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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Final 4- Atlanta's Best Sandwiches

Warning:  The following may not be appropriate for children under the age of 13 or people that enjoy bean sprouts in their sandwich

Choosing the field was tough, but getting down to the Final 4? That has been exponentially tougher.  In fact, many people have not been happy with our choices.  For them I have three words.  GET. OVER. IT. The fact of the matter is these are all delicious options.  Here are the updated brackets with commentary below:

Click to Enlarge:

This is a subjective exercise.  Much like the people whom argue that in Philadelphia, either Pat's or Gino's is the better cheesesteak.  And these crazy Philly Fanatics are bat sh*t crazy about this!  My take on that argument?  I think I'm winning if I get out of that damn neighborhood without getting mugged.  Sometimes you have to set the bar low.

But I've consulted my "prestigious panel" on this journey and I thank them for their opinions and company while eating these wonderful meals.  I get my physical next week and I am fairly certain they are going to draw Au Jus from my veins. Lipitor may come to Atlanta to do a study on me.  The sacrifices we make for The Dry Rub!

On to the Final Four:

The first winner is the Havana Original Cuban.  And let me tell you we are lucky to still have serving Cuban Sandwiches.  The original restaurant pictured above burnt down in 2008 and they mercifully reopened down the street on Buford Highway and they continue to put out the best cuban sandwich in Atlanta.  And you know why?  They stick to what they know and perfect it.

The Havana is an Atlanta institution that has been serving the Original Cuban since 1976.

You know the Top 3 songs of 1976?  Rod Stewarts "Tonights the Night" ended the year with SEVEN weeks at #1
Were the '70's this creepy?

Paul McCartney's band Wings "Silly Little Love Songs" was #1 for four weeks.  Wings of course was the band that defined Sir Paul.

Then Elton John and Kiki Dee were #1 with "Don't Go Breakin' My Heart."  Who the f*ck is Kiki Dee?  Did Sir Elton have her killed after this song?  Did she go into the One Hit Wonder relocation program with Soft Cell and Bobby McFerrin?

Um, yea the 70's were that creepy.
Their opponent?  The French Dip from the Highland Tap.  The Highland Tap is not just the darkest bar in Atlanta, it's also a really good restaurant.  If you haven't been go for happy hour at this iconic basement setting.  They are famous for their Prime Rib and their French Dip is a great lunch extension of thinly sliced slow roasted Prime Rib with horseradish and, of course, au jus.  I love their French Onion Soup as well with all due respect to my friend Joe Carroll.

On the other side of the bracket we have the Lobster Roll from The Big Ketch.

I just had this sandwich yesterday and it's better than it's sister sandwiches at the Steamhouse and The Optimist.  It's a slice of Maine in Buckhead.  It's brilliant in it's simplicity.  Generous portions of lobster, a buttered roll and melted butter.  Minimum spices are put on the meat.  The price point is $17, but the lobster is fresh and you can absolutely tell.

Aesthetically, these guys did a great job with their restaurant.  The previous inhabitant was a dump.  The Crab Dip is also delicious here.  As are the Bloody Mary's.

Unfortunately, they have a tough matchup against the Fox Bros Burger at where else?  Fox Bros!

Their "take" on a burger is the sum of it's parts.  By itself, I would thoroughly enjoy the Brisket, the Bacon (best bacon I've had) and the Pimento Cheese are all delicious.  Add the Jalapeno Mayo and the Buttered Sesame Bun and it's incredible.

So here we go!  Two tough matchups that I want YOUR input on.

So thanks for coming out to the Banh Mi @ Lee's Bakery, The Heart Attack @ Jack's NY Deli (undisputed #1 breakfast sandwich), The Insult to Philly @ Muss and Turners and The Blackened Grouper @ The Steamhouse.  You were all noble competitors.

We'll let Sir Elton serenade you on your way out the door.


  1. The Fox Bros burger is delicious, but lobster is tough to compete against!