The sandwich: One of mankind’s simplest yet most delicious culinary inventions ever conceived.
At face value, the idea of a bunch of meat and or vegetable between two slices of bread might come off as downright silly. But, in the end, the sandwich is portable, clean, stable and customizable - it’s like the G.I. Joe action figure of foods, except people don’t snicker at you for carrying around a sandwich at the age of 24.
In Lincoln, there are plenty of incredible restaurants and cafés that serve up some hefty and tasty sandwiches for people to devour like the savage omnivores that they are. In fact, there are so many options that even trying to make a list of the best sandwiches from the best shops ever would fry my brain to a crisp, which would then be ironically served on someone’s sandwich. So, here’s a list of my top-six sandwiches that would give your mother’s Supa-Tuna Salad a run for its money.
Best Chicken Sandwich: The Massaman Curry at Banhwich Café.
On 940 N. 26th St., you will find this restaurant, which serves a smorgasbord of Vietnamese-style sandwiches and salads. One of its many tasty concoctions is the Massaman Curry, a chicken sandwich with mushroom pâté and plenty of vegetables. It’s a different sandwich, but I eat difference for breakfast and, in this, for lunch. The mushroom pâté certainly adds to the already good chicken, and the green peppers give it a stronger kick. However, there seemed to be too much cilantro and green peppers when making it spicy. But, that’s coming from a killjoy who’s not a huge fan of cilantro and, regardless, the Massaman Curry is one of the better spicy chicken sandwiches that I’ve ever had and my sixth-best sandwich in Lincoln.
Best Chicken Salad Sandwich: Chicken Salad at Highnooners.
I was never a huge fan of chicken salad, considering that most people add a criminally disproportionate amount of celery compared to the chicken. But Highnooners seems to get it right, with a nice balance of mayo-mustard-salad sauce - whatever the hell those crazy sandwich geniuses call it - celery, cranberries and chicken. Yes, I could taste that I was eating chicken rather than some chewy mystery Wookie meat or something. Those krazy kats even put walnuts in there, which seems so unorthodox that the logic crumples and works. So, for the best chicken salad, Highnooners, on 1414 O St., is the place. Its chicken salad sandwich is my fifth-best sandwich in Lincoln.
Best Pulled-Pork Sandwich: Pulled Pork at C. Berry’s.
I’m a sucker for barbecue, and I’m not exactly picky where I find it. If someone were to ask me how much I like barbecued meat in my sandwiches while I was hungry, I wouldn’t answer them and instead be trying to smoke their arm for a prime rib. However, there are few places that have excellent barbecue with meat that’s not ripped straight from a Jack Link’s plastic bag. C. Berry’s, on 1422 O St., is a local Lincoln place that nails it with its pulled pork sandwich. I don’t even need to describe the tenderness and tastiness of the seasoned pork because you can already tell that you’re getting a good sandwich when you read the menu and see that the meat is served between two Kaiser buns. Dude, only the holiest and mouth-watering pieces of swine can be eaten with those buttery Kaiser buns, or something like that. But whatever. If you can mentally reject the notion that you would probably taste just the pork in your sandwich if you were so lovingly prepared, try out my fourth-best sandwich, C. Berry’s Pulled Pork.
Best Italian/Club Sandwich: The Vinny at Danny’s Downtown Deli.
An Italian-style club is a fairly safe sandwich for the folks who don’t want to take too many risks. Sure, the meat might be a bit spiced or there could be some ground-breaking provolone cheese, but clubs are vanilla. However, after eating “The Vinny” at Danny’s Downtown Deli on 941 O St., I must say that all other clubs should bow their toothpick-covered heads in shame. Not only is this thing incredibly filling for an eight-inch sandwich – I almost expected this thick monster to eat me before I ate it - and not only does it have the nice cold-cut meats and cheeses expected, but Danny’s gives you the option to make it even better by adding “everything,” which includes vinegar and Parmesan and other awesome stuff. My third best sandwich is easily Danny’s “The Vinny,” and anyone brave enough to wrestle it before devouring it whole should give it a shot.
Best Reuben Sandwich: Reuben at Bison Witches Bar & Deli.
Many fast-food places make Reubens, but I’ve never had one quite as good as the one at Bison Witches Bar & Deli on 1320 P St.
With an unrelenting amount of corned beef and sauerkraut, the sandwich is thick, juicy and flavorful enough to send your taste buds to Pseudo-Ireland. Plus, the Thousand Island Dressing doesn’t cover up the taste of the cabbage or meat, so everything is balanced nicely. Even the rye bread isn’t so overbearing in flavor, though some may not care for its mild nature. Still, Bison Witches manages to make a mightily tasty Reuben sandwich and my second best Lincoln sandwich.
Best Sandwich: Steak and Cheese at Doozy’s.
Alright, here’s the big Kahuna, the head honcho, the last stand. There’s not much that I can say other than that Doozy’s makes a hot and mean steak and cheese sandwich to die for. With shredded seasoned steak, green peppers, onions and cheese, this bad boy will melt in your mouth and you will probably savor every meaty bite like the hungry college student that you are. Sure, the sandwich might be greasy, but hey, that’s fine. The saying goes that you need a little elbow grease to get hard work done, so grease isn’t all bad.
I can hear the dripping saliva hitting the ground. You’re hungry, aren’t ya? Oh, the thought of melted cheese and steak is making some of your minds swirl, I bet. If you want to check out my top-rated sandwich in Lincoln, check out 101 N. 14th St. and get ready for steak and cheese.