Stack 'em high!
A shortlist of places where sandwiches are an art form
Published: April 13, 2011
$=$5-$10; $$=$10-$25; $$$=$25-$50; $$$$=$50+
Amer's Deli 312 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-6000; amersdeli.com; $: For more than 20 years, Amer's Deli has attracted hungry Ann Arborites with its quality sandwiches and salads. In a coffeehouse atmosphere, you can enjoy their Reuben sandwiches, for which all-kosher corned beef is cooked, sliced and trimmed in-house; the rye bread is direct from an Oak Park-based Jewish bakery. The Georgia Reuben offers a turkey alternative to Amer's signature sammy, while the "Falafel" (served on white pita stuffed with hummus and taboulleh made in-house) and the "Pesto Luck" (fresh mozzarella, tomato and an impressive in-house pesto) should please vegetarians.
Bread Basket Deli 26052 Greenfield Rd., Oak Park; 248-968-0022; breadbasketdelis.com; $: A favorite among Metro Times readers, this old-fashioned Jewish deli serves mammoth sandwiches with quality ingredients piled high. How high? Their Dagwoods frequently achieve triple- or even quadruple-decker status. If you're looking for a tasty bite, the club sandwich and the cheeseburger aren't exactly kosher, but they are divine. The latkes, gefilte fish and cheese blintzes are also exquisite. Ask for a cold beet borscht to help wash that meal down.
Bucharest Grill inside the Park Bar, 2040 Park Ave. (enter off Elizabeth), Detroit; 313-965-3111; bucharestgrill.com; $: Who knew so many people wandering the neighborhood west of Foxtown had a hankering for Eastern European food? How else to explain the success of Bucharest Grill, a small counter setup in back of the Park Bar? For just a fistful of singles you can have affordable shawarma sandwiches and inventive hot dogs. For veggie fans, delicious Bulgarian goat cheese replaces chicken on the veggie version of the shawarma. Warning: Take your meal out to a seat in the Park and the bottles and taps of their formidable bar are sure to call your name.
Byblos Cafe and Grill 87 W. Palmer St., Detroit; 313-831-4420; bybloscafeandgrill.com; $: This halal-certified restaurant near Wayne State's campus attracts university students and staff, serving Coney Island fare and Mediterranean specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. A co-worker raves about the grape leaves, stuffed with lamb or meatless, including a mix of rice, tomatoes and parsley. Other favorites include the chicken shawarma — a pita wrap with a mix of toasted chicken, garlic sauce and pickles — and the Byblos wrap: vegetarian grape leaves, hummus, baba ghanoush, taboulleh and pickles.
Detroiter Bar 655 Beaubien St, Detroit; 313-963-3355; $: Yes, it's a bar, but it's also a grill worthy of this meat-and-potatoes town. The downtown spot packs 'em in for lunch. Expect solid bar fare, including big salads and a tasty chicken breast sandwich. The staff seems especially proud of their half-pound burger, the "house special," draped with enough meat and cheese to bring tears to a vegan's eyes.
Elwood Bar & Grill 300 Adams Ave., Detroit; 313-962-2337; elwoodgrill.com; $: Located right between Comerica Park and Ford Field, Elwood is the prime hangout spot for sports fans before, during and after games. Pair up a specialty sandwich with the vast amount of beer you will consume while cheering for the Detroit home teams. Don't skip out on a great sandwich because you want more drinking money, because all of them are very affordable. Priced at only $7.25 the Elwood Cuban — pulled pork, ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and wasabi aioli — is a delicious choice.
The Fly Trap 22950 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-399-5150; $$: When clever, talented people make your meal, the tastes will be great. Such is the Fly Trap's Charmoula Chicken sandwich, featuring north African spiced chicken breast, Jack cheese, caramelized onion on grilled sourdough with a lemon-garlic aioli for $7.95. The chicken gets its flavor from a marinade of paprika, orange juice, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper. Co-owner Kara McMillian says her husband and head chef, Gavin McMillian, once had a fish dish in a north African restaurant in Seattle, and thought it'd be good to try with chicken. They decided to pair it with the caramelized onions and aioli, "and it was born." Now it's a "really popular sandwich, one of the best-selling items on menu," with lots of loyal fans. Fly Trap is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Closed Mondays.
Grand Trunk Pub 612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043; grandtrunkpub.com; $: Dine and down a pint amid history! Located near Campus Martius in downtown Detroit, Grand Trunk Pub serves up delectable goodness in what was once the Grand Trunk Railway ticket office. Brass chandeliers, 25-foot-vaulted ceilings, brick walls and hardwood floors bring patrons back to the early 1900s. Officially touting their fare as "gourmet pub grub," this local watering hole supports top-notch local businesses, serving Avalon Organic breads, Better Made chips, and meats and produce from Detroit's own Eastern Market. And it sure makes for a good sandwich. We know a loyal follower of their sandwich called the "Finnigan" — chicken breast topped with fresh mozzarella, spinach and their homemade tomato-basil aioli on grilled Greektown olive bread.
Famous Izzy's Restauarant 22315 Little Mack, Roseville; 586-294-6750; $: This is about as serious as sandwiches get. It's the home of the 25-inch, half-pound hot dog, the 7-pound steak burger (which the menu describes as "not for wimps"), and sandwiches that aren't just double-deckers or triple-deckers — but four-deckers so tall they have to be served on skewers. For just $9.99 you can get the four-decker Jennifer's Jubilee, with corned beef, pastrami, Swiss cheese and house dressing. And, seriously, that thing right there is about three meals' worth of eating! See also their "Mile High" cakes — cakes so big they are decorated with little cakes of their own.
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