In the hierarchy of my personal food domain, my favorite food genres are sanwiches, pizza and oysters. Focusing purely on sanwiches, my top three include subs, Serrano sandwiches, and Oyster Po Boys. Years ago I went on job interview with a famous movie director who shall go un-named and the interview was going great until he threw me a curve ball. Out of nowhere he asked what my interests were, and I froze. I felt like Ralphie in the Christmas Story, when he goes to see Santa at the mall to tell him he wants a bb gun, but instead gets really nervous and asks for a football. I too froze and just like Ralphie, sheepishly answered, "sandwiches". We then got on the topic of fried chicken and he started telling me about his favorite spot. I had been there before and the place is so bullshit it's ridiculous. He kept pontificating about it in this annoying way. Going on and on, like the guy standing waiting behind Woody Allen at the movies in Anne Hall. I couldn't keep smiling and nodding any longer. The place was garbage. I didn't care anymore and I finally blurted out, "That place sucks!". It felt really good but I didn't get the job. That said, I love sandwiches and most of all subs. It's impossible to get a good sub, or hero in New York. I've ordered from every place that friends have suggested and nothing comes close to a Jersey sub. In Jersey, specifically, North Central Jersey (a few miles west of the Holland Tunnel) subs are a gloriously sleezy thing. They're made with cheap vinegar, diced white onion and iceberg lettuce. Any other way is too bourgeoisie. Philadelphia Hoagies, Rhode Island Grinders and South Jersey Hoagies are respectable but don't match up. Next, we have Serrano sandwiches. There's a place in Philly called DiBruno Brothers and they make a killer sandwich with Serrano Ham, Manchego Cheese, Chicory, Roasted Tomato, vinegar and Spanish Olive Oil on a hero. It's amazing. When I make it at home I swap out the Roasted Tomatos for sliced Green Olives and Cornichons and layer it on a loaf of hollowed out Caputo's bakery bread. Lastly, there's Po Boys. Again nothing really of note around these parts, but Domilese's fried oyster Po Boys, dressed with Crystal hot sauce is second to none. But enough about me, lets talk about something really worth talking about and that's Scanwiches. This site is an amazing collection of scanned sandwiches. Below are some highlights but you should definitely go there and find your own to eat with your eyes.
Yola’s: Carne Enchilada Torta, Spicy Pork, Beans, Cheese, Salsa Verde, Jalapenos, on a hero
I wasn't going to post this because most people have seen it, but I made this recipe last night and it was pretty close to the real thing. The Shake Shack makes one of the best burgers in New York and some dude from MIT cracked their secret recipe and posted it on A Hamburger Today and the recipe actually works. Here's what the dude from MIT says:
"I admit it: my tastes are not strikingly original. I'm obsessed with the Beatles, Beethoven is my god, and I even think Bono is a pretty neat guy. Nevertheless, I've consciously tried to avoid all things at the intersection of over-hyped and New York, until a couple years ago when I finally forced myself to stand on line for a hamburger in the name of research—a hamburger that changed my life.
Yes, I'm talking about the Shack Burger from Shake Shack, of which more than enough has been written about already. I'm not here to wax poetic about what Josh Ozersky has dubbed "the platonic ideal of a hamburger"—rather, I'm here to talk about a way to skip the line that doesn't involve standing outside at 9 p.m. on a rainy Tuesday night: Just make the Shack Burger at home. Easier said than done.
There's nothing special about the burger—regular squishy bun, a 1/4-pound patty of griddled meat, lettuce, tomato, and sauce—but like all good burger experiences, the sandwich is far more than a sum of its parts. To recreate the experience at home, I had to eat it, dissect it, deconstruct it, research it, eat it some more, rebuild it, break it down again, reconfigure it, taste it, eat it one more time, and finally reconstruct it again. Here are the results of my labor, from the ground up."
...and here's the recipe