The Sandwich Business

A wavering economy is one way to separate the men from the boys, especially if the man or boy is in the restaurant business. "The men" seem to move forward with untempered spirits using talent and innovation to move through shaky times, while "The boys" may fall into debt, financial ruin and finally close their doors.

This is bad news for some, but great news for lovers of the sandwich. Today, many talented chefs are tossing aside the white coat and fancy kitchen to tinker with the lowly sandwich. Look at what Top Chef Tom Colicchio is doing with hand-held cuisine at Wichcraftnyc.com . These are craftsmen who don't settle for the sandwich status quo. They're raising the bar, changing the industry, making fantastic food and saving money.

Example Portland Oregon; since last fall, five sandwich shops with chefs at the helm have popped up garnering the city a national reputation among the foodie set as a sandwich-lover’s paradise. Look at Chefs Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood's joint called "Bunk Sandwiches" or Chef John Stewart's "Meat Cheese Bread" Squeee!!!! I could dance a jig!

Transcending the mere mortal realm of peanut butter and jelly, they're elevating the sandwich as we know it with combinations like milk-braised pork and pickled green tomatoe po’ boy, or a salt-cod sandwich, with black olives and house-made chorizo on a ciabatta roll. Yowza! Or what about layers of sweet roasted beets, crispy Nueske’s bacon, and tangy aioli on sourdough, all from closet sized kitchens, it's amazing.

Even pastrami kingpins Ken Gordon and Nick Zukin of Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen nixed plans for an expensive kitchen renovation and opened a minimally equipped alternative that specializes in what they do best: sandwiches. The result has become one of Portland’s hottest lunch spots: Kenny & Zuke’s SandwichWorks, with new favorites like a black bean, chorizo, and roasted-pork torta. Outstanding.

Pictured above from Tom Colicchio: Roasted turkey, creamy avocado, bacon and balsamic onion marmalade. Bon Appetit


  1. Beautiful site even better sandwich!

  2. This is so true with today's economy and sandwich shops are sprouting everywhere here. The one at Bunk looks delicious especially with that Sesame seed bun! And Meat Cheese Bread ~ the Cuban Pulled Pork sounds fantastic! I love Cuban sandwiches and seldom even see it offered here. But, the amazing ones are at Kenny and Zuke's ~ HUGE! And they look delicious. Now, that's what I call a sandwich! By the way, one of my favorites is a PB, Miracle Whip and lettuce sandwich. :-) Great post!!!

  3. i love avocado on anything YUM

  4. Sigh. It's 2:30am, and now you have me craving a sandwich. A really yummy one that I'm making up in my head, since there is no way it will actually happen. I'm thinking about artisan bread, blue cheese, fried onions, roast beef...Darnit Sam!

  5. Swoon! Your sandwich descriptions had me weak in th knees! I'm with Julie, 'Durnit Sam'!

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  7. Wow, love your blog. I'll take a good sandwich any day of the week. I see Kenny and Zuke's here. Are you in Portland? I can't find that info. Thanks for visiting my blog. Great to find you.


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