Editor’s note: This is a weekly series focusing on the importance of buying local.
Almost everyone has a favorite sandwich or two or three.
While there are those who don’t enjoy sandwiches out there, those who typically love them and can’t wait for their next bite.
National Sandwich Month is annually celebrated in August.
Below are some favorite sandwiches and their shops from Washington and Greene counties, the Mon Valley, the South Hills and the Pittsburgh area, including the Strip District.
- Prime Rib Sandwich, Rockefeller’s, McKees Rocks
- Rachel w/corned beef, Reuben and Roberta Union Grill, Washington
- Turkey Cheesesteak and The Big 7, Peppi’s, Pittsburgh’s North Side
- Steak Sandwich and Deluxe Double Egg and Cheese, Primanti’s, Strip District
- Large Fish Sandwich, Doridos Restaurant, Brownsville Rd., Pittsburgh
- Italian Beef Melt, August Henry’s, Pittsburgh’s Cultural District
- Grilled Asparagus Sandwich, at FortuiTEA, Quail Acres, Washington
- Mon River Monster (Fish), Cuban and Pulled Pork, The Pasta Shoppe, Monessen
- Flying Pig, Olive Oils, Washington
- Meatball Sandwich, Angelo’s, Washington
- King Capicola and Kin Burger, The Foster House II, Belle Vernon
- Meatball and Sausage and Sausage and Eggplant, Jimmy and Nino’s, Strip District
- Hot Roast Beef Sandwich, Rye’s Bar and Restaurant, Old National Pike, Brownsville
- Corned Beef, Sammy’s, Pittsburgh
- Italian Stallion, Vincent’s, Southpointe
- Italian Sub, Pizza Burger Sub and Hot Sausage sandwich, Osso’s
- Fish (baked or fried), Solomon’s Seafood, Washington
- Cheeseburger, O’Gillies, Uniontown
- Salami and Provolone sub, Salamone’s, Richeyville
- Footlong Italian, Real McCoy, Pittsburgh’s South Side
- Expert Pastrami and Twisted Brisket, Fat Heads, Pittsburgh’s South Side
- Grilled New York Reuben, Al’s Café, Bethel Park
- The Spicy Tony (meatballs, pepper jack and hot banana peppers on a 6-inch baguette), Chicco Baccello, Washington
- BLT w/fried eggs on English muffin, Shop N Go, Buttermilk Rd., Pittsburgh
- Surf and Turf Burger and Gyro, By George, Monessen
- Hot Italian hoagie and Classic American Burger, Lagerheads, Coal Center
- Chicken Bahn-mi, Lucy’s Takeout, Penn Avenue, Strip District
- The Mega Sub, Route 40 Deli, Beallsville
One of the more intriguing sandwiches is the Flying Pig from Olive Oils. This beauty features a 12-inch hoagie bun loaded with pepperoni, ham, sausage, salami, capicola bacon, ground beef, steak chicken, black and green olives, green peppers, onions, mushroom, jalapenos, cheese — all sauteed and covered with lettuce, tomatoes and mayo.
That’s a mouthful.
“There’s every meat and every vegetable all chopped,” said Brian Scalzi, a Washington resident. “I said (the first time I was there) this looks like a good sandwich. The guy who waited on me said: ‘you better be hungry.’
“It has to be three to four pounds. It’s my idea of a perfect sandwich. Oils run out of it. You can substitute or asked to not put something on. It is what it is. The pig. It’s an hourlong experience. You must take a break. Clean up a little bit. Ad then it’s on to the next half; if you can.”
Another interesting choice was the BLT w/friend eggs on an English Muffin from Shop N Go on Buttermilk Rd., Pittsburgh.
T. Dean Wilkins, of Fayette City and a “burger-guy” at heart, said the BLT there is “is the best he’s ever had.”
Wilkins had dined at many restaurants in many different states. He’s bullish on this BLT.
“It must be the bacon,” Wilkins said. “It’s a convenience store, but you can have lunch and dinner there. They have tables.
“The bacon definitely makes the sandwich and I add the fried eggs to my order. I found the place by mistake. I get a couple every time I’m there.”
According to www.nationaldaycalendar.com, “the basic concept of the sandwich long predates the Earl of Sandwich --the real-life 18th-century aristocrat who reportedly loved them and gave them their modern name.
“The ancient Jewish sage Hillel the Elder is said to have wrapped lamb-meat and bitter herbs between two pieces of matzoh (unleavened bread) during Passover. Early versions of the “wrap” have also been found in Asia and Africa. The sandwich grew in popularity among aristocrats in the 18th and 19th centuries. Legend has it they were popularly shared, held with one hand, during late-night gaming and drinking.”
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a sandwich must have at least 35 percent cooked meat and be no more than 50% bread. The average American child eats about 1,500 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before finishing high school, the USDA said.
Astronaut John Young once smuggled a corned beef sandwich on board a Gemini flight. Submarine sandwiches are called “hoagies” in Philadelphia and “heroes” in New York. The Dagwood sandwich was first introduced by Chic Young, creator of the Blondie strip, who described the sandwich as a “mountainous pile of dissimilar leftovers.”
Those interested in joining the Be Local Network can contact Chris Slota at 724-225-1326 or by email at email@example.com. Discount cards are available at the Observer-Reporter and Almanac office, 122 S. Main St., Washington.