The countdown to Best of Phoenix is on. Mark your calendar: This year's issue will be on newsstands September 26. What better way to warm up than by asking some local "experts" to list their own personal bests? This week Country Velador, pastry chef at Cowboy Ciao in Scottsdale, shares her favorite sandwiches around town. (And we promised to mention that she's also crazy about the grab 'n' go sandwiches at Cowboy Ciao's new airport location.)
By Country Velador
Nothing makes my heart sing like a good sandwich (well, except for good fried chicken or a well-made breakfast). I grew up on sandwiches and to this day, there's nothing like going to my mom's house, having her pull out some good bread and making a sandwich with a big pile of BBQ potato chips on the side, or if I'm lucky, some Ruffles with ketchup. These are some of my favorite sandwiches around town.
The Pennsylvania Dutch Treat at Duck and Decanter
This place holds a special place in my heart. My mom used to take me there when I was a kid, waaaaay back in the '80s. Seeing the deli case full of salads and the shelves stocked with chocolates, candies (including my favorite at the time, La Vie), and lots of old-timey sodas, made my senses perk up and take notice. They serve a number of great sandwiches. One of my favorites is the Pennsylvania Dutch Treat. Soft dark rye filled with Lebanon bologna and sauerkraut with champagne mustard.
Naco Torta at Otro Cafe
This is is one of my new favorite restaurants, and its Naco Torta is very good, with grilled rib eye and fried eggs. But if you want amazing, do this: Order the Pollo Asado. When the citrus-marinated chicken comes to the table, pull it apart and layer it between two of their homemade tortillas with the seasonal veggies and aioli that it comes with, then add some of their salsa verde (it comes with their chips and salsa). It may be cheating to call it a sandwich, but did I already say it's amazing? Yes I did!!
The Reuben at Goldman's Deli
I love a good Reuben sandwich and if you want the meat piled high, you should go to Goldman's Deli. You get a side with their sandwiches and the potato salad is fantastic, nice and creamy with a little tang. Grab a piece of their homemade apricot rugelach for dessert!
Banh Mi at Da Vang
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Whenever I get a hankering for banh xeo, you can find me at Da Vang! But their banh mi is also great. BBQ pork and cilantro equals "yum" in my mind. Do yourself a favor (or should I say flavor) and ask for double meat.
Sloppy Joe at Bink's Midtown
If you're gonna eat a sloppy joe, might as well pair it with haricot vert, serrano chili, herbs, peanut, bonito, and pickled shiitake in ginger vinaigrette. Or how about melon with pumpkin seeds, chili piquin, ricotta salata, mint, and sangria granitè? Go to Bink's for a fantastic sloppy joe experience!