The ur-sandwich is attributed to John Montagu, British Earl of Sandwich, who in the 1760s ordered a servant to fetch him something to eat between two slices of bread so he didn’t have to leave the gaming tables. Yet the Chinese were chomping on Rou Jia Mo (meat between bread) as early as 200 B.C., and in the first century B.C., Rabbi Hillel the Elder instituted the Passover custom of eating apple, nuts and bitter herbs between two matzohs. Today, although sandwiches are beloved everywhere, some of the very best offer a sense of place you can hold onto.
The South Beach hotel’s Bar Collins calls its version the Media Noche, but it’s indisputably a big hola to the Cubano, a Miami staple that has spread across the nation. This upmarket version features organic/free range pork loin, smoked ham, Swiss cheese, Cuban mustard and house-made pickles served warmed and juicy between slices of locally baked Cuban brioche.
This Waldorf Astoria property has been a NOLA icon for 125 years, so it comes by its New Orleans Style Muffaletta honestly. Like versions sold in much humbler settings in the Crescent City—and imitated widely elsewhere—it’s composed of ample layers of smoked ham, spicy capicola, mortadella, provolone and Sicilian olive salad. Find it on the menu of the hotel’s Teddy’s Cafe.
At Inkwell, the erstwhile city room of the state’s largest newspaper in the historic Old Port District, the scoop on what to order couldn’t be more obvious: Upper Exchange Lobster Roll. Luscious chunks of Maine lobster topped with a Meyer lemon mayonnaise, Bibb lettuces and snipped chives, all stuffed into a toasted split-top roll (New England-style hotdog bun).
The massive appeal of the Philly Cheesesteak—thinly sliced beef, grilled onions (optional) and either provolone or, yes, Cheese Whiz on a hoagie roll—has been slyly homaged at the hotel’s Commons Lounge. To accompany a classic cocktail—including the 1900s-vintage Clover Club (gin, lemon, raspberry syrup, egg white) from nearby Bellevue Hotel—try the Cheesesteak Spring Rolls.