The Duke of sandwiches, in that it is slightly elitist, marginally racist, and regarded as hugely overrated by haters, the Chick-Fil-A sandwich is the perennial favorite in the Sandwich bracket. One of the more simple sandwiches of the bracket, the Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich is a buttered bun, a fried chicken breast, and a pickle. That’s it. A sandwich that inspires fanaticism that borders on insanity, the chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A is a clear number one seed.
These things do actually exist, and people eat them. This is the one bid league of our tournament.
Delicious Italian meats (capicola, salami, pepperoni, and ham) and cheeses (emmentaler and provolone) bathed in outrageously marinated and seasoned olive salad. This sandwich seems like it has everything, except mayo. Put mayo on it if you want to look like a fool.
Sadness on a plate. There is no reason for someone to make a mayonnaise sandwich unless you are so poor and destitute that you are the subject of a Dorthea Lange photo. Prisons and jails do not even serve mayonnaise sandwiches.
The Whoopee Cushion of sandwiches, the McRib is panned by foodies and loved by the ignorant masses for both it’s taste and overall novelty. A sandwich that is only released for a portion of the year, probably due to the stockpiling of pork trimmings necessary to create a number of them, the McRib is a sandwich, much like other novelty sandwiches (novelwiches), that is cherished for it’s obvious sketchiness. I used to love these as a kid, but now that I am grown and have a somewhat working brain, I try not to eat them. I recently had one and to say that I was unimpressed would be an understatement. Definitely a mid-major with a cute mascot.
A fancy-ass hot ham and cheese (Croque-Monsieur) with a poached or fried egg on top. A sandwich that kind of reminds of Michigan State, an as fundamentally sound, yet more talented, Duke.
More so than all of the famous Cuban Americans, of which all are not baseball players, the Cuban sandwich is probably the best Cuban contribution to American culture. A simple sandwich of ham, pork, swiss cheese, and yellow mustard, the Cuban sandwich is sandwich that is more the sum of its parts rather than the whole. Often pressed into a ‘plancha’ (a ‘panini press’ in English), the Cuban sandwich also employs the same trick that the Chick-fil-a sandwich uses, the pickle. Publix has a Cuban that, while not as fancy as the original, is quite good when in a rush. Not a mid-major, but a middle of the pack ACC team of sandwiches
I dated this sandwich all four years of college. She watched football with me on Sundays, and never complained. Didn’t mind that we always ate at the same place. If I left her behind to go to a party with the boys, she did her thing and patiently waited up for me to get home. It’s sliced to order ham, turkey and American cheese on a fresh, and I can’t emphasize fresh enough, New York style hoagie roll. I order it “all the way” (sans tomato) so it’s topped with lettuce, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, plus some mayo (that’s good enough to stand on its own). It’s like something your mom would make you, if she owned a deli.
8. Mother’s Ferdi Special
This is the part of the program where Guy Fieri throws on his O-face, drops down to a deep voice, talks fondly about meat bark, before shoveling everything within arm’s reach into his mouth. It’s Mother’s signature po’ boy: baked ham, roast beef and its “debris” covered in gravy.
4. Taylor Ham Egg and Cheese
PORK ROLL: tubularized pig parts seasoned with unknown seasonings to make FAT delicious. It’s layered with eggs and cheese on a deli roll. The sandwich that made New Jersey a state.
This is another New Jersey staple, a neatly packed diner menu on a roll: chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, french fries, lettuce, tomato and marinara sauce. #ALLOFTHEDEEPFRIEDFOODS
3. Carolina Pulled Pork
“CAROLINA, OVER MY (INSERT REGIONAL BBQ FAVORITE)!?!?” Good BBQ is good BBQ, just like good pizza, whether it be Chicago deep dish, New York wide-slice, or classic New Haven, is delicious. Oh, fuck, I just started the #PIZZABRACKET and #BBQBRACKET. Carolina got the nod here because it’s what I’ve been eating most recently.
6. Lobster Roll
Fresh lobster chunks drowned in butter on a hot dog bun, eating them five at a time is a fucking no-brainer. It pairs great with a Sunday afternoon hangover.
2. Primanti Brothers Pastrami
A few years ago I spent a weekend in Pittsburgh for a good friend’s wedding. I managed to eat three of them while in town, an early flight prohibited me from taking down a fourth. It’s tender pastrami with cheese crammed in with cole slaw, tomato, and French fries between two comfortable pieces of thick Italian bread.
7. Fool’s Gold Loaf AKA the sandwich that probably killed Elvis
Warm, hollowed-out loaf of bread + a jar of creamy peanut butter + a jar of grape jelly + a pound of fried bacon.
