I have nothing against the Subway restaurants and their famous “Sandwich Artists” who make 100s of sandwiches day in and day out. But, I will say, I think Ontario County restaurants are home to the real sandwich artists! In honor of Nov. 3, National Sandwich Day, I’m going to give you a few Insider Tips on some of my favorite sandwiches!
1. A local brat for me
There are two reasons I go to Brew and Brats in Naples. One is the locally crafted beer on tap, and the other is the local sausage from Hartmann’s in Canandaigua. My favorite sausage of all is the Arbor Hill Sherried Wine Sausage on a fresh roll with a side of Winemaster’s Sauerkraut. The wine sausage is pork and veal marinated in Arbor Hill Grapery’s Sherried Wine BBQ sauce. And, of course, the sauerkraut has wine in it as well… and another one of my favorites, bacon!
2. The Finger Lakes meets Philly
I have friends and family in Philadelphia, and I’ve been to Jim’s Steak’s, home to arguably the best Philly cheese steak in the world! I fear loss of all credibility from the fine folks of Philadelphia if I say Mac’s Philly Steaks in Canandaigua is better, but it is definitely a close second, if not tied for first. For a true taste of Philly, I stop by Mac’s. Their steak subs are just like the real thing, and they even use Amoroso’s rolls, straight from the City of Brotherly Love!
3. Bacon jam? Yes please!
Another one of my favorites is the Bacon-Jam Burger at Red Dove Tavern in Geneva. You may ask yourself, “What is bacon jam?” Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like! It’s a jam, made out of bacon, which goes with just about everything. But, it’s the best at Red Dove served on a fresh roll with cheddar, fried shallots and a side of fries.
4. An Italian sandwich to end all Italian sandwiches
When Chef Dominick Dardano opened Bistro 11 in Victor, he wanted to bring his rich Italian heritage to the restaurant. He has definitely done that with his homemade meatballs, lasagna, and gnocchi, but my favorite is the House Special Sandwich, known as the Porchetta. It’s slow roasted pork belly wrapped around fresh herb marinated pork shoulder, sliced thin with roasted garlic aioli on a cibatta. Bring your appetite, because this is a big one!
5. Bologna is not just for kids
I’ll admit, I am almost 30 years old, but still love bologna. When I get my monthly bologna craving, I stop by Bagels and Cakes in Geneva for breakfast. They have a sandwich called the Torrey Parker. It’s eggs, fried bologna, peppers, onions and cheese on a toasted Italian roll. If you can’t get into this sandwich, I say, you’re full of “baloney!”
6. Let the real sandwich artists do their work
A while back we had an intern at Finger Lakes Visitors Connection who was always bringing back sandwiches from different delis. One day I asked him, “What is your favorite sandwich to order?” His answer intrigued me. He said, “Whatever they want to make. I just tell them to be creative.” I liked this idea, and started doing it as well when I went to local Finger Lakes delis. And, that brings me to my last Insider Tip, which is to let the dedicated and creative sandwich artists of the Finger Lakes create something special just for you! You may be surprised by how passionate and willing they are to do it. But, isn't that really what the Finger Lakes is all about? Passion. Passion for our land, community people, and, of course, food.
These are just a few of my favorites in the Finger Lakes. But, what about you? Go out and enjoy a Finger Lakes sandwich and tell us about it on social media. Just tag your post with #FLX and #NationalSandwichDay.