Eat Boston: Subs & Other Bread Stacks
We built this city! We built this city on [meat] and roll[s]!
I'd put Sam's up against any deli in the Big City, including Katz's. The pastrami and corned beef are among the best I've ever had and The Combo is the best I've ever had. Harry & Ida's in East Village (NYC) does have the meanest pastrami sandwich this side of anywhere, but Sam sees that and raises it corned beef. A holy union if ever I've seen one.
Only open weekdays to serve the avid financier lunch mob, Sam La Grassa's is always packed but always moving (if no table is available, look to the standing counter in the corner), and you'll want to eat in house, because a take-away sandwich is a soggy sandwich. Good, but soggy. That's what she -
Dino's is one of those North End cafes where Dino is frequently behind the counter. And you know it's Dino because, well, it's inconceivable for him not to be Dino. He's so... Dino.
Regardless of Dino/whoever working the register, Dino's Cafe throws down a killer sub. Go hot; cold subs are Monica's specialty, and those are right across the street. Steak Pizzaiola, Meatball, Chicken Parm, all the Italian classics are excellent. Or basically anything covered in marinara and cheese. Whatever you choose, the subs are big, hot, and gonna hit the spot.
It is impossible not to fall in love with Mike and Patty's. IMpossible. It's so tiny, and squished into a corner of an old brick apartment building in the residential part of Back Bay/Arlington, and the staff are seemingly always upbeat, and there are donuts on the weekends, and the sandwiches are totally unique within this particular city (i.e. they're not subs), and it all just works.
Get that Bacon Egg Fancy. Because you Fancy.
If you work anywhere close to Chinatown, New Saigon Sandwich should be on your lunch list. They've got boxes of spring rolls and noodles all ready to go, and it takes them approximately ten seconds to whip up a banh mi that'll blow your tongue out of your mouth. More or less.
For the banh mi uninitiated: cold cuts, pickled vegetables, crispy french roll, a little mayo, hot sauce your choice. NSS does a classic banh mi with chicken paté that is a trip to Umami Central, but they've got other variations for your varying tastes. Oh, and that'll run you $4.50 (and that's a high estimate). Any objections?
Shrimp Roll - Luke's Lobster - Back Bay
For doing it simple, right, and not charging you a couple limbs, Luke's wins my award for Best [Seafood] Roll in Boston. I say seafood because their shrimp, crab, and lobster rolls are pretty much equally good, and because Best Lobster Roll is still hands down Neptune Oyster in the North End. But that's over $30, and this is more like $15. Do with that as you will. Luke's, a NYC import, also puts out a solid clam chowder that benefits from the secret seasoning on every table as much as the rolls, and it is a big heaping benefit. Seafood sammie, order up!
Another finance crowd lunchtime favorite, Al's is all about Boston's favorite method of putting things in bread: The Sub. Cold or hot, at either the State Street or South Street location, you're going to be in and out in under five minutes. This is great - but you'd better be ready to order when you're up, because it's that or get unceremoniously tossed aside by the guy behind you. Don't look to the staff for help because they can be just as cold as the customers, although in the off hours they're plenty hospitable.
Everything is good, but get that chicken salad. That some good chix salad. MMhmm.
Figaro's falls somewhere between Al's and Monica's on the sandwich spectrum: slightly better ingredients than Al's (except for that chicken salad), but not quite hitting the high bars set by Monica's.
Now that I've just written that out, it strikes me that everyone's got a deli in this town. Dino's, Al's, Figaro's, Monica's, Sam La Grassa's. I'd say it was too much, but there also seems to be a high correlation between possessed delis and high quality sandwiches. So, the more the merrier.
Anyway, Figaro's has the best rolls out of them all, so if your jam is bread, that's the name you want to seek out.
Italian - Monica's Mercato - North End (@stix.and.scones - Insta)
The Queen of the Italian Sub. Thinner-than-paper-thin prosciutto, mortadella, salami, and provolone layer together with LTO, hots, and balsamic and olive oil. The bread is freshly baked; crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside. It's a perfect sandwich. Get it with a side of classic Italian marinated greens or a caprese, and you've got the makings of a Greenway picnic.
Now comment about your favorite sandwiches or whatever.