#foodbeast Cravings

5 Origin Stories of Your Favorite Sandwiches


You’d think every kind of sandwich was invented by a child. Not because sandwiches are child’s play (hell no), but they just seem so wondrous and hopeful. The basic concept of the sandwich joyously empowers non-cooks to be able to pull off glory and puff out their chests with pride. It’s an uncomplicated artwork you can eat. It’s by anybody for everyone. But kids didn’t invent them, at least not the famous ones, and no two origin stories are alike in the food world. So let’s do some digging and talk shop about how favorite sandwiches came to be.


1. The Club


Photo: Flickr

The story goes more or less the same here, with everyone nodding their head in agreement that it came out of a country club in the late 1800s. Beyond that, like pinpointing the actual club, hungry folks of the world part ways, though the most popular call is the Saratoga Club House, an exclusive gambling house in New York. Otherwise, the notable non-club theory is that the sandwich entered mouths as a menu addition at the Steamer Rhode Island Restaurant around the same time.


2. The Patty Melt


Said to have bounced to vibrant melty life in sunny Southern California, the origin story of the gooey hamburger-sandwich goes like this: It was a favorite of William “Tiny” Naylor. I know, you were hoping it was something more exciting, like stolen as a family recipe from some mafioso and then smuggled into cafes along the coast, but it really was that Naylor owned a chain of restaurants in the 1940s and 1950s and word got out.


3. The Dagwood


Photo: Flickr

Even if you’ve never been a regular reader of the comic Blondie, there’s a chance you’ve seen the world’s hungriest cartoon father dashing around a newspaper over the years. The long-running strip (starting in 1930) features a family with a patriarch who keeps up the habit of snagging what seems to be the entire contents of the Bumstead family refrigerator and pinning the goods together between two slices of bread. And that’s essentially what the real-life comic-inspired sandwich calls for — pretty much just any kind of leftovers, though the rule tends to be “the more, the merrier” or “the goofier, the greater.” I mean, it’s as much for dinner time as it is arts-and-crafts hour.


4. The Cuban


Though the timeframe for the sandwich’s first creation can at least be somewhat nailed down to the mid-late 1800s, the actual origin tale is a lot more slippery to catch. It’s largely believed the sandwich became a go-to lunch for the workers of Cuba’s cigar factories and sugar mills (and later Key West’s cigar factories), though who exactly created it and when remains a mystery, lost to a community of hungry employees. The cigar industry eventually made its way to Tampa in the 1880s, where the sandwich more or less scored an influence from Italian immigrants, causing it to flourish. In fact, Tampa laid notable claim to the sandwich — their incarnation at least — in 2012.


5. The Sub/Hoagie/Hero/Grinder


Here’s the thing, this exact origin story is impossible to track. Instead, the name is the changing wonder.

“The Sub(marine)” found its way into the Oxford English Dictionary sometime around the start of World War II, with the legend going that it was thanks to an Italian shopkeeper near a Navy shipyard in New London, Connecticut.

“The Hoagie” keeps up a similar story, with the Philadelphia Navy Yard once being called Hog Island. However, the better sandwich tale from the City of Brotherly Love is that a 1920s jazz musician named Al De Palma saw one of his beboppin’ buddies snacking down on the thing and laughed, “You have to be a hog to eat one of those.” When the Depression hit, music wasn’t exactly paying, so he opted to open a sandwich shop that sold “hoggies,” which later led to De Palma’s altered nickname “King of the Hoagies.”

“The Hero” has a background that’s based in a slight riff of the last one, but out of New York City, when food columnist Clementine Paddleworth reportedly remarked, “You had to be a hero to eat it.” Meanwhile, the Oxford English Dictionary actually attributes the name to armored car guards.

“The Grinder” keeps it in line and brings it all back with the shipyard backing, as it was supposedly named in New England for the dockworkers who did up the day-to-day grinding repair of the ships.

And that’s how the sage-like comfort of notable sandwiches came to be, though you have to wonder how much some kind of supernatural marvel played a role in giving these masterful geniuses the initial pop of a brilliant idea.


Club Sandwich Used to Compare Cost of Living Across the World [INFOGRAPHIC]

Travel booking site has released some intriguing research on the prices of Club Sandwiches from major cities around the world, resulting in a fun and quirky way to compare the cost of living in different cities.

Paris, often thought as one of the world’s most romantic cities, has just been deemed the most expensive according to the Club Sandwich Index (CSI).

The Club Sandwich is standard lunch fare known for its popularity among hotel restaurants and cafes worldwide.

If Paris is too expensive, it looks like the average price of a Club Sandwich in New York City might be more up your alley, settling in at around $17. If you can afford it there, you can afford it in most other locations in the United States:

Looks like if you’re trying to get a Club Sandwich on the cheap, you’re best off going to San Diego, CA for the cafe classic.

While the CSI is not a completely scientific solution to comparing costs of living across different cities, it is indeed a fun way to possibly allocate your travel expenses when budgeting for your lunchtime activities.

Here’s the full look:

Fast Food

Einstein Bros Bagels — New Triple Decker Bagel Club

Einstein Brothers Bagels is bringing folks a new offering in these late summer months — The Triple Decker Club Sandwich. The new sandwich features avocado, crispy bacon, sliced turkey breast, a host of veggies, lite mayo and honey mustard spread on a sourdough bagel.

To lure in folks on the new sandwich, the brand is offering a BOGO deal, getting you one free sandwich coupon with the purchase of another for signing up to their E-Club. (Via GrubGrade)



Peanut Butter & Jelly Club Sandwich

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich that follows the construction blueprints of a traditional club sandwich. You do the math. Or the deciphering. Or…fuck, that was a terrible analogy. Just try it at home. (PicThx TIWYH)


Double Bacon Roll

I believe that every diner and restaurant should adopt this sandwich style! That much bacon and tomatoes being held together with lettuce takes my vote! This is such a sneaky sandwich too, you think it would be low-carb with it’s lettuce, but then it wraps everything together again with three pieces of bread! I love it! (Thx Anna Pickard)


Craving: The Jamaican Club Sandwich

This sandwich contains all of the regular ingredients you would find in a traditional club; turkey, bacon, cheddar and tomato-but with one special difference. Jamaican beef patties instead of bread! Check out the inside cut!


Craving: Breakfast Club Sandwich


What a wonderous alternative to the normal eggs, pancakes, sausage and hash brown breakfast food pile. Here we witness a sandwich piled high with layers of bacon, lettuce, turkey and a four-count of waffles, topped with what looks like butter or ice cream, a side of mayo spread, chips and a frosty beer. Where’s the signup sheet?! (PicThx Insanewiches)


Craving: Club Sandwich

Club sandwiches have a special spot in my heart. I was first turned on to them during my childhood trips to Las Vegas with my family. When it came to sit down restaurants, I never knew what to order…I didn’t believe burgers would be as tasty as they were at Carl’s Jr., I didn’t want a sald, and Steak and Lobster were definitely adult dishes. Everything else I couldn’t pronounce. One thing that was available at most every cafe was the amazing often-amazing Club Sandwich a double decker sandwich with turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and sourdough bread. Often accompanied by chips or fries and a pickle. (PicThx Pan&Cook)