There’s no more perfect meal than the sandwich.
Forget its English roots: the sandwich is as American as apple pie, baseball and gerrymandering.
Best enjoyed outside (fingers crossed) with a tall, cool beverage of your choosing.
And so we present the expertly curated, highly subjective Book of Sandwich, cataloguing all the best sandwiches in one local neighborhood.
Today: in and around the Financial District.
Power lunch, anyone?
The best possible take on the classic luncheonette (meaning: one that also opens for happy hour), this nearly year-old spot offers a superlative menu of sandwiches. Our top pick is the much-ballyhooed hot Mezzogiorno, with mortadella studded with pistachios and Italian pulled pork surrounded by Acme white bread.
There are salads here, if you must, but the real lunchtime draw is the array of sandwiches. We favor a cheese-first perspective: Go with Le Californien if you’re thinking of Point Reyes cow’s milk Toma (served with turkey and avocado) or the Toulouse if you prefer a sheep’s milk Ossau-Iraty (served with smoked duck breast).
It would be hard to do cheaper and faster in this neighborhood than the Sentinel, with the BALT (bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato) coming in at $8.50. (Our top pick, the corned beef, is a few bucks more.) Call ahead for pickup, since you’ll want to skip the line.
If you don’t spot the entrance at the Pine Street location, just look for the line snaking through the lobby. The Ami-Cado (pastrami plus avocado) gets all the attention, but save some room for the classic Lou-Ben, with pastrami, turkey, provolone and Lou’s special sauce.
If you’re hungry, and don’t mind the walk, head up Embarcadero to 5th Avenue (this is, cartographically speaking, a misnomer — just go with it). On order: giant hoagie-style sandwiches. Classists may opt for the Godfather; consider the Prosciutto di Pesto, with black forest ham, prosciutto, provolone, pesto, and Cajun mayo.