Learn how to make your sandwich the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Crafting the perfect sandwich can take more than a trip to the grocery store if you know where to look for the freshest ingredients. Handpick breads, meats, cheeses and condiments from these Kansas City shops.
Hot or cold, without the bread, you can’t call it a sandwich. A lettuce wrap, maybe. James Mcnamara of Local Pig says the bread matters—it should be used to either soak up barbecue juices or to offer the perfect crunch.
“My favorite sandwich is a BLT at the height of summer: mayo, tomato, some sort of green thing and then a nice, thick cut of bacon,” Mcnamara says. “It’s nice in hot weather.”
Ibis Bakery creates dough the old-fashioned way using natural yeast for artisan rolls and au levain loaves. Order a half or full loaf of country pan, cranberry walnut pan or rosemary cheese from flour-dusted shelves. For a sweet foundation, try the Coconut White Chocolate Pan, the current seasonal variety. Or head to one of the metro grocery stores that carry Farm to Market Bread Company’s creations to find fresh slices of crispy Gaelic sourdough and classic French baguettes.
Barbecue isn’t the only meat option around here. Local Pig displays selections of steaks, roasts, chops, sausages, burgers and charcuterie behind chilled glass. Order a cut from the chalkboard menu with a robust sandwich in mind that makes even the butcher’s mouth water. Broadway Butcher Shop also offers gourmet meats and cooking expertise to ensure you concoct a flavorful meal.
Balance the bite of bread and meat with a soft slice of artisan cheese. Ron Shalinsky, owner of the Better Cheddar, says if he were craving a hot sandwich, it would be a grilled cheese that he fries in olive oil and butter. He prefers whole grain bread and Dry Monterey Jack, a hard cheese that melts well.
“Once in a while, I’ll put in a maple-bourbon bread and butter pickle,” Shalinsky says. “It’s really good with a grilled cheese sandwich or in the cold sandwich.”
The Better Cheddar sells American, farmstead and European cheeses. Shalinsky suggests the aged Brabander goat-smoked Gouda for something sharp, salty and unexpected. Or make a panini with Asiago, Gorgonzola or Pecorino Romano cheeses from Bella Napoli, an Italian restaurant, deli and grocery store.
Top it off with your choice of fixings. You can’t go wrong with variations of mustards, dips and relishes. Join Ship & Dip, a Kansas City subscription box service that mails three small-batch condiments each month. This April, subscribers get a balsamic fresh fig jam, beer-bacon chipotle hot sauce and surprise mustard. Get more fruity flavor from Our Sassy Pantry’s locally made jams. –Amelia Arvesen