States with large populations can sure offer a wide range of culinary traditions. But what if you just want a sandwich? Then you can always hunt for the iconic sandwich that your state is famous for. Check these sandwiches in these states, so you can make sure you’re getting a superior sandwich!
The French Dip Sandwich of California
California is home to a lot of different sandwiches, which isn’t really surprising when you have to accommodate the taste buds of more than 37 million people. But among the many sandwiches available here, the French Dip sandwich is perhaps the best of them all.
The traditional version features sliced roast beef, though common alternatives these days include turkey, ham, pork, and even lamb. Then you add various other stuff, including hot peppers and cheese. Then you also add various condiments, especially spicy mustard.
It’s served on French bread, and then you eat it “au jus”, meaning you have the tasty drippings of the meat left over from roasting served on the side in a small dipping bowl.
Of course, it does depend on where you’re getting your French Dip sandwich. The good news is that California has plenty of places that serve their own version of the French Dip sandwich. Your best bet is to visit the Philippe the Original restaurant, which claims to have invented the sandwich. Ask for their bestselling beef double-dip, which has both halves of the bread soaked with the meat juices.
The Brisket Sandwich of Texas
Texas has a large area and a large population that love brisket, so it’s not surprising to learn that their brisket sandwich is fantastic.
So, what’s brisket? Barbecued beef brisket starts off with a tough cut of meat from the chest or breast of a cow. It’s rubbed with coarse pepper and salt, and sometimes with garlic and cayenne too. Then they smoke it over oak or charcoal, with the process lasting anywhere from 6 to 24 hours.
As this is Texas, you’re likely to find the largest and most flavorful brisket sandwiches here. Try to visit Austin, and get inside La Barbecue for their brisket sandwich, which comes in 2 versions. You can start with chopped brisket, and you’ll get that special Bobby Sauce with your sandwich. Or you can go with the sliced brisket, which also comes with onions and pickles. Either way, you’re in for a treat.
The Cuban Sandwich of Florida
With an obviously significant number of residents here with Cuban ancestry, the Cuban sandwich is an unsurprising icon. The traditional ingredients include ham and roasted pork, along with Swiss cheese, pickles, and mustard. But if you’re in Tampa, the Cuban sandwich also normally features salami.
Then you also need the distinct Cuban bread, which has a moist palmetto leaf on top of the dough before it’s baked. This gives the bread its unique flavor, as the dough rises and wraps around the leaf.
Just go into any popular Cuban restaurant in the state, and you’ll find a good Cuban sandwich. Many say that the best Cuban sandwich is in Miami, where you’ll find the Versailles Restaurant in Little Havana. It features toasted Cuban bread with roast pork, ham, and Swiss cheese. Drizzle a bit of mustard and mayo on it, and you’re good to go.
The Pastrami Sandwich on Rye of New York
This sandwich started out way back in the 1880s, where it was first served by Jewish kosher delicatessens in NYC. It has become the classic symbol of the traditional New York Jewish deli.
The traditional version is actually rather simple. You have sliced pastrami and you set it on your rye bread. Top it with some spicy brown mustard, and you’re off. To make the meal complete, though, you need some Kosher dill pickle on the side.
You can get this version at the legendary Katz’s Delicatessen in NYC, and there you’ll get a huge pile of pastrami that will sate the appetite of even the most determined meat-eater. You’re free to add any topping you want, although you may have to endure the rather aghast stares of the traditionalist employees there. If you’re after the real pastrami on rye experience, just add the spicy brown mustard.
The Cheesesteak Sandwich of Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is the birthplace of the cheesesteak sandwich. According to legend, a couple of Philadelphians (Pat and Harry Olivieri) were running a hotdog stand, and one of them just made a sandwich with their chopped beef and grilled onions. A passing cab driver noticed the sandwich, tried it out, and then told the hotdog seller to just sell this new sandwich instead.
Originally, it was served without cheese, but eventually someone added provolone cheese to the sandwich and the cheesesteak sandwich was born.
Today, Pennsylvania is a battleground for restaurants claiming to serve the best cheesesteaks. There’s Pat’s King of Steaks, which is the same restaurant that Pat Olivieri opened way back when. You can also go to Tony Luke’s where their thin slices of ribeye steak are all free of steroids and hormones.
Or you can just visit Capriotti’s, and then you can pay $7.83 for the chicken cheese steak that’s quite popular there.