A good sandwich balances a combination of delectable ingredients with delicious bread. A regular microcosm of cuisine that fits in your hands.
We reviewed 16 of the best local sandwiches in eight different categories. No tenderloins. No barbecue. And no burgers allowed. Now it’s up to you to vote for a sandwich to come out on top in our sandwich smackdown bracket.
The B&B sandwich killed the competition to come out on top
There are certain things that should just be done by a man of God: last rites, kosher slaughter, exorcisms. You can apparently add “making an awesome sandwich” to that list, too.
Is the name letting us know that it’s a great sandwich, or that dads should update their life insurance policy? Thankfully, the thing most likely to be wiped out is your appetite.
A sandwich that will make you scoff at an ordinary grilled cheese, this multi-cheese creation on focaccia is a delicious mix of coordinating flavors.
The wheat sub roll mixes sweet and savory with grilled sweet potato slices, red onions grilled to salty sweetness, alfalfa sprouts, Maytag blue cheese and cream cheese. This is a sandwich for the hungry vegetarian
Cafe Beaudelaire’s Beaudelaire Bauru sandwich is the perfect way to experience a taste of Brazil in the heart of Ames’ Campustown.
Bahn mi, a traditional Vietnamese sub, is an inexpensive treat that includes meat, crunchy veggies and herbs on a toasted baguette
Luna Bistro and Catering’s BLT is a dressed up version made with La Quercia pancetta, crisply shredded iceberg lettuce and a homemade tomato jam in place of slices of tomato. Luna lightly grills its BLT as well, adding a nice crunch to the bread, and melting the jam slightly so it melds the sandwich together.
It’s a beast of a sandwich on a thick, soft, dense bun. Inside, leaves of lettuce are substituted with romaine hearts, which lend a loud crunch to each bite. The tomato is thick and juicy, and the applewood smoked bacon — well, it’s tender, fatty and still dripping with the perfect amount of grease
When you want a solid deli sandwich, you go to Palmer’s. The bustling deli has about any combination of fresh deli meats, cheeses, breads and accoutrements you could ask for. But when you’re in the mood for a big sandwich heaped full of meat, the Palmer’s Club is the answer.
It’s a loaded sandwich that started as a once-a-week option before a cult following encouraged the staff to sell the sandwich every day. The sandwich starts on a hoagie bun, then roasted turkey and ham are piled on and covered in Baby Swiss cheese. Finally, a homemade Parmesan sauce is heartily drizzled on top, with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Then, the staff pops the sandwich in a mini oven to warm the meat, soften the hoagie further and melt the Swiss and cheese sauce into a hot, gooey, irresistible sandwich.
It’s thick slices of Iowa-made La Quercia prociutto, stacked between two pieces of ciabatta bread along with fig jam, arugula and Dijon mustard.
We don’t know who Sarah is, but we’d kind of like to shake the jerk’s hand that prompted the creation of the lunch spot’s popular sandwich, Sarah’s Revenge.
For a long time Wednesdays were packed at A Taste of Italy. That’s because Wednesday was the day the Clive shop would sell its Italian beef sandwiches. Thankfully, Taste of Italy is now serving them on a daily basis, making hungry diners happy every day of the week.
This is not a sandwich you eat while walking around. A hoagie roll is filled with the Italian beef (and hot and sweet peppers, if you so desire), and then the au jus is poured over it. You need to eat this with a knife and fork, because once the bread soaks up the liquid, it won’t stay together so well in your hands.
A half-pound of Graziano sausage, cooked to perfection. Frankly, if a central Iowa restaurant has an Italian sausage sandwich made without Graziano’s, it would seem a little suspicious. It’s a thick slab of meat (burger-like, but seriously, it’s not a burger), with just a bit of spiciness to it.
Sambetti’s has been serving this sandwich up for more than 30 years, and there’s no reason to change what is pitch perfect. It’s big, it’s satisfying and it tastes like a Des Moines tradition.