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July 15, 2008

Top Ten Places to Get a Great Sandwich

OnTheHill.jpgFor everything you want to know about sandwiches in Baltimore and more, please read the comments under my previous post, Sandwich Musings. There are over 100 of them, packed with information and recommendations.

The following is my list. Plenty of places are known for one or two great sandwiches, but these have excellent sandwiches almost no matter what you order.

It's my list, but even more so than usual I'm not pretending it's a definitive list. Please post your favorite places, and include specifics on the best sandwich(es) to order. 

The list could use more sandwich shops in the burbs if you have some recommendations. 

Here we go: ... 

* Attman's Deli on Corned Beef Row. Most folks would agree that this is as close to a New York deli as Baltimore has. I recommend the hot pastrami, coleslaw and russian dressing on rye.

* Atwater's in Belvedere Square. If you believe great sandwiches start with good bread, try Atwater's, even though the sandwich menu is limited.

* Café Mocha (859 N. Howard St.) was voted Best Sandwich Shop in Baltimore by the City Paper for two years running...

* ...until Carma's knocked it off its perch. Carma's Cafe (3120 St. Paul St.) in Charles Village

* Dogwood Deli in Hampden. Retired in Elkridge pointed out that Dogwood Deli has been named one of the Hot 10 Sandwich Shops in August's Bon Appetit. It's the sandwich shop for locavores.

* Eddie's of Roland Park. Call ahead and order your sandwich at lunchtime. Otherwise the wait is long. The special sandwich of the week is usually a good deal.

* Flying Avocado Cafe in Owings Mills, gourmet sandwiches but vegan-friendly. Mmmm avocado.

* Isabella's in Little Italy. Sure there's pizza, but there are also lots of hot and cold Italian-inspired sandwiches.

* On the Hill Cafe (1431 John St.) in Bolton Hill. Try the McMechen (pictured), a spinach tortilla stuffed with curried chicken salad, red grapes, mango chutney, pecans and lettuce.

* Rosina Gourmet in Canton. This little sandwich shop has traditional Italian sandwiches, but there are also barbecued chicken and a couple of vegetarian options.


 (Photo of On the Hill Cafe by Algerina Perna/Sun photographer) 



Posted by Elizabeth Large at 4:15 AM | | Comments (65)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


I always seem to forget The Flying Avacado - got to get there again soon! I haven't had their sandwiches yet but their soups...ummmmm!

BTW, can't link it because I have poor computer skills, but there's a story on Yahoo stating that Talapia has more (bad) fat in it than bacon. Thought this crew would be interested...

Joyce W., we all know that the fat in bacon can't possibly be bad for you--right?

It's an incomplete list without adding either Cannella's (Harford Rd about a mile north of Joppa), and/or DiPasquale's in Highlandtown.

Don't forget Stone Hill Bakery! (in Greenspring Station) I always get sticker shock at the cash register but the food is great. Too bad we lost the one on Roland Ave... :(

Also Taneytown Deli in Catonsville (awesome chicken salad with almonds) and for a GREAT Italian sub, try Scittino's Italian Market, a hidden gem at 1701 Edmondson Ave!

Dahlink, how can something so GOOD be bad??? My theory is that eventually, science will prove that there is nothing healthy to eat anyway, so enjoy whatever!

Having honed my sandwich appetite at New York's Stage Delicatessan where proprietor Max Asnas (the "Sage of the Stage") dispensed wisdom and massive combos like the Hymie's Special, I have to admit that I'm underwhelmed by Attman's corned beef sandwich. It doesn't hold a pickle to Lenny's tasty, piled-high version, at least for me. And I gave Attman's three tries before crossing Lombard for good. For the record (and deli lovers visiting New York,) the Hymie's Special was a triple decker combining corned beef, pastrami, turkey and Swiss cheese, slathered with Russian dressing. Maybe it's still on the Stage menu. In which case, dig in.

DiPasquale's is good. I like Isabella's better, but DiPasquale's has more stuff.

