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E6G/@3A/<2E7163A never as good when you make them at home? You might even buy your bread and meats from the same shop where you grab your to-go hoagies, but for the most part, your homemade version just wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t measure up. You might as well call it a sub. (Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s short for subpar, right?) So what gives? While there are some special cases (you can hardly be faulted for not having a flattop seasoned by decades of bygone cheesesteaks at home), weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d venture a guess that your sandwiches may be lacking in one key area: the garnish. Even the word â&#x20AC;&#x153;garnishâ&#x20AC;? sounds like a total throwaway; condiments, an afterthought. But great sandwiches require balance. We say â&#x20AC;&#x153;roast pork,â&#x20AC;? but a bitter vein of broccoli rabe is implied. At least half of the appeal of a â&#x20AC;&#x153;tomato sandwichâ&#x20AC;? is the silent mayo. And while we might let laziness or barren pantries get


between us and fully realized sandwiches at home, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d be unlikely to forgive any sandwich shop that dared to be blasĂŠ about shredded iceberg lettuce or the proper white onion, sliced paper-thin. Of course, your own tastes may disagree with one or more of the specifics cited above, which brings up the other major point about garnishes: theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re completely customizable. In Philly, where sandwiches are the ultimate staple food, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no shortage of worthy shops. So you might choose one shop over another based on what they pile on, or favor a spot that hands over a partially blank canvas and lets you browse the pepper-and-pickle bar at your own pace. To explore the possible variations on some of Phillyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most beloved sandwiches, we took several detours, but the place to start is, of course, Ninth Street. For cold-sandwich canon, the obvious first choice is a trip to AO`Q]\S¸a. Grab a benchmark Italian hoagie and default to lettuce, tomato and onion, lightly dressed in oil and vinegar, with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning on top. If you prefer more acid or heat to cut through all those cold cuts and provolone, hot or sweet pickled peppers or roasted long hots do the trick. You can begin to venture into the classic roast pork at Sarconeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, too â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or, if you prefer a change of scenery, head to 1VWQYWS¸a or 1]a[W¸a. Or find your way

to Reading Terminal Market for 2W<WQ¸a, which earned the title of â&#x20AC;&#x153;Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Sandwichâ&#x20AC;? in a bracket-style TV showdown hosted by Man vs. Food guy Adam Richman. Whichever way you go, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find an archetypal combo that employs broccoli rabe, prepared as simply as possible, to add bitter intrigue. Many of Phillyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature sandwiches are being turned out of family-owned shops that have pedigrees going back to the 1930s or further. But there are some relatively new kids on the scene owned by trained chefs, many of whom take some liberties with the old standbys. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s certainly the case a few blocks down Ninth, at >OSaO\]¸a. Their Italian hoagie, which goes by the name of the Daddy Wad, is irreverently topped to favor bigger flavors: Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s red onion in place of white, hot and sweet pickled peppers strewn throughout, and arugula standing in for iceberg lettuce. What you lose in crunch, you gain in astringent bite. Paesanoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s version of the classic roast pork sandwich, though, takes more liberties with the pork than with what goes on it. Roasted suckling pig is the pork of choice. Shards of sharp provolone and broccoli rabe apparently couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be improved much upon, though the sautĂŠed rabe is more assertively seasoned than that of the competition. Chopped

Meal Ticket 2014  

The Anatomy of the Sandwich

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