Bunk Sandwiches • Portland, OR
At Bunk, co-chefs Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood reinvent nostalgic American dishes. That means transforming the iconic combination of biscuits and gravy into a sandwich with a filling of braised rabbit leg, say, or preparing luscious melts with locally canned albacore.
Num Pang • New York City
“People are more open to trying new things if the form is familiar,” says Cambodian-born chef Ratha Chau. At Manhattan’s Num Pang (Khmer for “bread”), he presents Southeast Asian flavors in the form of sandwiches. Chau’s pantry includes fish sauce and Sriracha, as well as house-made raspberry-basil jam and rhubarb pickles.
La Farm Bakery • Cary, NC
For the past decade, La Farm Bakery has been known for exceptional breads; earlier this year, baker-owner Lionel Vatinet (left) added a café and began serving tartines, the open-faced sandwiches he ate as a child in France. La Farm features a 72-hour sourdough bread and carries house-made spreads like a slow-roasted tomato pesto.
© Ana Homonnay www.anahomonnay.com
The Sentinel • San Francisco
“Eating a big Reuben at New York City’s Carnegie Deli at age 11— that was a pivotal moment for me,” recalls chef Dennis Leary. At The Sentinel, his sandwich counter in a former cigar shop, Leary personally assembles all eight sandwiches on the letterboard menu, from a marinated yellowtail with avocado and fennel to his very own Reuben on focaccia.
Xoco • Chicago
“I want to show people another side of Mexico besides tacos,” says chef Rick Bayless. For his newest venture, next door to his flagship Frontera Grill, Bayless focuses on street food like tortas, crusty sandwiches stuffed with meat like braised-overnight suckling pig and house-made chorizo seared on a plancha (hot griddle) or roasted in a wood-burning oven.