Sandwich Central

Sandwich Central

From time-tested classics to flavor-filled flights of creativity, these 35 sandwiches found at restaurants across the metro are tops in our book.


History can take strange turns. A man named John Montagu spent much of the 18th century serving in various positions in the British government – he never attained particular lasting fame or glory, and there’s no real reason we should remember him today, except that he got in the habit of eating meat between slices of bread, purportedly so he didn’t have to get up from the card table for supper. He didn’t even invent the concept, but his influential friends started ordering what he was having … and since he happened to hold the title of the Earl of Sandwich, he gets name-checked all around the world every day three centuries later. In another universe, modern Americans might have a recipe for a great tuna salad wessex or make their kids peanut butter and jelly leicesters.

Whatever its provenance, the sandwich is a spectacular concept; as quick and easy or over-the-top complicated as the creator wishes, and capable of putting wildly varied realms of flavor combinations right in your hands. Central Oklahoma is home to some outstanding examples of sandwich craftsmanship, and we’ve put together a tour guide to 35 of our favorites. Open wide!



The Ground Rules

Given that it’s such a popular and flexible concept, the exact parameters of what is and isn’t a sandwich can be hard to define. Even something as simple as “meat between bread” immediately runs into problems; what about veggie options, or open-faced sandwiches? Do wraps count? What about burgers? Is a hot dog a sandwich? (Google that one sometime if you’re in the mood for a surprisingly intense argument.) After some staff discussion, we decided to listen to our guts on a case-by-case basis and take restaurants’ descriptions at face value. If it feels like a sandwich, it’s in; if it better fits a separate category (e.g., burgers), it’s out. In other words, no hot dogs need apply.




Philly Cheesesteak at Phill Me Up

If this were a just universe, the food truck run by Holly Bigby, Vann Wiseman and Ty Wiseman would have a fleet of cars, bikes, scooters and pedestrians following it around and thronging around it whenever it stops. Sliced ribeye steak sliced to order – you can hear the clatter of knives even over the truck’s generator – and mixed with caramelized onions under a generous dollop of cheddar whiz, it’s the platonic form of a classic sandwich. And since this article is about sandwiches, we won’t even tell you how outrageously good the Philly tacos are. (Pssst! They’re so good!) mobile,



Chicken Salad at Brown Bag Deli

This Nichols Hills shop owned by Massoud and Sarah Baghvardani has been a fixture for more than 40 years, and the creamy curry chicken salad is a favorite of regulars; it’s the must-have item on the menu, according to original partner Greg Gawey (who’s still at Jamil’s Steakhouse). Get it on rye or pita with a side of tabouli. 7600 N Western, OKC



Manhattan at ND Foods

Every city has a few places that more people need to know about, and ND Foods certainly qualifies in that respect. The sandwiches are made with Boar’s Head meats, and they are huge. Half-size options are available, but you might regret the smaller size when you try the Manhattan: It’s corned beef and pastrami on rye with spicy mustard, and your choice of five cheeses. Go with provolone. 2632 W Britton, OKC




After School Special at The Sandwich Club

This sandwich shop is themed around an homage to the music, colors and trends of the ’80s, and while it’s got a lot of range, some of the best options center around wacky blends of flavors that work. Cases in point: the After School Special’s pastrami, turkey and cheddar with hot sauce, honey mustard and jalapeno chips, or the Brass Monkey, named for the Beastie Boys track, with corned beef and Swiss, tangy coleslaw (an underrated topping if it’s not the overly sugary variety) and Cajun mayo on German rye. 3703 N Western, OKC



Egg Salad at Someplace Else

The appeal of Someplace Else, in addition to the low prices, is that they make sandwiches like your mom used to make – assuming your mom didn’t just slap Oscar Mayer bologna on white bread – and they’ve been good at it for more than 40 years. An egg salad is one of the iconic sandwiches by which a deli should be judged, and Someplace Else delivers. The bread is baked fresh in-house, and you’ll want to finish with a lemon bar, even though some people will tell you to get a cookie. Get the lemon bar anyway. 2310 N Western, OKC



Croque Madame at La Baguette Bistro

It’s fitting that the best in the metro comes from a French chef. Alain Buthion has been serving up this French classic for more than 40 years, and other chefs around town happily admit his is the standard. Perhaps it’s his Bechamel that sets it apart; maybe being French helps. It’s beautifully executed, and, yes, the eggs need to be sunny side up. 7408 N May, OKC



Reuben at La Baguette Deep Deuce

Two things help make Chef Andrew Black’s Reuben special: the chipotle mayo and the bread. We know it’s not traditional to use anything except Thousand Island dressing, but chipotle mayo is better. Sorry, traditionalists. The bread is soft, which makes eating a messy sandwich so much easier. The tweaks just work, and you still get the sense you’re eating a traditional Reuben. 100 NE 4th, OKC



