Cuisine Scene: Sandwiches
Is there a more adaptable or delectable bit of gastronomy than the sandwich? Nope. As Long Beach’s many sandwich havens prove, countless cultures, cuisines and tastes can be found, and satisfied, between two slices of bread. Here’s some local spots–popular deli’s, iconic taverns, fine dining establishments–where you can find everything from vegan to meat-laden options, Southern BBQ to Italian subs creations. A delicious world in the palm of your hands.
This downtown location focused on lunch, since it’s open from 11 am to 3 p.m. It’s a simple operation: you walk in, order from some nice person behind the counter and watch as they devote the next few minus to creating a many times unique sandwich in front of your eyes. Popular choices include the Mexicali Chicken sandwich, the Chimichurri Pork sandwich, the Cauliflower Sammi Vegan sandwich as well as a BBQ Beef sandwich laden with creamy yet crispy cole slaw. Speaking of slaw, Foundation (160 The Promenade N) is also known for terrific sides, perhaps first among them a heavenly potato salad.
One of the city’s most popular Italian delis, Modica’s (455 E. Ocean Blvd.) has been serving all manner of entrees since 1996. Sandwiches are especially popular as the staff serves up somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 each day. And since this is an Italian establishment, yes, as you’d expect, they make one of the best meatball sandwiches around, with tangy marinara infusing both bread and ball. There’s also, as you’d expect, subs, hoagies as well as the Linden, featuring roasted peppers and goat cheese. They also serve a superb pastrami sandwich and have a display case full of great sides and side salads. You can eat in the shop, take it to go or eat on the patio.
When it comes to sandwiches, let’s face it, one stands out from the crowd since having it is basically a rite of passage here in Long Beach. We’re talking, of course, of Joe Jost’s (2803 E. Anaheim St.) Joe’s Special, a Polish sausage split, served on rye bread with Swiss cheese, mustard and pickle and usually not far away from a mound of pretzels, topped by pickled eggs. How popular is it? Well, since 1934, when Long beach’s oldest tavern–one of the oldest west of the Mississippi–started serving the sandwich, it’s estimated they’ve made more than 5 million. They also estimated they’ve served more than 7 million pickled eggs.
BEACHWOOD BBQ AND BREWING
Since it brews some of the best beer anywhere, it’s understandable that people forget Beachwood (210 E 3rd St./3630 Atlantic Ave) also produces some of the best barbecue. So, it’s no surprise that two of its best, most popular sandwiches are a Pulled Pork or Chicken, with either meat dipped in red wine vinegar barbecue sauce, topped with cole slaw and served on pretzel bun. Its Sliced Brisket is slow smoked, served in sweet and spicy barbecue sauce with red onion, dill pickles and served on toasted potato roll. If you’re into the Southern vibes but not meat, Beachwood’s Fried Green Tomato sandwich features the aforemention fried tomato served with fresh mozzarella, basil, mixed greens, balsamic and Tabasco vinaigrette. Pretty much hits about every taste point possible.
BEACH CITY DELI & BBQ
Beach City is renowned in the area for its Pastrami sandwich, which figures since it makes its own pastrami, which is house-cured, slow-smoked to juicy goodness, sliced and served on their signature roll with mustard and pickle. Simply perfect. Still, did you know that Beach City (1714 Clark Ave.) also makes its own beef brisket, tri-tip, pulled pork and baby back ribs? It roasts its own top sirloin, which is then used in its popular roast beef sandwiches. If you’re in a cold cuts state of mind, the Torpedro is the deli’s flagship cold sandwich, featuring ham, salami, capicola, provolone and housemade Italian dressing. The same care and creativity is put into the sides, especially the likes of Betty’s Potato Salad and the Bacon Mac & Cheese.
When you walk inside this Belmont Shore landmark, it’s instantly made clear the quality of the ingredients you’ll be getting in your sandwich; you can smell them, whether it’s the fresh, Italian bread or cured meats like salami and prosciutto. The latter is used in Angelo’s (5274 Second St.) popular Prosciutto sandwich that comes with tomato, freshly made mozzarella and garlic spread. As you can imagine, also popular are such standards as a terrific Torpedo and an equally outstanding Italian sausage and peppers. Angelo’s doesn’t try to reinvent the Italian sandwich, just do it absolutely right.