When I need inspiration for my sandwich making I simply visit the online menus of my favorite sandwich shops to see what they're offering. My two favorites, The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley and Stag's Lunchette in Oakland, change their menus weekly, so there's always something new to inspire me.
I don't always duplicate exactly the sandwiches offered. Restaurants and delis usually make something a little more fussy and complicated than your average home cook wants to tackle, which is one of the reasons why we buy their sandwiches in the first place. But you can pick up a few hints here and there. The Local Butcher Shop recently listed a roast beef sandwich that had sautéed chard and onions with lemon. I happened to have a little leftover sautéed kale in my refrigerator as well as some roast beef and munster cheese, and thus a new sandwich was born. The kale was an excellent choice, standing up well to the hearty roast beef and offering a nice, vegetal counterpoint to all the protein.
Of course, copying a favorite sandwich does not mean you should stop going to your local sandwich spot! To begin with, you may not be able to make it as good as they can, simply because you don't have access to the same ingredients. And of course, it's more convenient to purchase a sandwich on a busy day and we all know that a sandwich always tastes better when someone else makes it. But if you want a little inspiration to shake up your daily sandwich routine, a quick peek at your favorite menus may offer you some new and delicious ideas.
Here are a few of my favorite sandwich places in the San Francisco Bay Area. How about in your neck of the woods?
(Image: Local Butcher Shop)