Where would we be without the iconic, world-renowned food that is the sandwich? Nowhere, frankly. But first, we should dive into what a sandwich is exactly. Many think of this food as two slices of bread that serve as a vehicle for a glorious combination of meats, cheeses, veggies and condiments. (Of course, there are still some hotly debated questions like: is a hamburger a sandwich? But, we’ll save that for another day.)
Next time you’re ordering a sandwich on Grubhub for breakfast, lunch or dinner (yes, sandwiches are very versatile), keep these tips in mind.
Your carb of choice.
It’s gotta start with the bread. This is what literally holds a sandwich together. You need to first decide if bread is built for a.) function or b.) flavor. For the functional, the less bread the better; this part of the sandwich is strictly to keep all of the ingredients packaged neatly together, withstanding all of the goodness you’re packing inside of it. For the flavor seekers, it’s the main event. Sourdough? Focaccia? The bread has to be robust and artisanal. (And should a sandwich be on toasted or untoasted bread? Phew, so many questions.)
For those looking to scale back on their carb intake or follow a gluten-free diet, lettuce wraps are a great alternative. Kick it up a notch and try out another strong, leafy vegetable like collard greens…it keeps all the important pieces in place.
Meet me in the middle.
We have your meats, cheeses and veggies in the middle of it all. Make sure the sandwich you order is built around your protein of choice. For example, if you’re a turkey lover…look for sandwiches where the protein is prominent in the name (i.e. turkey club). (The same goes for meat-free sammies, like mozzarella and caprese…boom, the cheese is in the title.)
Or if you’re ordering a build-your-own sandwich, make sure that turkey is stacked up high and layered with cheeses like Swiss or provolone on top that will provide some nicely balanced, sharp bites. (Note: You can always put a note on your order for any specific directions!)
Top it all off.
When it comes to toppings, keep four things in mind. Do I want my sandwich to be: crunchy (i.e. iceberg lettuce), juicy (i.e. ripe tomatoes), spicy (i.e. jalapenos) or creamy (i.e. avocado)?
Next, you’re looking at condiments. There’s the basics like ketchup, mayo and mustard for those who like to stick to the classics. But if you want to elevate your sandwich game, look for sauces like sriracha, garlic aioli, pesto and hot honey for a bolder flavor palette.
Pro tip: always order your toppings and sauces on the side, which will prevent your bread from getting soggy en route.
Everyone needs a sidekick.
A sandwich can stand on its own…but, isn’t a little company nice? Does your sandwich choice go better with the more indulgent, usual suspects like chips or fries? Or does it beg to be plated with a healthier side like a salad or a light, vinegar-based coleslaw? That depends.
If your choice in sandwich is hearty enough on its own, order it with a salad. If it’s packed with veggies and light on the extras, order it with some indulgent fries.
Note: not all fries are unhealthy, think: sweet potato fries. And if you’re really hankering for a crunch, try a healthier alternative like kale chips or baby carrots.
Oh, and as a general rule of thumb, pickles go well with any sandwich.