Grilled Cheese at En Croute

The daily rotating menu item called Today’s Grilled Cheese is popular with regulars, as it should be – because owner-cheese monger Crosby Dyke picks wonderful cheeses to feature, and then lets the cheese be the star. That’s important in a world where people think a sandwich is still a grilled cheese when they put meat on it. (PSA: It isn’t.) The mushrooms with truffle on toast is another solid vegetarian option, and it features Chef Kevin Ward’s hand-selected mushroom blend. 6460 Avondale, OKC



Grouper Banh Mi at Eatery and Cocktail Office at the Union

This is easily one of the best items on the menu at Union, a neighborhood bar in the South of Saint Anthony mini-district. The blackened grouper would be delicious as an entrée, but they add slaw, tomatoes and mayo on a hoagie roll, and it’s a tasty, filling lunch that makes you feel like you made a healthy choice. It’s fish, after all. 616 NW 5th, OKC




Beastwich at Back Door BBQ

The ingredients vary on the daily in this star of the Back Door menu – on picture day it was chopped brisket and black pepper sausage with mac & cheese and fried onions and jalapenos – but rest assured that the combination will be delicious, and the final product will be huge. Keep an eye on their Twitter account and be ready to cancel other plans when Chef Kathryn Mathis’ pastrami pops up. 315 NW 23rd, OKC



Scottie's Deli owner, Eric Fossett


Sandwich Sultan

The Fossett heritage helps Scottie’s shine

Eric Fossett grew up around his paternal grandmother’s sandwich shop, Big John’s, in Chico, California. He described the sandwiches as solid, sub-style fare, and the fond memories likely contributed to his decision to open Scottie’s Deli in August 2017.

“Devon brought me here,” says Fossett, a petroleum geologist by training and education, “and I missed the delis I ate at in other big cities. OKC had good sandwiches, but there was no real deli.”

His dedication to the concept is evident, and successful: In our online poll this spring that asked readers to name the best sandwich spot in the 405, Scottie’s was the runaway winner. That’s not really surprising, since their sandwiches, especially the pastrami, were a hit right away with critics and the public. All of the meats, except Italian varieties, are cured in-house, and all the sides are made in-house from scratch. The five breads are all baked at Scottie’s, too: white, wheat, sourdough, rye and baguette. They’ve gotten so good at making bread that Elemental Coffee, Ludivine and Picasso Café use them for different products.

“It was just easier to bake our own and not have to worry about issues with bakeries going out of business or messing up an order,” Fossett says. “We get to control the quality of all our ingredients this way.”

The commitment to quality extends all the way down to condiments: The ranch dressing is made fresh in the kitchen, not from a mix, using fresh herbs chopped as they’re needed. The pastrami is brined for three weeks and then smoked in the back. It’s deli prep the way delis have always done it, and Fossett wanted to honor the tradition of old German, Jewish and Italian delicatessens.

The New York, NY is the hands-down bestseller, and no one should be surprised. Oklahoma is a meat state, and the New York, NY comes with both corned beef and pastrami. It’s like someone made you a delicious sandwich and then added more delicious meat because they like you. Served on rye with Russian dressing (also made in-house) and Swiss, it’s old-school excellence.
Scottie’s isn’t bound by convention, though. Look no further than The Pais, a pastrami sandwich designed by Chris Paisley, whom Fossett calls “a friend back home.” Fossett asked him to design his own sandwich, and the result is pastrami, pepper jack, jalapeno coleslaw (which is delicious by itself), and Russian dressing on a baguette.

The menu includes a ton of local beer, as well as a nice selection of microbrews from around the country, and a small list of wine. Fossett said he’s toying with the idea of adding cocktails in the near future. The biggest change coming – and good delis don’t need a lot of tweaking – is a few price adjustments.

“We’ve been open long enough now that I have a good handle on costs,” Fossett says. “Where I can, I’m passing the savings on to customers, and so you’ll see lower prices on some of the sandwiches. To improve the value, we’ll be adding chips to the sandwiches, too. You get a little crunch and a meal.”