Well, this settles it. For breakfast I will be eating what I brought for lunch today, and I will be venturing out to Isabella's. I can almost see it from where I sit so I have no excuse. While walking to get my haircut one day, I was drawn into their shop by the wonderful smell of the wood fired brick oven. I smelled it from a couple of blocks away. They were nice folks. I guess it's time to try them out!

Can't forget Red Star on Wolfe St. in Fells Point. The ALT (Avocado/Lettuce/Tomato) sandwich, paired with their sweet potatoe fries, is outstanding along w/ almost everything on their menu!

I just had an Isabella's sandwich yesterday and it was good, but not as good as DiPasquale's. The bread at DiPaquales was what gave it the edge - better than Isabella's in my opinion.

Trinacria (406 N Paca St) has the best itallian sandwiches in the world and cheap too.

Miss Shirleys has very interesting as well as fresh tasty sandwiches. It's mostly know for breakfast and brunch but the lunch is also to die for!

Beach Bums in Federal Hill is awesome. Very generous portions and creative twists on traditional sandwiches.

I second Cannella's. You simply can't go wrong there. Try the Tessa Rosa.

oooooooooooor the Ugly Muffin in Cockeysville.

Well Mary Mervi's in Lexington Market has the best shrimp salad sandwich you will ever have in your life. If you can get by the all the junkies and crackheads without losing your wallet, then definitely try it. It's piled high and worth the money!!!

My all time favorite sandwich shop has to be Beach Bums in Federal Hill. They have a lot of unique sandwiches on their menu. I love the Land and Sea sandwich (roast beef and shrimp salad) on rye. The cream of crab soup is also a must try if you ever go their. It's located off of Light St. near Cross St.

Liquid Earth! Liquid Earth!! Liquid Earth!!!

I think Sean likes Liquid Earth. EL

Oh snap! Dahlink dropped the "b" word ...

I second Beach Bums, and I third Cannella's. However, Cannella's has moved to Bel Air Road in Perry Hall and the old location is now called Toscana's. Both Cannella's and Toscana's have excellent sandwiches and nice big portions! I could go on about Toscana's pasta-to-go selections, but I digress.

Ditto Beach Bums! Their shrimp salad is awesome. Great cobblers and ice cream too. Yummylicious!

i gotta 2nd Liquid Earth. vegan-friendly, nice-size portions, nice folks, locally owned.
if you're gonna be a locavore, buy from localfolks.
otherwise, i pretty much hate sandwiches {due to the 3 tons of PB&J's i ate as a youngster}.

Something smells -- "Dan"s name is linked to the Red Star web site. But with his spelling of "potatoe", might this be Dan Quayle?

A New York native, I had many great Saturday lunches at the Stage, but I disagree with Michael Gray about Attman's. Its corned beef sandwich (adorned only with mustard, the only way to eat it) is superior to those I remember from my childhood at the Stage and at its contemporary neighbor the Carnegie. However, no place in Baltimore can match the pastrami at either.

Beach Bums is great...but my favorite is the Real Guiseppi at Trattoria AnnaMaria across the street. The fatty meats beat any bacon I've ever had...and the onion/peppers concoction they make could turn a Subway sandwich into a treat!

Have we forgotten the italian sandwiches at Mastelonne's Deli on Harford Rd?

Well, it's time to throw out something off the subject.
Catonsville is getting a new Mexican restaurant. There is a sign where (I think it was Pinocchio's) a sub shop used to be, announcing that a Mexican restaurant is moving in. It looks like it will be small though.
That's all the information I have...

I have one question about all of these places. Do all their sandwiches come with fries or do they cost extra?

I think the trend of resturants charging extra for fries is just wrong!!! I won't frequent a sandwich shop that charges extra for them.

If you talk shrimp salad, Kibby's on Wilkens has to come into the mix.

Chaps pit everything on Pulaski Highway

"GREAT Italian sub, try Scittino's Italian Market, a hidden gem at 1701 Edmondson Ave!" Caroline - Agree with you totally! One of the top 3 Italian subs EVER!
Have you been to Mr. G's since they re-opened? Wondering if they still have a great cheese steak sub?