From a trusted source (Wikipedia)
On the night of February 1, 1976, Elvis Presley was at his home Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, entertaining Capt. Jerry Kennedy of the Denver, Colorado police force, and Ron Pietrafeso of Colorado’s Strike Force Against Crime. The three men began discussing the sandwich, and Presley decided he wanted one right then. Presley had been to the restaurant before, while in Denver.
Kennedy and Pietrafeso were friends of the owners and hung out there often, so they were driven to the Memphis airport and boarded Presley’s private jet, the Lisa Marie, and flew the two hours to Denver. When they arrived in Denver at 1:40 AM, the plane taxied to a special hangar where the passengers were greeted by Buck Scott, the owner of the Colorado Mine Company, and his wife Cindy who had brought 22 fresh Fool’s Gold Loaves for the men. They spent three hours in the hangar eating the sandwiches, washing them down with Perrier and champagne. Presley invited the pilots of the plane, Milo High and Elwood Davis, to join them. When they were done, they flew back to Memphis without ever having left the Denver airport.
The freaking staple of the meatless sandwich ranks. Butter. Bread. American cheese in a pan. This is as good as a meatless sandwich can get and when it is made just right the golden brown hue and the golden melty, molten cheese is like eating the sun if the Lord had delivered it to you next to a bowl of tomato soup. You can dress it up with fancy cheese but why? Just use that butter and make yourself the best sandwich, ever.
8. Fried Bologna
Remember how the PB&J was the girl next door? This sandwich is like the girl in high school who developed way too early. Of course you’ve got a natural inclination to be curious about it because it looks and smells pretty good, it’s got that nice mound sitting out there for you. But the truth is if it wasn’t so easy you’d probably opt for something else, perhaps like the peanut butter and jelly. The fried bologna has it’s place, much like that fast developing easy girl. That place is at the back of your mind, or refrigerator, just in case times get a little tough because it’s not that it goes “bad” it’s just that it never will get better than it was the first time you saw it.
This is a summer sandwich for me, but summer is almost here. White bread, lightly toasted, with a big old tomatuh, several strips of bacon and a little lettuce and we’re good to go. I like my bacon thick cut for these guys, it is just delicious. Ordinarily I’m a wheat bread guy but BLTs belong on white bread, that’s science. As for the tomatoes I’ve found that I prefer the beefeater tomatoes to everything else. Surely you do too because you’re smart.
5. Kentucky Hot Brown
Designer sandwich. Fancy as hell. Turkey with bacon and a mornay sauce over top. Yes, that’s right a sandwich with a béchamel sauce on it and it is absolutely delicious. If you can’t taste the delicious Gruyere then you’re not doing it right people. Open faced sandwiches are just delicious and for my money this is the best one out there. Real G’s roast their own turkey breasts, then go through the entire process to get the sandwich right. Yes it takes some time but you will never be disappoint when you fix this bad boy up right, slide it under the broiler to get a light crust on it and then dig in. Seriously one of the best sandwiches out there.
3. Country Ham Biscuit
Delicious. Seriously. The best ham. The best bread product. This is a thing of beauty. It would be ranked higher but apparently some people are not lucky enough to actually be from the south with access to both products. The best country ham is salty, a little rough but still just fantastic. The biscuit is hot and then the ham is hot too and all you end up with is heaven in your mouth. If you do not know how delicious country ham is I feel bad for you. Seriously. You should be crying now. Country ham is what Jigga and Yeezy were referencing when they said they’re about to go HAM.
6. Crawfish Po’ Boy
This is likely even more regional than the country ham biscuit and if you’re not down with it then fine. Sure the oyster is popular and the shrimp is more readily available but for there is only really on po’ boy that I want, the crawdaddy one. I like crawdads. I think they’re delicious. I like them steamed. I like them boiled. I just like crawdads and if that means someone has to take their time to peel them and then fry them up for my po’ boy then damn it take your time, I’ll be here all night good sir.
Peanut butter and jelly is like the girl next door of sandwiches. Your mom lets you hang out with it everyday, it doesn’t exactly excite you when you see it but you know it will be good. Hell maybe your mom even lets you spend the night with it because she knows nothing bad will happen. Except it is so good. The peanut butter in jelly is like that boob that you have been looking at since you were kids and used to take baths together, so comfortable, but when you need that boob it is there for you because you like it, like more than like if you know what I’m saying.
7. Prime Rib
This sandwich is like the cinderella of the tournament for me. She is like the Valpo or the Davidson or the Butler that can go all the way. She’s that damn good but there’s a little bit of a story to her. You see my mom grew up poor as dirt. Real poor y’all. Her mama worked in a restaurant and my mom used to help out, sometimes my mom would be super hungry. My grandma would slice a little bit of the backend of the prime rib off for my mom to eat. It’s the first sandwich my mom ever truly loved. Think about that when you try to send this sandwich home early. ITB needs this sandwich to go the distance.
