20 Great American Sandwiches
(Lonely Planet) — Behold the sandwich: a modern culinary wonder of the world. Named for a British Earl, borrowed from the Dutch, invented by some unheralded genius that first stuffed something tasty inside of bread and ate it, and, in modern day, mastered by the Americans.
Take a trip across the United States and look beyond the chain restaurants, and you’ll find a whole world of unique regional sandwiches that speak to the history and ingredients of the area.
Many American sandwiches can only be found in one very specific location or region (or restaurant), but even those that have ventured beyond their birthplaces are generally best enjoyed in their original context. Sandwich history can be layered and complicated, but, like a good sandwich, rarely dry.
American sandwiches are often surrounded by unexpected controversy, and naming the definitive version of any one of these sandwiches will almost certainly spark an argument. Argue if you will, but let’s argue it over one of these 20 American regional sandwiches:
Range: Native to California but now commonly found in other parts of the U.S.
California’s official motto is ‘Eureka!’ but you’d be forgiven for thinking that it’s ‘Eureka! We’ve discovered the avocado!’ In California, you are more likely to get a spin on the classic bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich, with the addition of the ‘A’ and served upon toasted sourdough bread, even if you didn’t expect it.
There’s nothing wrong with a classic BLT, but the avocado does add a welcome dimension (and can almost convince you that it’s bordering on healthy). Who makes a great BLTA? Check out the version at the long-lined Bay Area sandwich shop Ike’s Place (where they call it a CA-BLT), or the thick-cut bacon version at Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe (where they call it a BLAT).