Po’ Boy at C’est Si Bon

Fried seafood piled on a baguette should be a combination heavy enough to drop you into a carb coma on the spot, right? It’s a wonder how chef/owner Ken Mills manages to make his New Orleans-style shrimp po’ boys so light and delicious – especially when doused in Panola hot sauce – but the mystery is worth investigating as often as you can visit. And considering that they now have three locations (including one in Del City and one in Edmond), that should be more convenient than ever. 101 N Douglas, Midwest City



Veggie at Hobby’s Hoagies

Are vegetables filling enough to make a satisfying sandwich by themselves? Absolutely, if you include enough of them. Lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, sprouts and pickles – and mushrooms, for good measure – fill the roll in this venerable downtown destination along with provolone and a dash of spices and oil for flavor. Or, if you’re feeling a little more carnivorous, Hobby’s also does a solid Italian meatball with provolone and grilled onions. 325 N Walker, OKC



Sausage at Ingrid’s

Put an intact link sausage in a bun and it’s essentially a hot dog, which doesn’t count as a sandwich (see “The Ground Rules” ). Cut one up and put it between slices of bread with sauerkraut, Swiss, mayo and German mustard, however, and it becomes not merely a bona fide sandwich, but a Deutsche delight. Ingrid’s uses Siegi’s wursts from Tulsa, and the sauerkraut is fairly mild without being flavorless, a very nice balance. 3701 N Youngs, OKC



French Dip at Oak and Ore

This Plaza District pub is justly known as one of the best beer bars in town, but if that’s all you order, you’re missing out on a treat. Beer-braised brisket stars alongside melted Swiss and caramelized onions on a well-toasted baguette, with a subtle pop of flavor from the horseradish cream sauce as a crowning touch. Name it anything else and it’d be a beautiful sandwich by itself, but as a French dip, the warm, fragrant au jus is icing on the metaphorical cake. 1732 NW 16th, OKC




Peter Piper at Waving Wheat

If you believe that a great sandwich starts with great bread, you’ve come to the right place. They’re a legit bakery, where you can and should pick up scones, cookies and loaves of bread to go, and Skyler and John Collins’ wares are the foundation for serious sandwich bliss: Put the Peter Piper’s bacon, cheese blend, spicy cream cheese and crunchy jalapeno crumbles on the dynamite house sourdough and you’ll be an immediate convert. They also keep baker’s hours, so don’t plan on swinging by for a late dinner. 125 N Porter, Norman



Blackened Salmon at Saturn Grill

Is a selection that involves one folded piece of bread a sandwich? It might be a gray area, but we’ll allow it for the sake of Nichols Hills Plaza star Saturn Grill’s invitingly soft, fresh flatbreads, an ideal conveyance for the savory spicy turkey melt or the Cajun-spiced salmon filet with spinach, a dab of red onion and horseradish sour cream. It’s outstanding. 6432 Avondale, OKC




Torpedo at Neptune

The final survivor of a former chain, Neptune has been here since 1974, and is still going strong with Kelly and Don Stoneking at the helm. The buns are surprisingly soft, perfect for packing full of cheese, special house-made vinaigrette and the quartet of meats (turkey, roast beef, ham and Genoa salami) that drive the classic torpedo. Onions and red peppers are yours for the asking, and adding pickles or black olives is only a dime extra for a half sandwich. Doooooo it! 3301 N Classen, OKC



Pork Banh Mi at Lang’s Bakery

This isn’t a complicated sandwich – chargrilled pork, peanut sauce, pickled carrots and onions, cilantro and a few slices of jalapeno. What elevates it immensely are the palpable quality of the fresh, crusty baguette, and the price tag so low that first-time visitors will think there’s been a mistake on their bill. Highly recommended, but be sure to bring cash, since they don’t take cards. 2524 N Military, OKC



Lobster Roll at The Drake

You could drive the more than 1,700 miles from here to Kennebunkport … or you could look at a picture of a lighthouse and let The Drake bring the flavor of Maine to you. Even though dunking a morsel of lobster into drawn butter is a deep, visceral joy, this sandwich is so rich and flavorful (the tarragon mayo helps) that it’s quite likely you’ll mow through it without even looking at the accompanying ramekin. This is an indulgence, but a memorable one. 519 NW 23rd, OKC



PB&J at Bison Witches

Sometimes it does your soul good to be a kid again, if only for the length of a meal. Choose chunky or creamy peanut butter and grape or strawberry jelly and they’ll put it on two thick slabs of fresh white bread and grill you up a time machine, complete with a glass of milk. Alternately, if you don’t feel the need to commune with your inner child, the roast beef/turkey/gouda/sweet Russian mustard of the Sooner is great, and they’re known for their bread bowl soups. 211 E Main, Norman




Prosciutto at Ganache

If you’ve visited the gleaming white space in Chisholm Creek, you already know that everything that comes out of Laura Szyld and Matt Ruggi’s kitchen is a work of art. The Italian prosciutto sandwich is such a feast for the eyes that it almost seems a shame to eat it … that is, until you actually taste the thin, salty slices of spiced ham balanced against the soft mozzarella on a slightly chewy cheese brioche and realize that some things are more important than aesthetics. Definitely don’t leave without a chocolate treat or pastry. 13230 Pawnee, OKC



Cuban at Belle Kitchen

Tired: ham and cheese, especially on white bread with mustard. Wired: ham and cheese with spicy mustard and roasted pork and pickles, served on Cuban-style bread and toasted on a press. Belle Kitchen’s bakery expertise comes in handy when whipping up the house-made bread, and customers should be comforted to know that dessert is right at hand. 7509 N May and 30 NE 2nd, OKC



