Your Guide to Reaching Sandwich Nirvana
In honor of National Sandwich Day (Sunday, November 3), we asked Bonanno for his tips on how to make the ultimate sandwich.
THE BREAD: “A sandwich is all about the bread,” Bonanno says.
- Go for a soft (not crunchy) baguette.
- If your baguette or bread is too thick, remove some of the middle.
Slice your meats paper-thin, and don’t be afraid to insist upon this at the deli. “You have to stand up for your sandwich,” Bonanno says.
If you’re buying salami or prosciutto, make sure they’re sliced extra thin and layered individually on parchment paper. Otherwise, they’ll stick together.
High-quality is important, and Boar’s Heads meats is Bonanno’s trustworthy brand of choice.
If you can, cook your own meats at home. Salt & Grinder roasts its own beef for sandwiches like the Rare Beast, with rare roast beef, mayo, salt, pepper, lettuce, and tomato.
The rule of thin slicing applies here, too. Overly chunky vegetables will fall out of your sandwich.
For lettuce, Bonanno prefers iceberg shaved as thinly as possible so it’s not just a “flat soggy piece of lettuce.”
Bonanno also likes adding pepperoncini for spice and marinated cherry peppers that he makes himself. “Anything homemade really makes a difference,” he says.
GENERAL SANDWICH-MAKING WISDOM
- “Create your sandwich like you are creating any other dish. Balance the ratio of meats, veggies, and condiments.”
- While a bag of chips is fine now and then, stellar sides take the sandwich experience to the next level. Salt & Grinder puts as much thought into their sides as they do their sandwiches.
- Don’t forget about breakfast sandwiches! “The fried egg sandwich is the quintessential East Coast breakfast,” Bonanno explains. A few times a year, he takes his boys back East and starts the day at a bodega or local deli with a simple sandwich on a toasted Kaiser roll with an over-easy egg, salt, pepper, and pork roll or bacon. “Typically, you put ketchup on it, but my kids hate ketchup on their egg sandwiches,” Bonanno says.