Cannella's question: The place on Harford Road is now named Toscano's. There is now a Cannella's in Perry Hall on Belair Road. I mostly stop at Toscano's to get roast pork to make Cuban Sandwiches, so I'm not sure whether their menus are similar or whether they're related. Anybody have any more info?

EL made a passing reference to Savona in Bel Air in this blog a little while ago. Amazing place for sandwiches! They get their bread and roles from Little Italy.

I'm saving Savona for Top Ten Places to Get Good Cheese. EL

Skin, I'm sure Dan's spelling of "potatoe" was meant to be ironic.

charcoal grill on old harford and putty hill.

The ALT (Avocado/Lettuce/Tomato) sandwich

That would be really good if you added bacon.

I agree with EJB. Alot of salespersons like to take us to Micheals on York Road for lunch. I always order the Kobe Burger for $10.00+ and it comes with chips out of a bag. Fries are extra. What a bunch of bull. Now if the chips are housemade and delicious like the Dogfish Head Alehouse and Bluestone I will subsitute them for fries. But to serve generic bagged fries with a $10.00 burger is just plain wrong.

Good cheese? Oooo...I can't wait! The best place I've found so far is Whole Paycheck, and, well, I'm used to Zingerman's.

The fresh roasted turkey breast sandwich from Krause's at Lexington Market is about as good as a sandwich gets.

Ok, as far as NYC goes Carnegie is nothing more than a glorified tourist trap. The Stage is OK but some of the worst corned beef I've ever had has been in NYC. How about the shrimp salad on rye at Miller's or the triple-decker concoctions at Suburban House?

For those of us in the burbs, Gibby's Seafood, next to the Swirl Wine shop on York Road has the best fresh fish sandwiches, soft shell crab sandwiches and pasta salads around town..yum..yummy..yum...

Cheers for Mastelonne's..yum.

There's a new Casa Mia's in the old stone building on the corner of Falls Road and Shawan Road (near Oregon Ridge). Really tasty fresh paninis and some gorgeous looking salads and hunks of lasagna in the deli case.

Haven't had the ALT at Red Star, but had the portabella sandwich with mozzarella, basil pesto and roasted red pepper there last week. The mountain of sweet potato fries was a bonus. Delicious!

I second Jim's nomination of Krause's--hand-carved and the bird's still warm from the oven. If you're REALLY hungry, get the Thanksgiving sandwich: turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce all on the same sandwich. Mmmmm...turkey!

And I''ll match D. Barron's shrimp salad against Mary Mervis any day...whole shrimp, celery, mayo, and a touch of seasoning. Th-th-th-that's all, Folks!

Thanks for mentioning Miss Shirley's in Roland Park. This summer, the chef is featuring a sandwich from Monday-Thursday called Shirley’s Surfin’ USDA. It is a club with a tenderloin filet and goat cheese, layered under toasted potato bread then topped with avocado mayo, lobster salad, heirloom tomatoes & mixed greens.

oh my god how could you not mention the "Rachel" from Chaps pit beef! Out of this world! The best corned beef ever!

Ham salad on a roll from Muellers Deli on Harford Road; the Tony Rubino at DiPasquale's; the Hot Brown at Miss Shirley's; the salmon patty with cucumber salad at Clementine...

Hal, VoR wrote: "The ALT (Avocado/Lettuce/Tomato) sandwich" [--] That would be really good if you added bacon.

And that would be the B.A.L.T.imore Club sandwich at Lucy's (formerly Maggie Moore's), the subject of a rave from Pat au Poivre. (Yes, for the record, it's still on the menu at Lucy's, as is for $8 or with added turkey for $11.)

I give props to the Catonsville folks who suggested Taneytown Deli and Scittino's Market. Growing up in C-Ville, I've been to both places and was never disappointed. I can't remember the name of the sandwich, but it's a croissant with turkey, swiss, and honey die for at Taneytown. And I know this isn't a top 10 list for pizza, but Scittino's is the best in C-Ville.

