America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized

Our recent article on America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches has caused quite a stir in the blogosphere, but no one was more riled up  than a group of spunky vegan bloggers. Their de facto leader, Namely Marly, explains:

We read this article with great curiosity but it didn’t take long until the curiosity faded and was replaced with something else. OK. We were grossed out. Particularly at one sandwich that referred to an ingredient called suckling pig. We hoped this was a reference to something other than the obvious, but it appears it is exactly as it sounds. Only one of the 10 sandwiches appeared to be vegetarian. We felt like a cross between Stan Laurel and Rodney Dangerfield, scratching our heads with a half whimper and half scowl thinking, “Why don’t we vegans get any respect?”

So they decided to demand their own respect, teaming together to create tasty and healthy versions of each cholesterol-laden entry on the list of America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches. Hence, America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches — Veganized. Here are all ten of ’em. Follow the links for recipes.

10. The Vegan Spuckie

We called this olive-carrot-mortadella goodness from Cutty’s in Boston “the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness.” Drop the meat part and it’s still drool-worthy. Trina Jaconi Biery of Your Vegan Mom made her own meat-free mortadella, featured here on a ciabatta roll topped with vegan mozzarella and a sweet carrot-olive salad.

Recipe: The Vegan Spuckie

(Photo: Trina Jaconi Biery)

9. Vegan Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

When Allyson Kramer of Manifest Vegan learned there was a Bulgogi Steak Sandwich (from Koja in Philly) on the list, she jumped at the chance to veganize it. As a child she used to eat bulgogi steak sometimes twice a week. Now a vegan, she’s been hankering to try a veggie-friendly version. Served on a hoagie roll (Allyson even provided a recipe for gluten-free hoagie if that’s to your liking), marinated tofu is topped with caramelized peppers and onions, chili garlic sauce, and melted vegan mozz.

Recipe: Tofu Bulgogi Steak Sandwich

(Photo: Allyson Kramer)

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America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches

Forget who piles pastrami highest or fits the most varieties of cold cuts onto one hero roll. A great sandwich has come to mean more than just bigger, better and meatier. Across the country, a new breed of sandwich artisans are taking lunchtime to a whole ‘nother level. From California to New England, here are Endless Simmer’s top ten favorite new sandwiches.

10. The Spuckie — Cutty’s, Boston

spuckie sandwich cuttys

Spuckie is a term used by old-school Bostonians to identify any sub sandwich, but it’s increasingly associated with this year-old Brookline shop. It’s also probably the one sandwich that most successfully merges the old-school method of overdoing it on Italian meats with the new world of artisan, veggie-centric goodness. Super-thin slices of fennel salami, hot capicola and mortadella are layered on an oversize ciabatta, then topped with gooey, hand-pulled mozzarella and a fresh olive-carrot salad. For even less traditional sandwich-lovers, there’s also an eggplant spuckie available.

9. Bulgogi Steak Sandwich — Koja, Philadelphia

bulgogi steak sandwich

At the risk of outraging an entire city, we’re going to say it: the Philly cheesesteak is boring. With no disrespect meant to the age-old art of slathering fake cheese on top of a mound of meat, we just think this is one classic sandwich that is ready for a creative update. Enter University City sandwich truck Koja, where the chewy cheesesteak meat is replaced with bulgogi, Korea’s signature thinly-sliced, spicy BBQ beef. It’s served on a hoagie roll that’s coated in sweet chili oil and accented by sauteed peppers and onions. Koja also offers bulgogi pork and bulgogi chicken variations, but the best part is the unbelievable price — $3. Read more about this amazing sandwich at My Inner Fatty.

8.Crispy Drunken Sandwich — Baguette Box, Seattle

crispy drunken chicken baguette

Have you ever dug into a steamy styrofoam container of General Tso’s chicken and thought, “this is delicious, but it would be even tastier on a bun?” Of course you haven’t, that’s the most insane thing we’ve ever heard. But crazy is sometimes genius, as is proven at this tiny Seattle sandwich shop, where hunks of tender chicken are deep-fried and glazed in a tangy brown sauce, then served on a crispy baguette with caramelized onions and cilantro. The result is a supremely sticky, but utterly satisfying sandwich. (Photo: Sevius)