Ultimate Bar-B-Q at Swadley’s Bar-B-Q

How could you not want to try a sandwich with that name? Swadley’s has grown considerably over the last couple of decades on the strength of their ‘que, much of which is piled on a hoagie roll here: their dynamite pork sausage along with sliced brisket, pulled pork and bacon, plus cheese and pickles on top. It comes with one side, and in the strongest possible terms: You should absolutely, unequivocally choose the sweet cream corn. multiple locations,




Burrata Caprese Panini at Osteria

No one on our staff actually speaks Italian, but we’re pretty sure from context that “panini” is literally translated as “a big, hot, delicious sandwich packed with gooey goodness.” It’s an evocative language. Jonathon Stranger’s kitchen folds soft, creamy burrata cheese around fresh arugula, basil, heirloom tomatoes and a splash of balsamic vinegar glaze and grills until toasty for a meatless treat. 6430 Avondale, OKC



OKC Hot Chicken at Mary Eddy’s Kitchen

Hopefully, this will be Chef Jason Campbell’s lasting local legacy. Before he left us for Florida, Campbell came up with an “Okie zatar” seasoning blend that reflects Okie cuisine, including Hatch-style green chile powder, garlic, cumin, etc. The chicken is served on a potato roll – perfect for standing up to messy toppings – with agave-lime pickles and a house-made ranch dressing made with 17 ingredients. It’s a beautiful, messy, delicious tribute to Oklahoma cooking. 900 W Main, OKC



Heavy Hitter at Tino’s

You know what goes great on a ham sandwich? Turkey. And provolone, of course. And also salami, pepperoni and capicola (which is like a fancy Italian ham), plus lettuce, tomato, onion, salt, pepper, oil and just a little dash of oregano. You don’t want to overdo it. This recent addition to Norman’s downtown area also does a mean cheesesteak, but the restaurant’s full name is Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets; how can you refuse some cured meats tucked into a hoagie roll? 209 W Main, Norman



Costanza at Elemental Coffee

Turkey bacon is not bacon, but it turns out turkey pastrami is really good, and it’s Boar’s Head turkey pastrami that makes the Costanza work so well. Add Gruyere, sauerkraut, stone ground mustard and locally produced Big Sky German rye, and you have a full-flavored, hefty lunch, to which you can add chips or a side. For a vegan alternative, the Joan Rivers uses tempeh bacon, vegan mozzarella and local grain mustard. 815 N Hudson, OKC



Bologna at Jamil’s

A restaurant doesn’t last 55 years and counting without doing something (or several things) right, and while Jamil’s might be most famous for its steaks and Lebanese appetizer platter, one not-so-secret highlight of its menu is the smoked bologna. It’s best enjoyed in thick, thick slabs with red onion and a splash of barbeque sauce on a bun; Food Network Magazine once named it the must-try sandwich of Oklahoma. 4910 N Lincoln, OKC



Fleetwood at City Bites

Founded in Bethany by the Blevins brothers. City Bites gave Oklahoma a new spin on sandwiches, and funky decor, during the ’80s and ’90s. More than 30 years and a dozen-plus locations later, the Fleetwood has become a periodic rather than year-round offering, but seize the opportunity when it arises; the blend of sausage and beef with pepperoni, melted provolone, green peppers and black olives is a wonder, especially with marinara. multiple locations,



Club at The Lokal

If there were a Mount Rushmore for sandwich archetypes, the club should have the George Washington spot. You simply can’t go wrong with turkey, ham, bacon, Swiss and American cheese, lettuce, tomato and a bit of mayo. Yukon cafe The Lokal adds pastrami, caramelized onions and their own stone mustard horseradish sauce; a slight but appreciated signature spin on an all-time classic. 10 W Main, Yukon



The Michael at Midway Deli

It’s a bit out of the way and slightly difficult to find, but Bob and Maricha Thompson’s converted 1926-vintage corner grocery demonstrates the old adage: “Build a better sandwich and Norman will beat a path to your door.” Bette’s tuna melt comes recommended, although once you try the Michael’s peppered turkey, Swiss and banana peppers on a fresh-baked croissant, you might be hooked for life. 601 Eufaula, Norman




Smoked Chicken at Klemm’s Smoke Haus

Their homemade cheese sauce was one of the hits that helped John, Jan and J.J. Clem go from catering business to food truck operators to owners of a brick-and-mortar restaurant. They also serve up excellent barbeque and smoked meats. Combine their tender chicken with cheese sauce, jalapenos for kick, barbeque sauce and bacon (just because), and you’ve got a recipe for enjoyment. 2000 S Broadway, Edmond