The sandwich is still the most practical food — for a bite on the run or as an affordable takeout option if you’re still avoiding crowded dining rooms. With the labor shortage and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many restaurants are paring down their menus and adding at least one hot sandwich to their lineup. You have more sandwich options now than ever before. Below are the four best sandwiches I have eaten this month.
The Steak Tapa ($14) at Jeepney Cap Hill
1356 E. Olive Way, Capitol Hill, Seattle. The to-go window shares space with the bar Knee High Stocking Co.; text to order: 206-979-7049; jeepneycaphill.com (note that it’s currently open Fridays and Saturdays only).
This Filipino take on the Philly cheesesteak comes with rib-eye that’s marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, honey, cayenne, lime and oyster sauce and then caramelized in a skillet. The slivers of beef are covered in a goo of Velveeta and topped with fried garlic and a dollop of Sriracha mayo. Creamy and sweet with sautéed onions and peppers, this is the perfect drunk food in this barhopping ‘hood. Served with tater tots.
The classic Cuban sandwich ($10) at El Cubano
19920 Aurora Ave. N., Shoreline; 206-629-4443; elcubanotogo.com
This claustrophobic 400-square-foot sandwich shop is run by Kim Gianotti and Geordanys Rodriquez, the couple behind Geo Cuban Bar & Grill in North Seattle. Since opening this to-go counter across from Costco last month, the scrappy couple have been slammed (avoid Fridays and Saturdays). The seven-sandwich menu, with most creations priced at $10, make for some of the most substantial bites you can get in this price range. Most popular: the Cuban pressed sandwich, layered with hickory smoked ham, cubes of roast pork, dill pickles and Swiss cheese with a spread of yellow mustard and Best Foods mayo on both slices of bread. The bread made with lard comes from La Segunda bakery in Tampa, Florida, because Gianotti swears this bun makes the best crust in a Cuban sandwich, crackly thin and compact, the ideal contrast for the melty cheese that molds the fillings together for a harmonious bite.
The smoked turkey-pimento sandwich ($12) at Serious Take Out Ballard
5118 14th Ave. N.W., Ballard; 206-971-0711; seriouspieseattle.com
The quality of bar food around the Ballard Brewery District has picked up in this beer playground. Still king, though, is Tom Douglas’ turkey sandwich, made with a ciabatta-esque bun from Dahlia Bakery. That thick orange glob jutting out of the sandwich when you press down is pimento cheese made with Beecher’s. It adds a decadent, creamy layer to what otherwise would have been a boring turkey sandwich. Comes with a side of pickles and a bag of Tim’s Cascade chips. Note that this stellar sandwich is different than the roast turkey sandwich at its sister Serious Pie in downtown.
The roast pork sanguche ($14) at Voyager on Orcas Island
109 N. Beach Road, A2, Eastsound; 360-298-9261; voyagerorcas.wordpress.com
This is a delightfully porky bite with fatty chunks and crispy strands of pork shoulder that were finished on the flat iron. It’s topped with a cumin-scented cabbage slaw, a tangy fresh cheese and served in a fresh sourdough bun baked just down the street. This Central-and-South-American-inspired sandwich bursts with tart and salty flavors and different textures. But you’ve gotta ferry to Orcas Island for this bite of heaven.