Since the inception of its identity in the 18th century by John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich, (thanks, Wikipedia); sandwiches have been a widely popularized international phenomenon altered into all shapes, sizes and tastes.
Today, the sandwich is definitely not only a true staple of the American diet but also that of yours truly. That is why I made it my mission to go out and find some of the best sandwiches available in the great city of Rochester and deliver them to you for your mouth-watering enjoyment.
Magnolia’s: This Park Avenue caf has been the site of some of my favorite lunches in Rochester and definitely has an item on the menu for everyone. With a great location, eclectic atmosphere and always-fresh ingredients, Magnolia’s has never disappointed anyone I know during a visit.
Well-known for its soups, such as the tomato artichoke, and its desserts, such as the peanut butter bomber, Magnolia’s also boasts a great specialty sandwich menu, each named after a part of the surrounding area.
The shining star of the menu has to be the Vassar, and you definitely need to spend the extra buck for the foccacia bread. This sandwich features grilled chicken breast, bacon, pepper jack cheese, creamy blue cheese, tomato and hot sauce mixed into an enjoyable fill.
Campi’s: With the slogan “Where Sandwich is King,” Campi’s Deli truly lives up to its insignia. Located on Scottsville Road just off UR’s River Campus, Campi’s is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for the faint of stomach. This place does not mess around at all when it comes to delivering meaty, greasy and eye-popping sandwiches like you have never seen before.
And sitting on a pedestal at the top of the ladder is the beef bomber. This monster of a steak sandwich is a toasted roll literally one foot in diameter – yes, I said diameter – and usually includes mozzarella cheese, peppers, onions and mushrooms. Having downed one myself in a single sitting, I will tell you that this is a daunting task, and anyone with the stomach to do so will earn my immediate and undying respect.
Open Face: A small and unassuming sandwich and catering eatery on South Avenue, you would probably just pass right by this gem unless you were specifically looking for it. Mixing bold flavors and healthy alternatives, Open Face is a great option for those craving something fresh and different. It delivers original soup and salad selections, as well as boasting over 25 different types of teas.
What interested me the most about Open Face was that it smokes its own meats every day for the best results. This brings me to the reason why Open Face is on the list: its Open Melt. This sandwich comes with your choice of fresh roast beef, maple turkey, peppered turkey, chicken salad or flaked albacore, served open with melted havarti and French-fried onions on toasted sourdough, wheat or rye. The Open Melt provides a spicy kick from the cheese as well as a rich texture and deep flavor, all of which comes together to leave you satisfied.
Pellegrino’s: How could anyone write an article about sandwiches without mentioning Pellegrino’s? Serving UR’s best and brightest with a smile all year long definitely earned it a spot on the list. Not to mention it has some of the tastiest subs one could ever dream of.
Everyone has a favorite sub on the Pellegrino’s menu, and talking about this award winner with my friends was certainly a point of contention. The way I reached my conclusion was that this sandwich is one part underdog, one part against the grain and eight parts amazing. And the winner is the one and only: Bar-B-Que Chicken Philly! Every sub shop has its own buffalo chicken, and every deli has its version of the Italian, but this sandwich is one of a kind and I’ve never tasted anything like it before. The zesty barbeque sauce seems to laugh at you, while the chicken, peppers and mushrooms always aim to please. I encourage all of you to try one of these morsels for yourself; it will not let you down.
Park is a member of the class 2009.