7. Cheesy Mac and Rib — The Grilled Cheese Truck, Los Angeles

cheesy mac and rib

Another new West Coast outpost that achieves genius results by thinking outside the bun, LA’s great cheese-on-wheels purveyor offers several list-worthy grilled sandwiches, but none is more awe-inspiring than this. Sharp cheddar mac-and-cheese, strands of sweet BBQ pork and caramelized onions are all stuffed into two perfectly buttered-and-fried slices of white bread. Yes, it sounds like the horrifying 3 a.m. creation of a stoned college student. Yes, it actually works. 
Grilled Cheese Truck)

6. Pibil Torta — Xoco, Chicago

XOCO Pibil

Upgrading Mexican street food has suddenly become a hot task of haute chefs around the nation, although the results often have us pining for the real thing. Not so at Rick Bayless’ Chicago sandwich shop, where tortas baked in the wood-burning oven take Mexican to levels we didn’t know existed. In this sandwich, silky strands of roasted suckling pig are served on crusty bread spread with black beans and achiote paste, then finished with a layer of pickled onions and habanero salsa. The Pibil may be one extra ingredient away from being a Top Chef disaster story, but as is, it’s perfection on bread.

Next: The top 5

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Top 10 New Foods We Ate in 2010

With another year gone it’s time to look back and reflect on all the deliciousness that was. Here are the top ten new dishes the Endless Simmer team was lucky enough to stuff in our mouths over the past 12 months.

10. Fried Peanut Butter, Banana and Bourbon Sandwich

breslin peanut butter and banana

Breakfast at The Breslin in New York is about as ridiculously delectable as it gets. In their modern update on The Elvis sandwich, peanut butter, banana, bourbon and vanilla are all goo-ily encased in a fried-til-crispy puffed skin. (Photo: gsz)

9. Sustainable Sushi

sustainable sushi

Sushi is the modern foodie’s last major guilt trip — a dish that just can’t be done locally, sustainably, or ethically. Or is it? At Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, Connecticut chef Bun Lai is turning the sushi CW on its head, proving it can be just as tasty and exciting when overfished species like unagi and bluefin are replaced with sustainable, North American fish. If there’s one new food idea that turns into a 2011 trend, we hope it’s this.

8. Burrata Everywhere


This revelatory cheese wasn’t invented in 2010 (try 1920) but this was the year we saw the Italian delicacy pop up on menus all across America. Fresh curds of buffalo milk mozzarella are stirred into salted cream and kneaded and pulled until they take on a gloriously goopy texture that makes all other mozz look like lifeless balls of nothing. Burrata is such a perfect cheese that only a sliver of bread and a touch of olive oil are needed to make it a meal. The quality varies place to place, but we sampled particularly tasty versions at Roman’s in Brooklyn and The Lake Chalet in Oakland. You? (Photo: Chiara Lorè)

7. The Mighty Cone

the mighty cone

The Austin, Texas food truck scene is one of the most heralded in the nation, and this local ready-to-eat-on-the-street treat is the one we’re most hoping to see go national. At this year-old trailer, a tortilla cone is filled with cornflake-almond-chili-crusted chicken tenders, fried avocado, mango-jalapeno slaw and ancho sauce. The ice cream cone is dead. Long live the chicken cone.
(Photo: The Mighty Cone)

6. Malaysian BBQ

fatty cue

Usually by the time a budding chef-lebrity opens their third restaurant, they’re churning out a watered down, assembly line version of what made them famous. Not so for Zak Pelaccio, who branched out this year with Fatty Cue, a Brooklyn restaurant that ingeniously fuses traditional southeast Asian flavors into classic BBQ dishes. The never gimmicky menu ranges from heritage pork ribs in smoked fish-palm syrup and Indonesian long pepper to Manila claims swimming in bone broth with barbecued bacon and chili. (Photo: Fatty Cue)

Next: Top 5 New Foods We Ate in 2010

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Artsy Photo of the Day

Bake Sale Betty's

From Bakesale Betty in Oakland, CA — the sandwich that puts the McChicken to shame.

Buttermilk fried chicken topped with a slaw of jalapeno, cabbage, red onion and parsley.

PS — your humble ES editor is exploring San Francisco, Oakland and surrounds this month — mostly with my mouth, of course. Where to eat? Shout it out, ESers!

Update: Officially one of the ten best sandwiches in America.

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