Newly opened Cafe Muse in the Congress Apartments on W Franklin Streets, makes great sandwiches and salads,

Casa Mia's is a nice addition to the Falls Road corridor if anyone is up that way. I know the theme here is sandwich, but if you want something different try their pastitsio. Think meat lasagna with ziti as the pasta and a Beschemel sauce. It seems like a tough location, I hope they make it.

Dahlink -- I realize I was probably stating the obvious, but in the event I wasn't, I felt I had to point out the unintentional irony. But the point of my post was that I thought it seemed like an advertisement -- maybe that is OK here. "Everyone should try Skin's! . . . ladies night was the best! . . . I've never left there unsatisfied . . . Skin's was so awesome, I stayed for breakfast! . . ."
Oh never mind, I'm probably reading too much into a post from a real fan of Red Star.

Agreed on the Rosina's... they have a location downtown on Water Street as well, and my co-workers and I go there a lot. We call the Traditional Italian the "crack sandwich", and anytime one person in the office gets one, everyone else runs down the street to get one too. I've never been disappointed with any of their other sandwiches either. Yay Rosina's (boo on their recent price increases though)!!!

The Cannella's that was on Harford Road was the original, the one on Bel Air road being opened later, but both were open at the same time a few years back (i.e. they did not move locations). The one on Harord road is now Tuscano, a deli with a very simialr menu to Cannella's, but with inferior bread, lower grade meat, smaller portions, and slightly inflated prices. If you are nostalgic for the original Canella's, take the extra 10 minutes to drive to the one on Bel Air road, you want be disappointed or ripped off.

Gotta have the porketta sub at either Toscana or Cannella's...there's a family relation there, I think.

Pastore's in Towson ain't no slouch neither.

Is it my imagination or is that wrap a little out of focus?

If you'd like a real sandwich, and not one of those things they used to sell as a childs portion 20 yrs ago.

If old floors and small spaces appeals to your sense of traditional sandwich eateries.

Then you need to try:

1) Dukes, on Rt 1 in Elkridge

2) Gus' on Annapolis St, in the Village of West Annapolis (walking distance from the Dept of Natural Resources)

3) The deli counter at Trinacria in Baltimore near the Shrine of St Judes

I am still smiling about the egg salad with dill, tomatoes, mesclun greens and applewood bacon on soft, golden and thickly sliced pain de mie I had 90 minutes ago at Stone Mill Bakery. I was totally an Atwater's devotee, but may have to start being disloyal.

"Casa Mia's is a nice addition to the Falls Road corridor if anyone is up that way" Skin - I'm frequently up that way - is it eat in or only take out?

JW -- they have some tables but it is really more take out. Eating in would be fine for lunch, but for dinner not so much. Although they sell beer/wine (a little pricey) to go, their license does not allow consumption on premises.

Joyce - Mr. G's is still amazing.

And I add to the love of the Taneytown Deli. Sadly, it has somewhat limited hours, so I can't get out there much.

Made my way to Isabellas for lunch today finally. It was everything it was supposed to be. Oddly enough, I had apparently just missed Jim Palmer when I walked in.

He lives nearby. I watched a baseball game on TV with him once in an empty bar very near there. Funny thing is, he never made a big deal about who I was.

Had lunch today at Casa Mias. Did not do sandwiches but husband and I shared a garden salad and an order of spanokopia. It was substantial enough to feed both of us with what could make a midnight snack left over. And, it was very tasty. Thanks for the recommendation, Skin. It has about six tables.

Skin, thanks for the info on Casa Mia's. I've heard they have a wonderful crab cake sandwich - will have to get one on a night I'm soloing which I think will be really soon- maybe tommorow!
Steffi - Glad to hear great things about Mr. G's. I loved the old place and used to go out of my way for their amazing cheese steaks!
I once had an upclose sighting of JP - in Pikesville Giant. He's modest, down to earth, and way taller than I ever guessed! He's also so respected that no one bugged the guy but just let him shop unharrassed.

OMG, clearly Jim Palmer must not be reading the right blog!

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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