What if, instead of calling a sandwich a sandwich, it was called a Montagu? It could have happened, according to several websites that trace the history of the sandwich. Apparently, John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, inspired the name around 1762. It is said he didn’t want to interrupt his gambling with eating so he requested something he could hold and eat while he played. The result was meat and cheese placed between two slices of bread.
Yet another website says that a rabbi who lived during the first century B.C. came up with the idea. Rabbi Hillel the Elder served nuts, apples, spices and wine stuffed between two matzohs to eat during Passover.
Whether it was due to gambling or religion, today the sandwich remains a popular meal that can be served hundreds of different ways. In the North Central area there are several restaurants that focus almost exclusively on crafting tasty, unique sandwiches.
5224 N. 7th St.
9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily
After 25 years of business the owners, Boris and Maya Goltsman, decided to go all kosher. They offer several fish and cheese sub sandwiches and say their tuna is very popular, as is the salmon sandwich. Manhattan’s currently doesn’t offer a gluten-free bread but you can get a gluten-free pizza. The average price is around $10. “But it’s going to be a lot of food for one person,” Maya points out . Manhattan’s also offers many side dishes that are included in the price of the sandwich. Even though the restaurant closes at 9 p.m., Maya says they will stay open if you call in your order or walk in just before closing time.
That’s a Wrap
800 E. Camelback Rd.
11 a.m.-8 p.m. M-Fri
11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
Wraps are a different take on sandwiches but still require something to hold in all the tasty goodness. The two most popular sandwiches both have a little kick to them, says manager Colin Denker. The Buffalo and the Thai are spicy but not too hot to handle. The wraps average between $7 and $8 and come with a side dish of pasta, fruit or chips and salsa. You also can order soup for an extra charge, and all soups are vegan. Denker says a lot of the shop’s customers are vegetarian or vegan. At the moment the eatery doesn’t offer a gluten-free wrap but they are experimenting with using lettuce or chard as an alternative to wraps. It’s a good idea to order your lunch ahead of time because Denker says the lunch crowd is about 80 percent of their business, so it tends to get pretty packed. “I think the building can be kind of unassuming from the street,” admits Denker, “but once people come in they find the food is good, healthy and it’s a really fun atmosphere.” There also is a patio for alfresco dining.
Zookz Sandwiches With An Edge
4750 N. Central Ave.
7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Mon.-Fri.
9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. & Sun.
Zookz offers sandwiches by the number. The breakfast sandwich, which is a customer favorite, is #44 and features a two-egg frittata, bacon, ham, fresh basil, Parmesan and Feta cheese with roasted red peppers. It’s a morning feast for just $4.75. At lunch Carole Meyer, the owner, says customers go for the #20, a turkey sandwich with cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato and homemade sweet mustard. The average price for a sandwich is $6.75. Zookz offers several side dishes and Meyer says the kale salad with roasted almonds and mandarin oranges is very popular, along with the garbanzo bean salad with cucumbers. Each sandwich comes with a side dish. Meyer doesn’t offer a gluten-free bread because of a lack of space in the small kitchen, saying it would be hard to avoid cross-contamination.
OUT OF AREA:
Ladybug House of Sandwiches
1611 N. 11th St.
The staff at Ladybug House of Sandwiches has been filling slices of bread with eclectic and tasty choices for more than 30 years. Bread options such as croissants, onion rolls, pumpernickel slices, or gluten-free bread buttress the Italian-style hero’s ham, salami, and provolone or the Elvis Delight’s peanut butter, bacon, and mayo. A half sandwich, such as the Veggie Delight or BLT, pairs with a side of your choice, be it a salad, daily soup, or potato salad with the daily lunch special. Among the menu selections are the Bogey, with turkey breast, provolone, and avocado spread; the Bacall, with turkey, cream cheese, and pineapple; and the T.J., with honey-cured ham, cheddar, jalapeños, cucumbers, and sprouts.
149 W. McDowell Road
Hob Nobs offers a vast selection of artisan sandwiches and wraps that will make a lunch stop feel more like a foodie’s dream experience. Meat lovers will rejoice with choices like The Carver, featuring roast sirloin with aged white cheddar and crumbled feta; the Smokey Joe, featuring mesquite smoked turkey breast with bacon and smoked gouda; or Vito’s Favorite, with Genoa salami, capicolla, black forest ham and provolone. Fish lovers will flap their gills for the Albacore or Grilled Salmon selections, and vegetarians can dig into the Veggie Mon—black bean hummus, roasted red pepper, artichoke hearts, spinach, sweet onion, tomato, avocado and cilantro—or the Secret Sandwich, a “grown-up” grilled cheese includes four cheeses and seasonal fruit (such as apples or grapes) on your choice of bread. Sandwiches and wraps don’t come with a side but the portions are more than enough to fill you up. Or, take advance of the half-sandwich and half soup combo.
503 W. Thomas Road
At D’Lish Cafe, the chefs put on a show of slicing, chopping, dicing, and tossing salads. As folks look on, they festoon greens with a slew of organic produce—from avocado and cilantro to spinach, strawberries, and walnuts—most of which comes fresh from farmer’s markets and co-ops. That farm-to-table ethos extends to their breakfast and lunch wraps. In addition to the bumper-crop of nutrition in each dish, every entry on the menu can be modified gluten-free or vegan diets. Though D’Lish Cafe is wellness-focused and friendly to herbivores, the menu is diverse. The café’s signature wrap, for instance—The D’Lish—bundles grilled steak, onions, and mushrooms with Swiss cheese.