I’m no Joey Tribbiani when it comes to sandwiches, but I will seek one out from time to time. When I do, these are four spots in San Diego that come to mind, from fast-food cheap to treat-yourself expensive.
That said, I’d like to post an SD Sandwich Spot sequel later this year (particularly because I wanted to include Bread & Cie on this list but just didn’t have time this past month to make it there for lunch). So, if you live in this fine county, please feel free to leave a comment with your go-to sandwich stops. Who knows? They may just make my second list.
Cali Baguette Express’ made-to-order Vietnamese 12-inch sandwiches, aka bánh mì, are priced between $3 and $4.75 before tax*. Pictured above is the BBQ pork bánh mì, a favorite of mine and my husband. We’re also partial to the Cali Special, which is filled with slices of pork loaf, Vietnamese ham, and pâté. Playing off the proteins in the slightly hollowed out baguette that’s crumbly on the outside and chewy on the inside are sweet-pickled slivers of carrots and daikon, crunchy cucumber, fresh cilantro (stems and leaves), and crisp slices of jalapeño (which can be left out upon request). Sorry Subway: With layers of flavor and texture and heat for under $5, I’ll have a Cali Baguette footlong any day. // Cali Baguette Express is also located in Mira Mesa, Rolando, and Chula Vista.
When it comes to ordering a sandwich at Con Pane in Liberty Station, your first decision is on the sandwich filling. How does the turkey, avocado, Applewood smoked bacon, house roasted Roma tomatoes, and crumbled Gorgonzola in the Turkey Cobb strike you? What about the roast beef, goat cheese, and thinly sliced red onions in the Seasoned Roast Beef sandwich? Or the Almost Grilled Cheese made with triple cream French Brie and the aforementioned Gorgonzola? All good choices. Next, pick a fresh-baked-onsite bread, such as the fragrant Rosemary and Olive Oil or the nutty Hazelnut and Raisin. Finally, choose between a half sandwich and a full sandwich. I usually opt for a half since Con Pane doesn’t chinze on their ingredients. That way, I have room for one of Con Pane’s cinnamon rolls. Be still my stomach. // Half sandwiches at Con Pane run between $4 and $5, whole sandwiches start around $7.50*.
Rubicon Deli targets people with big appetites. The proof is in the photo, which may look like a whole sandwich but is, in fact, a half order of the Rich Boy on Dutch Crunch bread. It’s a spicy and hefty helping of chipotle grilled chicken, Monterey Jack, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and garlic Tabasco aioli. Other favorites include the turkey-based Rubicon Special and the Hog’s Breath with ham. And just so you know: I ordered this sandwich for take-out (online, too!) so I could take photos of it, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t enjoy the meal at Rubicon’s swank Mission Hills outpost. In fact, I mean to in the future. // Half orders start at $6.99, whole orders at $10.49*. Also located in Mission Beach and Reno, Nevada. rubicondeli.com
Pictured are the Steak & Egg Sandwich, a savory, oozy, and crisp combo of Meyer Ranch steak cooked medium rare by default, a fried egg, arugula, parmigiano reggiano, and balsamic aioli; and an Avocado Sandwich, a spring special that includes a sun-dried tomato spread, sunflower seeds, fried leeks, and a balsamic glaze. Both are on thick grilled slices of focaccia bread and are served with a house made cabbage slaw that packs a crunch and a bright, vinegary tart punch. I’m also partial to the Pork Madame during Sunday brunch, the Steak Sandwich served outside of brunch hours, the Pork Loin wood-fired Sandwich, and the Sausage Poutine Fries if I’m there with enough friends who aren’t prone to eater’s remorse. Before you go, just know: these gourmet sandwiches come with gourmet prices. // Outside of the Toasted Cheese Sandwich, Tiger!Tiger! sandwiches start at $9*. tigertigertavern.blogspot.com