People who don’t know the joys of Publix are living their lives as lies. The best supermarket in the country, Publix also manages to turn out the best reliably good sandwiches. While their Cuban is something in itself, the crowning achievement in Publix’s deli section is the chicken tender sub, as Publix also serves the best fired chicken amongst supermarkets. The Publix Chicken Tender sub consists of Publix chicken tenders on a sub. Fried chicken tenders on bread. It’s fucking simple. It’s fucking awesome. And I will cut you if you say otherwise. The Florida 07 sandwich of sandwiches.
8. Egg Salad
The Rupp-era Kentucky of sandwiches, not in that the egg salad sandwich is racist, but in that it is horribly old-fashioned in much the same way as leprosy is in First World countries. The combination of eggs, mayonnaise, and bread isn’t exactly the most ingenious, but it’s workman-like qualities are somewhat admirable like good post play. However, it’s an awful sandwich to be seen eating in public out of a paper bag, in that it make observers think that you are either incredibly lonely or have some sort of developmental disorder. The image of someone eating a homemade egg salad sandwich at the workplace is just sad. The egg salad sandwich is a sandwich that can only be eaten alone, out of public view, and preferably with pants.
4. Vortex Triple Coronary Bypass
This isn’t the best burger in Atlanta. This isn’t even the best burger at The Vortex. However, when you make a burger with three grilled cheese sandwiches for buns, two fried eggs, ten pieces of bacon, eight slices of cheese, and two patties, it doesn’t matter if you are the ‘best’ at anything, you’re a moron. However, as we all know, sometimes morons can do amazing things [INSERT FORREST GUMP PICTURE HERE]. It’s a silly burger, and it’s actually quite good.
5. Pimento Cheese
A staple of the South, the pimento cheese sandwich is a speciality that is heightened by the surroundings in which they are consumed. Late at night and drunk in your kitchen with no pants? It’s probably delicious, but you also probably mistook the pimento cheese for God-knows-what, and that’s how you got food poisoning. However, on the first Sunday of April in Augusta, Georgia? There is no finer sandwich in the world. Pimento cheese is strictly a Southern taste from what I can tell. Some say that pimento cheese is either disgusting or an acquired taste, but I can say the same for your mother.
A play on the PB&J, the banana and Nutella sandwich appeals to: pregnant women, fat people, people who inhale Nutella like junkies, and ‘gourmands’. Just because you like Nutella doesn’t mean you are intelligent or urbane, it just means you live on the coasts and have a disposable income. The banana and nutella sandwich is the Lexus to the PB&Js’ Toyota in that it’s way worth the considerable premium. The interplay between a banana and the hazelnut (IT’S HEALTHY CHOCOLATE, BUT WE’LL SAY HAZELNUT ANYWAY) flavor of Nutella is amazing when placed betwixt two slices of bread. A favorite among those who like to ‘smoke the weeds’.
6. Club Sandwich
Of course a sandwich that is rumored to have been created in a gambling den must be good. While it’s a particularly simple sandwich, the gee-whiz factor of making it a triple-decker sandwich really is the sandwich’s ‘gimmick’. In reality, the combination of a BLT, turkey, and ham isn’t particularly amazing, but the presentation is the kicker. It’s a good sandwich, but not the best. Also, because they are served mostly in country clubs, poor people and minorities are often clueless to the existence of club sandwiches. The Oral Roberts of sandwiches.
Whoever created the McGriddle probably would have created a cure for cancer if they had went into medicine instead of going to work for McDonald’s secret ‘How-To-Make-Fat-People-Fatter Lab’. McDonald’s is often derided for their food, but the McDonald’s breakfast is probably the one of the better breakfasts in comparison to most other fast-food chains. The McGriddle is probably one of the the most ingenious sandwiches since the invention of the sandwich itself. The shitty savory McDonald’s sausage/bacon, the shitty McDonald’s cheese, the sponge-like, shitty McDonalld’s egg all combine with syrup to create an amazing sandwich. The pockets of syrup in the who-the-fuck-knows-what-it’s-made-of-pancake-esque bun do to the breakfast sandwich world what Nike did to the running shoe world when they put air pockets in shoes. It truly is the Breakfast Sandwich of the Future.
This sandwich conjures images of the Italian coast in the summer. Of beautiful women and wine and LA DOLCE VITA /gesticulates wildly with hands while speaking in a gross impression of Robert Benigni. A poorly-made Caprese sandwich also conjures images of the Italian coast, only with a listing Costa Concordia in the background. Shitty mozzarella is often the downfall of this sandwich, though shitty balsamic vinegar can ruin this sandwich also. Ingredients are key to good Caprese sandwich, and you probably will not find good ingredients unless you live near a body of water or have a major airport near you. Sorry, Fly-over states! While a good Caprese sandwich can be the Ferrari of sandwiches, often times the Caprese you may order will be a disco-era Fiat.