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We Travel for the YUM! The 8 Best Sandwiches Across the U.S.

June 9, 2014

We travel for many reasons: sightseeing, relaxation, and adventure. Sandwiches? Not so much. But, after speaking with the host of Food Network’s “Sandwich King,” Jeff Mauro, you might change your mind. Forget plain old turkey on white in a brown paper bag — his eight favorite sandwiches will have you hopping on a plane in no time.


Pastrami Sandwich from Langer’s Delicatessen in Los Angeles. (Courtesy: Langer’s Delicatessen)

What: Hand-Cut Pastrami on Rye

Where: Langer’s Delicatessen, Los Angeles

“This is my benchmark for all great sandwiches. The country’s best house-made pastrami combined with the country’s best rye bread. Order it hand-cut with a schmear of some deli mustard, and leave it be. With a side of extra-crispy fries and three ice teas, this is my favorite meal in the world. It’s simplicity at its finest, and in a world of over-stuffed, over-complicated sandwiches, Langer’s keeps it real with nothing but craftsmanship, history, and a dab of mustard.” 


Italian Beef & Sausage Combo at Johnnies Beef, in Elmwood Park, Illinois. (Photo: Andrew C./Flickr)

What: Italian Beef & Sausage Combo

Where: Johnnies Beef - Elmwood Park, Illinois

“Chicago’s finest beef sandwich. Oily gravy, shaved tender beef, spicy and sweet peppers, all nestled around a charcoal-grilled Italian sausage. Oh, and then they dunk in it all in the oily gravy. Messy, beefy, and legendary: it is Chicago in a bun.”


Roast Pork at Philadelphia’s Tony Luke’s. (Courtesy:  Tony Luke’s)

What: Roast Pork

Where: Tony Luke’s - Philadelphia

“Cheesesteaks get all the love in Phil Town, but I’m a roast pork guy, and my boy Tony Luke’s version is wonderfully porky, succulent, and balanced — all anchored by garlicky rabe and fresh bread. So good you might never order a wit whiz again.”



Mars Cheese Castle, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. (Photo: Clark Maxwell/Flickr

What: Grilled Cheese

Where: Mars Cheese Castle - Kenosha, Wisconsin

“It’s an actual castle, filled with cheese, in Wisconsin. Where else do you think you’d find the country’s best grilled cheese? You can pick any cheese out of 350 available, and they will expertly butter and griddle to order. My money is on eight-year-old aged white cheddar, American & butter Kase. With a frosty pint of New Glarus Spotted Cow on the side, you’ll get a blast of Wisconsin in every bite.”



The Crunchy Yardbird, at Miami’s Yardbird. (Courtesy: Yardbird)

What: Crunchy Yardbird

Where: Yardbird - Miami

“Best fried-chicken sandwich in the country. Soft bun, burst-in-your-mouth juicy chicken coated in deftly seasoned crunchy breading, all rounded together by tangy buttermilk dressing and crystal hot sauce. The only side this needs is another Crunchy Yardbird.”



Breaded Steak Sandwich at Ricobenes, in Chicago. (Courtesy: Ricobenes)

What: Breaded Steak Sandwich

Where: Ricobenes - Chicago

“This is the polar opposite of the above sandwich. Rolls of perfectly pounded, breaded, and fried steak, swimming in red sauce, gooey mozzarella, and oily peppers, all stuffed into a fresh, chewy roll. Sure, you eat a whole one of these and you might need four naps, but I guarantee you, during that nap, you’ll only dream of another steak sandwich.”



Bacon, egg, and cheddar bagel at Brooklyn’s Bagel Store. (Courtesy: Bagel Store)

What: Bacon, Egg, and Cheddar Cheese Bagel

Where: Bagel Store - Brooklyn, New York

“Since I eat on camera for a living, I have trained myself to exercise an immense amount of discipline. Usually, I take three bites and walk away. This bacon-fat, creamy, cheesy, unctuous, chewy creation was the only time I ate the whole thing. Granted, we had to shut down production for an hour while we waited for the swelling to subside, but it was worth it. Greatest bagel creation in the world.”


Corned Beef Sandwich at Danny’s Deli, in Cleveland, Ohio (Courtesy: Danny’s Deli)

What: Corned Beef Sandwich

Where: Danny’s Deli – Cleveland, Ohio

“Cleveland is classic corned-beef town. Danny’s is off the beaten path, totally unassuming, and neighborhoody: the true criteria for a great sandwich joint. One bite of their house-made corned beef, piled high of great rye, and your taste buds will high five your teeth.”

Emmy-nominated Jeff Mauro was born and raised in Chicago, where it was determined from an early age that he would become the funniest chef in the world. With meat, cheese, and bread coursing through his veins, he landed himself on season seven of the hit show Food Network Star. He ultimately won the competition by combining his passion for cooking with comedy and landed his own series, “Sandwich King,” which airs Sundays 11:00am/10:00 CST on the Food Network.

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