The 4 best sandwiches around Seattle that restaurant critic Tan Vinh has had this month
I hold no grudge against grain bowls, but for lunch or a bite on the go, the old-school sandwich is better, no? It’s transportable, simple in its construct — meat between bread, interior moist with a sauce, preferably mayo. Here are the four best sandwiches I’ve eaten this month.
Prime-rib sandwich at Metropolitan Market
The only way to get a prime-rib sandwich of this high quality for this cheap ($11.99) is if you hit happy hour at a high-end steakhouse. Even then, the portion is stingy. This Met Market prime rib is arguably the most underrated sandwich in Seattle. And the best value. It should be $3-$4 higher than its price tag. This is 21-day aged Prime beef that’s been flamed roasted and served on a toasted baguette. The pink meat is so succulent — and that salty-peppery brown crust! The horseradish-dijon sauce isn’t so nasal-clearing harsh to distract from that profoundly beefy bite. I don’t even want the au jus or need to pay extra for more meat. The ingredients are in perfect proportion.
Pastrami sandwich at Dingfelder’s Delicatessen
Those colorful pickles and coleslaw aren’t just Instagram props. You need that tang to cut into the slabs of buttery-rich meat that just melt in your mouth. I love this peppery sandwich with a smear of chopped liver. Some folks can’t get pass that $19 price tag, but look at it this way: This sandwich (mine measured more than 3 inches high) comes with 10 ounces of pastrami and can feed two. I look at it as buying two sandwiches. This Jewish deli charges $2 extra if you request “extra lean” meat. I look at that as a $2 infraction for messing up this beautifully constructed pastrami on rye.
1318 E. Pine St., Seattle; 206-403-1365, dingfelders.com
Roasted-pork-peach sandwich at Good Day Donuts
So, there’s no way you will spend $19 on a sandwich? This is the best sandwich I’ve had this month in the $8-and-under range. Erik Jackson, who has worked in the kitchens of Dahlia Lounge, Spur Gastropub and was most recently executive chef of the acclaimed Vendemmia, now runs a doughnut shop in a strip mall in White Center, doing hot sandwiches along with crullers. His is a roasted pork shoulder with a crisp exterior. The coaster-sized pork slices are layered with fried onions, brown butter mustard, mayo, a cabbage coleslaw and chunks of roasted peach vinaigrette. That fruit adds another flavor dimension, a pleasantly tart and syrupy sweetness. This $8 roasted-pork sandwich is a porchetta and not like all those Un Bien copycats around town.
9823 15th Ave. S.W. (White Center), Seattle; 206-503-2898, gooddaydonuts.com
Porchetta sandwich at Salumi
And speaking of porchetta, I always envision some corner rosticceria in Rome every time I spot a downtown office worker biting into that Salumi pork sandwich along the cobblestone streets in Pioneer Square. Salumi does a 16-hour roasted pork, scented with fennel and garlic. That, along with pickled and sweet onions and green peppers, gets tucked into the pocket of a ciabatta that’s been slit like a pita. This $12 sandwich is better than Salumi’s popular meatball sub.
404 Occidental Ave. S., Seattle; 206-621-8772, salumicuredmeats.com