The Humble Sammich

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Since the beginning of time (probably) what defines a sandwich has been a serious discussion of what combination of veggies, sauces, meats and cheeses belong between two delicious carb-packed pieces of bread.

If you’re like me, you can’t go wrong with the classic cheeseburger. Find that perfect ratio of beef to cheese, add some onion and ketchup and I’m set. But others aren’t as easy to please.

The story of the first sandwich is that Englishman John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich-from Kent County, south-east England was craving a snack during a long-winded gambling streak.  He asked the cook to make him something he could eat while playing, and low and behold, the first sandwich was born– sliced meat between two pieces of toasted bread.  This piece of perfection wasn’t messy and required no utensils, allowing Montagu to gamble on.

Sadly, the genius actually credited with creating the first sandwich was not recorded for posterity.  In Britain the meat of choice was beef, while American’s later preferred ham-this leads me to believe that any sandwich not possessing at least some type of meat should not garnish the superior title of “sandwich.”

Here in the 573 region of Missouri there is no shortage of these delicious delicacies and chefs across the counties are continuing to hone their skills in what makes for the perfect sandwich.

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The debate over the best sandwich has yet to be decided, but we took the liberty of giving you some pretty delicious options in 573 land.  You’re welcome. :)

Restaurant: Mary Jane Burgers & Brew

Where: 102 N. Jackson St., Perryville

Sandwich: John Boy Burger – Double beef, apple-smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese, fried onions and a spicy chipotle aioli.  Served with hand-cut fries and homemade ketchup. $11.00

The front of Mary Jane’s is framed with big open windows that, in the springtime, provide the best breeze while patrons enjoy their lunch, but in the winter the view is nice, too.  Since 2013, their deliciously flavorful sandwiches paired with a craft beer never disappoints.  Mary Jane’s boasts that when possible they shop local to support the small town economy.  All their burgers are prepared fresh daily using Midwest-raised cattle, no GMOs, no antibiotics and are accompanied with fresh-baked buns.

Restaurant: Pho8

Where: 3036 William St., Cape Girardeau

Sandwich: Chicken Bánh mì- A lightly toasted baguette stuffed with mayo, veggies, herbs and chicken. $6.95

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One of the finer gluten-free options in Cape Girardeau, Pho8’s Vietnamese inspired street food is a must-visit for those who are celiac sensitive. Pho8 (soup) is a classic Vietnamese tradition served with rice noodles, veggies and fresh herbs. Other options are Bún, a noodle bowl, co’m, a rice bowl, and of course the famous Bánh mì, which is also available with beef, pork or veggies.  Pho8 gives diners the feel of fine dining, but without the wait.  While it doesn’t offer full-table service the quality of the food is higher then that of your average fast-food joint, and throwing in a little cultural diversity to your meals never hurt either.

Restaurant: Hub’s Pub and Grill

Where: 10 N. Dover St., Bonne Terre

Sandwich: The Cuban – Smoked pork loin, smoked pulled pork, deli ham, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard, bread and butter pickles slathered in Harmon’s Cuban sauce between a garlic toasted sourdough hoagie pressed like a Panini. Lunch special $5.99–plus a side.

Hub’s Pub and Grill started as local bar in Bonne Terre in April 2007.  The full kitchen was added in 2012 and since then the menu has only expanded.  Harmon joined Hub’s team last April and is excited to start introducing some of his own creations to the menu.  In addition to being non-smoking and having a separate family-friendly dining area away from the bar, Hub’s provides weekly live entertainment every Saturday night.

Restaurant: Wib’s Drive-in

Where: 1204 N. High St., Jackson

Sandwich: BBQ Combination Sandwich – Sliced pork shoulder smothered in homemade pimento cheese with their homemade bbq sauce between two slices of white toast. $4.10

Since 1948 Wib’s has been serving Jackson’s residents and providing one of the most controversially delicious BBQ sandwiches out there.  With their thinly sliced meats and locally-famous sauce, sandwich connoisseurs either tend to love them or hate them, but business doesn’t suffer.  In 1986.  A.D. and Judy Hoffman began running the restaurant since its original opening residents of Jackson laugh, saying at one time or another every teenager has taken their turn serving at Wib’s.  If you want to try the spicier side of life definitely try Wib’s, their sauce is a special entity in that it’s not a sweet sauce, the more you add the spicier the sandwich.

Restaurant: Olympic Steakhouse

Where: 113 E. Main St., Fredericktown

Sandwich: The Steak Sandwich – A six or seven ounce piece of ribeye Angus meat served with lettuce, onion, and tomato on two slices of white Texas toast. $7.99

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“Home of the half priced steak” owner Randy Brewer says they’re not into the gimmicks of a lot of current day restaurants.  Having been a staple in Fredericktown since 1998 Randy says they believe in high quality meat and serving only the best, along with some top-notch dessert specials.  The restaurant cuts their own main steaks and marinates their chicken in-house, providing some of the most flavorful and fresh meats around.

Restaurant: BOGO Sandwiches

Where: 12 S. Jackson St., Farmington

Sandwich: Club with roast beef on white bread and “Mayo of the Month: Sriracha Mayo” $4.99

Since opening his doors in November 2013 BOGO-Buy One Give One, gives away one sandwich for every sandwich they sell to a local non-profit organization.  Each morning members of the charities come to BOGO to pick up their free sandwiches that were tallied up the day before, a service BOGO is more than happy to provide for the community.

Restaurant: Taytro’s Bar and Bistro

Where: 343 N. Creek Dr., Festus

Sandwich: Gator Po Boy – Dressed with a citrus chipotle mayo, shredded lettuce, tomato and a pickle served with chips or fries the gator po boy is sold at market price.

Mardi Gras is no small affair at Taytro’s.  Since its opening in 2010 the bistro and bar celebrate Fat Tuesday every Tuesday.  The family-owned New Orleans-esq restaurant is bringing a taste of Louisiana to Festus with live music at least three nights a week and the wide variety of Cajun delicacies to choose from.  Their menu has everything from jambalaya to pork chops to pralines, giving everyone something to enjoy.

Restaurant: Stella and Me Cafe

Where: 198 N. Main St.,

Ste. Genevieve

Sandwich: Cranberry Turkey Panini – turkey, bacon, provolone, cranberry sauce, red onion and mayo on wheat.  Includes kettle chips with house dip, pretzels with dill dip or tortilla chips with hummus or artichoke spread. $9.50

In a small town of less than 4,000, Stella and Me is a quaint, lunch cafe in downtown Ste. Gen.  They offer petite lunch options of soups, salads and sandwiches with a special every day.   In addition to their exquisite sandwiches, Stella’s is known for its dainty “just a bite” desserts, which include carrot cake, peanut butter pie and more.

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