Three American sandwiches
When Americans make a sandwich, they make it big. There’s none of the British delicacy of a few slices of cucumber between buttered white bread. The fillings usually outweigh the bread by four to one and being able to ratchet your jaw open like a python helps. My first encounter with a pastrami on rye in New York went on all day. There was so much meat in that thing – probably a 10-centimetre stack of thin slices – that a few bites was all you could manage in a single sitting. That and the fat gherkin they’d stuffed into the takeout bag sustained me for three meals.
Muffulettas are having a moment and this quirky little spot specialising in sangers with an Italo-American bent is joining the party. Their interpretation of the fabled sandwich from New Orleans uses rye or sourdough bread (your choice), not the hollowed out Sicilian muffuletta loaf for which it’s named (AUD $11). Otherwise it’s pretty legit, stuffed full of finely sliced provolone, mortadella, grilled capsicum and olive salsa. They also sell the cold cuts by weight to go.
Address: 297 Enmore Road, Marrickville. Tel: +61 2 8065 8950
This cute diner is all padded red vinyl and chrome bar stools, booths and gingham with a menu of burgers, sandwiches, shakes and sundaes. The only thing missing is roller skating waitresses. Ordering the hot pastrami on rye is a no-brainer with its cured meat, sauerkraut – both housemade – swiss cheese and American mustard. It comes in small, medium and large (AUD $12/$16/$19), depending on the weight of meat, the medium (pictured) satisfying all but the most ravenous appetites. The bread’s soft and pale studded with caraway seeds and the side of onion rings was better in theory than execution.
Address: 402 Argyle Street, Moss Vale. Tel: +61 2 4869 1502
Okay, the muffuletta (AUD $18) is beautiful, it’s all over Instagram and it does taste pretty good, but food designed more for social media than anything else is a pretty irritating sign of the times. What lands in front of you is a cross-section of a hollowed out cob loaf, not a wedge, all the better to showcase the artfully layered filling of provolone, ham, salami, olives, mortadella and artichoke hearts. Ignore the cutlery at your peril. If you think you can treat this like a sandwich by, er, picking it up you’re wrong. You’ll be left holding the crusts and gazing down on the filling left behind on the plate. Enjoy.
Address: 2 Kensington Street, Chippendale. Tel: +61 2 9280 3285