Though some people have abandoned sandwiches due to the misinformation campaign perpetrated by the War on Carbs, I remain loyal to these culinary masterpieces. Not all sandwiches are created equal, however. Here is a list ranking common sandwiches from worst to best. You probably shouldn’t read this if you’re hungry; don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Ham on Rye: A terrible Charles Bukowski novel and a terrible sandwich, too. Ham is the meat of choice for the unrefined plebeian masses, much like how Bukowski is the writer of choice for people that know nothing about literature but want to seem deep and edgy and MASCULINE. For the record, Shia LaBeouf went through a Bukowski phase while trying to reinvent himself as a bad boy, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about Bukowski fans. I’m sure a ham sandwich on rye bread isn’t really all that bad, but I just can’t get past associating it with bland, narcissistic writing.
Egg Salad: How anybody could love a food that looks the same going into you as it does coming out of you is beyond me. Egg salad is the bastard step-cousin of potato salad: unloved and inferior. If you want the taste of eggs combined the experience of crippling diarrhea, just make deviled eggs instead.
Veggie: These fall into the same category of commons misconceptions as the misuse of “peruse,” the mix-up of “continuous” versus “continual,” and the belief that Tony Romo is an elite NFL quarterback. Simply put, a sandwich is required to have meat (with only a couple of exceptions allowed). A “veggie sandwich” is not a sandwich but a goddamn travesty. Just eat a garden salad and throw tons of croutons on it; there’s no need to besmirch the good name of sandwiches just because you’ve decided being a vegetarian is a worthwhile lifestyle.
Meatball Marinara: Meatball marinara sandwiches are just perversions of spaghetti and meatball dishes. The only difference is carbs you can grasp in your pudgy hands instead of carbs you have to twirl around a fork before shoveling down your gullet. I always ordered meatball marinara sandwiches at Subway when I was a kid, but then I grew older and realized Subway is a hellhole of mediocrity. The worst part of meatball marinara sandwiches is how they’re always, without fail, constructed poorly. The temperature is never quite right, for starters, and the marinara sauce soaks into the bread, giving it the soggy consistency of a gym sock. If you want some combination of bread and meatballs, just eat a plate of meatballs with some slices of toasted garlic bread on the side. It’s far classier.
Tuna Fish: Of all childhood sandwiches, tuna is definitely the one that loses its allure the quickest. Once you have salmon, it is kinda hard to go back to eating tuna without feeling like your somehow failing at life. I appreciate how inexpensive a can of tuna is, and I especially appreciate how tuna nets are doing a wonderful job combating our dolphin overpopulation problem, but I’m just too old and bitter to find any wonderment in a tuna sandwich anymore. Now get off my damn lawn and turn down those raps.
Peanut Butter and Jelly: There are only two rules when it comes to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches: you must use chunky peanut butter and you must not—unless you are a child, have the intellect of a child, or are trying to appease and/or lure a child—cut the sandwich diagonally. Those are the only edicts. I don’t care about your choice of bread or if the jelly you select is the organic variety that smells vaguely like patchouli oil from the aging hippie farmer that made it. Smooth peanut butter is for cowards and diagonal-cuts should remain a staple of the Princeton offense only.
Grilled Cheese: Awesome when you were a child, awesome when you were a broke college student too lazy to do any real cooking, and awesome until the day you die or become lactose intolerant (which, in the case of the latter, may be the day you kill yourself. Life without cheese is barely a life worth living). Cheddar is obviously the preferred cheese, but pepper jack is a strong challenger. There is a website actually called grilledcheeseacademy that details various gourmet variations on the classic grilled cheese. Seriously, go check it out; it is the best use of the Internet since BuzzFeed was invented to help you understand 32 Things About Being In College That You Can Totally Relate To through the use of Michael Cera GIFs and Jimmy Eat World lyrics.
Grinder: So I went to go see if grinders had a website similar to the one devoted to grilled cheeses…yeah, definitely not a sandwich site.
Reuben: Ruebens played a critical role in my formative years. First, there was Paul Reubens and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, which I still say is by far the best movie Tim Burton ever directed (I mean, it’s certainly not goddamned Charlie and the Crap Factory). Then there was Reuben Droughns, the beastly University of Oregon tailback who once gashed UCLA for 172 yards despite playing with a fractured fibula. Simply put, all Reubens of the non-Studdard variety are awesome. If you don’t like sour kraut, there’s something horribly wrong with you as a person and you should feel ashamed/look to have that flaw corrected medically.
Thanksgiving Leftovers: While most people spend the day after Thanksgiving trampling soccer moms to death in order to buy discounted Beats by Dre, I prefer to spend my Black Friday lumping my leftovers together between two slices of bread and eating myself into a coma. Sandwiches crafted from Thanksgiving leftovers have all the joys of T-Day without any of the undesirable components: the drunken uncle damning your soul to hell because you voted for Obama, the awkward interactions with your creepy cousin who goes to art school, and Detroit Lions football. I really enjoy the whole illusion of “recycling” Thanksgiving food, because it helps lessen all the guilt brought on by the first-world orgy of gluttony from the previous day.
BLT: You’re a fascist if you don’t like BLT sandwiches. That’s all I have to say.
Philly Cheesesteak: A lot of people love to hate on Philadelphia because the sports fans there have a reputation of being bloodthirsty maniacs lacking anything resembling moral compasses or understandings of decorum. I think Philly is pretty awesome, however. First, there are Beanie Sigel and Freeway, and I don’t think you wanna disparage Beanie Sigel and Freeway. Second, there’s the iconic Boy Meets World a.k.a. The Best Show Ever a.k.a Adventures in Codependency. Then there are Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, which are phenomenal. I love greasy food, and Philly cheesesteaks, if made well, should come with a small bucket to catch the fat drippings in. Unless you have some sort of personal vendetta against the City of Brotherly Love or a desire to have a fully functional heart, it is pretty much impossible not to love these sandwiches.
Philly cheesesteaks reign supreme in the sandwich world; I’m certain Chip Kelly is thrilled to be in close proximity to their greatness.