited nor have their dishes been consumed by the author or editor of the list. With that said, these lists do serve a purpose for those intrepid diners who take the initiative to do further research and then reap the rewards of a good meal or local specialty. In the end, these lists, mediocre as they may be, can be very supportive of mom and pop eateries that do daily battle against the ever-encroaching chains. In the final analysis and to his credit, Gil’s “end of month report” furthers that mission in New Mexico. He’s a great ambassador for the state, its popular dishes, and for New Mexico restaurants that strive to produce good eats.

      Relative to your asking Gil if a GCCB shouldn’t be considered a sandwich, I’ll interject my own thoughts. First of all, yes, the GCCB and burgers in general are sandwiches. It’s basically agreed there are four components to a sandwich: the bread, the spread, the filling, and the garnish. Given that formula, hot dogs are also sandwiches. But by common consensus, burgers and hot dogs have been placed in their own respective categories. In accordance with many discussions over the years, most folks in the food world agree that both genres are so vast and include so many variations that they’re just simply deserving of their own categories. It’s probably best to leave it there and thus hopefully avoid further “sandwich discussions” by government officials who seemingly can’t get anything done except when it comes to arguments over what constitutes a sandwich. Apparently, roused by the sudden distraction from enthusiastically devouring rubber chicken dinners, these people suddenly have an opinion. For example, my home state of New York, never an entity to leave a tax stone unturned, classifies such food items as hamburgers, burritos, hot dogs and even a buttered bagel as sandwiches and therefore taxable in accordance with “the sandwich tax”.

      1. Very interesting. Thanks for your thorough reply. Doesn’t New York define burritos as a sandwich and therefore taxable? You certainly pay a premium to live in the state of New York, which ranks highest in income/sales tax. I grew up in California and spent most of my career paying state taxes but got out in 2002. I believe California now has the highest state income tax bracket in America.

        Separately, see my post above regarding New Mexico not having a *homegrown sandwich.” It seems any generic sandwich recipe with green chile added is eligible for the best in the state. Not homegrown like Kentucky’s Hot Brown, Maine’s lobster roll, and NOLA’s muffuletta.

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