Holy Smokes Santa Maria Tri-Tip at Martino's Smoked Meats

At last, hot off the presses—the list your suggestions helped create: 25 Drop-Dead Extraordinary Sandwiches. In another city it might be tough to get to 25. In Seattle it was a trick to narrow it down.

We’ve been a sandwich city since the day Armandino Batali sold his first sliced soppressata out of a tiny slot in Pioneer Square, in the late ‘90s. That slot was Salumi, of course…and little did anyone know then how it would set Pioneer Square’s trajectory toward becoming Seattle’s official Sandwich District. (One-fifth of our list is in that ‘hood.)       

At the risk of sounding sexist, sandwiches are manly; that may be why sandwich shops have sprouted like mushrooms in the tech-and-testosterone heavy South Lake Union and Pioneer Square. (Doubt it? Check out all the Y chromosomes in line at Delicatus and Tat’s.)

But there are other reasons for the increasing prominence of sammies. Food trucks multiply by the day, many of which specialize in sandwiches for their easy portability and their overhead-reducing independence from cutlery or plates. An obsession with pork, which has influenced menus across the country, lends itself to global sandwich expressions: porchetta on a French roll to pork katsu with tonkatsu sauce to grilled pork banh mi to marinated slow-roasted shoulder with chimichurri.

Yeah, we got one of each on our list.

Finally, Seattle is currently in the midst of an explosion of artisan butcher shops with sandwich outfits on the side. Joining Salumi in that category are the recently name-improved Dot’s Charcuterie and Bistro, Terra Cole, Rain Shadow Meats Squared, The Swinery, and the astonishing Martino’s Smoked Meats, whose Santa Maria Tri-Tip is our Sandwich of the Day.

I know, and you’re so welcome.


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