19 Favorite Sandwiches of All Time

A few weeks ago when it was #NationalSandwichDay, I was not at all surprised when I searched “sandwich” in my photos and 676 photos came up.
I started thinking back on so many amazing sandwiches I’ve had over the years. And I started making a list. Some of these sandwiches no longer exist as the restaurants have long been closed. My list doesn’t include burgers or hot dogs or gyros or fried chicken sandwiches or tacos - those are a different category from what I think of as a traditional sandwich and I could make lists for each of those, too.
Anyway, if you’re interested, here are some of my favorite all time sandwiches. What are yours?
The Breaded Steak Sandwich from Ricobene's in Chicago
-This was called "best sandwich in the world" in USA Today in 2015. I love this sandwich and love this place.
The Cal City Special from Lincoln’s O (Closed - was located in Calumet City and then Highland, IN)
-This was our go-to sandwich place when I was a teen. I think it's still my favorite of all time as simple as it is - ham, turkey, bacon and melted American cheese with lettuce and tomato on a lightly toasted French roll. The Cal City was my favorite, but they also had a few other sandwiches that were in the rotation - the Sibley Special, the Bunny Girl, the U.S. Steel, the Stromboli. Their pies were legendary, as well. I recently stopped at a Lincoln's location in Hobart (different owners than the original family, and they have a few of the old menu items - but not the Cal City) and I described the Cal City Special to them and asked them to make me one. It was a pretty good substitute, but not as meaty as I remember. 

The Reuben from Nelson's Saloon in Three Oaks, Michigan
-Three Oaks has been one of our favorite spots for a summer (or even off-season) day trip and on most trips to the area, we pop into Nelson's for their Rueben sandwich. It's definitely not healthy, but it is so worth it.
The Chicken Salad Sandwich from Butterfingers, a Dessert Shop & Delicatessen in Highland, IN
-This is actually a bakery where you can get the most amazing cupcakes, brownies and other treats, but they also have a nice selection of savory goodies, too. I love the chicken salad sandwich on croissant.
The Cucumber Tea Sandwich (Closed - was located in Bakewell Bakery in Flossmoor)
-This sounds like such a simple sandwich that anyone could make, but I have tried to replicate this tea room favorite many times and failed. I don't know what made theirs so delicious. Maybe they used freshly baked bread that they made there - but there was also the perfect proportion of cucumber to cream cheese to dill. What I wouldn't give for a pretty tired platter off sandwiches and desserts from Bakewell with a spot of tea right now!

The Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich from @lumpy’s in Cambridge City, IN
-I've learned in traveling the Hoosier State what a big deal this unofficial sandwich is. How can you not love a breaded and fried pork sandwich? They do it perfectly - it is gigantic and hangs way over the side of the bun it is placed upon. When you're going fried, you might as well go all the way - add some onion rings and it's pork heaven.

The Turkey Dolo Sandwich at Grindhouse Cafe in Griffith and Whiting.
-You know how you find a favorite menu item at a place and it makes you not veer off and try anything else? That is me with the Turkey Dolo from Grindhouse. It's so good that it's the only thing I order. I think I once tried a different sandwich and once a salad, but I've made at least a couple dozen stops at Grindhouse between the Griffith and Whiting locations and the Turkey Dolo is absolutely my go-to. I love the thin slices of apple in this panini. It's dreamy.

The Bubba’s Sweet Steak (Closed - from Bubba’s in Gary)
-This place has been long gone (probably at least a decade), but I still remember the sandwich. A friend's husband owned the place and the specialty was this sandwich of thinly-sliced steak with onions and green peppers on a big crusty bun. It was one of those meals you didn't mind getting messy for!

The Italian Beef from Buona (with sweet peppers and marinara)
-I've eaten a lot of Italian beef in my day and there are so many good ones in the Chicago area. I think what makes Buona stand out for me is the blend of seasonings they use. It is perfect. A little bit of kick and a lot of flavor. I don't like mine baptized to where the bread is super soggy. I prefer mine dry with sweet peppers and marinara on top. But any way you enjoy it, you know it's going to be good. I also love that I can get kits there to take home to reheat and that I can even buy it in grocery stores like Aldi.

The Brioche BLT from Timbrook Kitchens (now located in SoHo Sweets in South Holland - was in Munster, IN)
-I was a frequent customer of Timbrook Kitchens when it was located in Munster. Chris, the owner, is a lovely guy who enjoys chatting with customers
The Corned Beef Sandwich from Schmaltz Delicatessen in Naperville
The Meat Lover’s Dream Breakfast Sandwich on French Toast at the Waffle & Pancake House in Muscatine, Iowa
Muffaletta Sandwich from Jason's Deli
The Reuben at J J Kelleys in Lansing
The Roast Beef Horseradish Panini (Closed - was from Petey Treats in Munster)
Steak Torta at Tacos Guanajuato in Kildeer
Grilled cheese (the one on the glazed donut is over the top, but really yummy) from Tom + Cheee (a chain in Ohio/Kentucky)
Pulled chicken sandwich at City BBQ
Pepper & Egg Sandwich at MaMa D's in Lemont

A few sandwiches that showed up in my photo search: