A lot of good can happen between two slices of bread, as observers from National Sandwich Month have confirmed.
Sandwiches have been served on plates, in lunch boxes, and even in space for decades, particularly when astronaut John Young smuggled a corned beef sandwich in his pocket just before Gemini 3 launched.
The definition of “sandwich” can vary depending on who you ask. The US Department of Agriculture, which is responsible for meat, poultry and egg products, defines a sandwich as “at least 35 percent cooked meat and no more than 50 percent bread”.
In 2006, a Worcester Superior Court judge ruled that a burrito is not a sandwich and settled a dispute between two Panera Bread and Qdoba Mexican Grill locations.
National Sandwich Month dates back to 1952 when the Wheat Flour Institute designated August as a time to celebrate those portable bites, according to the National Day Calendar.
More:Find the best ice cream in Greater Boston with these reader recommendations
Fortunately, Brookline has an abundance of ways to celebrate. The TAB asked readers for help choosing the best sandwiches in town, a request that generated dozens of responses. Excluded from the list were burritos, bagel sandwiches (in a league of their own, as Kupel’s fans know), and burgers, which deserve a separate list.
Here are some top picks (ingredients and prices from restaurant websites):
Cuban, $ 16
What’s in it: Braised pork, ham, pickles, Swiss and mustard.
The pub’s menu includes a wide variety of hearty home cooking, but readers said the popular Cuban panini’s braised pork makes this a must-try.
Tofu banh mi, $ 12
What’s in it: Miso-ginger baked tofu, pickled daikon radish and carrots, walnut mushroom pie, sriracha aioli, pickled jalapeños and coriander on homemade French baguette.
Readers raved about this vegetarian-friendly option, including several recommendations for this popular Coolidge Corner coffee shop, known for its fresh flavors and homemade ingredients.
Italian, $ 6 / $ 8.50
What’s in it: Mortadella, salami, sopressata, provolone, onion, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, pepperoni relish, olive oil and vinegar.
While Bottega di Capri isn’t the only restaurant in town serving delicious Italian sandwiches, this Brookline Village gem has rave online reviews praising the authenticity and quality of the food.
Turkey Great, $ 9
What’s in it: turkey, filling, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise.
Pizzas headline the menu at Brookline Spa, but readers say the sandwiches are nothing to sleep in. The Turkey Terrific has the best parts of Thanksgiving without the chilly weather and the awkward family small talk.
Grilled cheese, $ 5
What’s Inside: This Brookline Village cheese shop offers made-to-order grilled cheese sandwiches that use a melting blend of Jasper Hill cheese and can be customized with additions like meat, honey, and pikliz. Curds & Co. also offers a grilled cheese of the month – the latest combination is homemade pesto and fresh bocconcini.
Beef 1000, $ 12.85
What’s in it: slow-roasted beef, crispy shallots, thousand-island dressing and hot cheddar on a brioche bun with black pepper.
Cutty’s dominated the list of reader recommendations – perhaps unsurprisingly for a sandwich shop run by two chefs trained at the Culinary Institute of America. Sandwich fans rave about the Super Cluckin ‘Sunday fried chicken that is ordered in advance, but the Beef 1000 is always on the menu and has the approval of diners, drive-ins and dives host Guy Fieri, who called it “Killer” .
Tentacle hot dog, $ 15
What’s in it: octopus tentacles, sauerkraut, roe, apple slices and mustard.
Looks aside, this option also offers a powerful flavor and texture profile, especially from a restaurant that prides itself on beautiful, creative, seafood-centric dishes.
Boxed sandwiches, $ 5.50 – 6.00
What’s in it: tuna, ham, egg salad or a combination of both, served on light white bread from our own production.
In more than 35 years in business, this bakery (temporarily closed for renovations and soon reopening) has attracted a loyal following. This picnic-perfect sandwich box offers a basic selection with great flavors.
Buffalo, $ 10.75
What’s in it: organic farro, chickpeas, avocado, organic romaine, mozzarella, marinated red onions, buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing.
This vegetarian option is brimming with fresh ingredients and offers a strong protein punch, making it one of Livite’s most popular options.
Thorty Black and Gold, $ 12.99
What’s inside: Black pastrami with cheddar cheese, honey mustard and pepperoni relish served on a bulky bun.
Michael’s Deli is known locally as the “Corned Beef King” and readers have certainly recommended a number of corned beef sandwiches there. The Thorty Black and Gold adds a unique twist to classic deli flavors, however, and a portion of the proceeds go to the Shawn Thornton Foundation, which helps find cures for Parkinson’s and cancer.
The local, $ 12
What’s in it: lavender goat cheese, balsamic mushrooms, crunchy caraway onions and vegetables.
Named Massachusetts’ Greenest Restaurant in 2020, Rifrullo recognizes its green operations and abundance of vegetarian and vegan options, including The Local, which has a lot to offer in terms of taste.
Honey Butter Chicken, $ 8.99
What’s in it: Chicken breast wrapped in batter, deep-fried and coated with honey butter; served with cucumber, mayonnaise and lettuce on a brioche bun.
Fried chicken might not be the first thing most think about when ordering at a pizza place, but Upper Crust has quietly made a name for itself in the chicken sandwich game with options like this one that offers a sweet and savory punch.
Chocolate covered ice cream sandwich, $ 6
What’s inside: Chocolate ice cream sandwich dipped in chocolate.
Serenade’s handmade chocolate is already a dream, even more so when served over an ice cream sandwich.
Curious which other sandwich readers recommended? Check out the full list below: