In Australia, they’re known with affection as a sammo or sango; in England, as a sarnie. We call them sammies. However it’s referred to, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts: bread, top and bottom, stuff in between. Nov. 3, officially National Sandwich Day, is our annual nod to the lunchtime favorite named for John Montagu, Earl of Sandwich, who was born in 1718. When hungry, it’s said, the Earl would order servants to bring him slices of meat between slices of bread. His friends began ordering “the same as Sandwich.” Thus, the satisfying meal was christened, to go forth and multiply into the BLT, club, grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly, and innumerable other variations. Here are some yummy takes.
The Langham, Chicago, Illinois
This Forbes Five Star hotel resides in a skyscraper designed by legendary Mies van der Rohe, near the Chicago River. The terribly English brand is known for its clubby elegance and afternoon High Tea, yet at its Travelle restaurant, the sammie star is the decidedly non-Brit Pork Belly Bahn Mi, accompanied by hoisin glaze, pickled carrot, radish and fresh herbs.
New Orleans Marriott, Louisiana
The po’ boy is one of the Crescent City’s two sammie standouts (muffuletta being the other). Locals argue endlessly over who’s got the best, but you won’t go wrong with the soul-satisfying shrimp and oyster version that arrives “fully dressed” at 5Fifty5, which specializes in cuisine redolent of the fabled food region, in this Canal Street meetings mecca.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Nevada
Eggslut—the eyebrow-raising name was coined by Anthony Bourdain for chefs unable to resist adding a fried, poached or otherwise cooked egg to all kinds of fare—began as an L.A. food truck. Now its chef-driven egg sandos are a winning pick on The Strip and other locales as far-flung as Singapore and Seoul. Slut, a signature item, is a coddled egg atop potato puree, poached in a glass jar.
The Greenwich Hotel, New York City
Robert De Niro owns this enclave in a cobblestone quarter of TriBeCa in Manhattan. Abstract paintings by his father adorn the lobby, and a book-lined drawing room opens to a pocket garden. Yoko Ono might be spotted in the restaurant, Locande Verde, where rustic Italian offerings at midday include a Shaved Porchetta Sandwich with grilled onions and provolone.