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5 Uniquely Detroit Sandwiches

Tasty twists on Midwestern classics

Kat Rembacki

Kat Rembacki

Storyteller at Core Detroit
Dance party crasher; wordsmith; downtowner;Disney geek; whipped cream junkie; die-hard Tigers fan. Join me on on my epic quest for the perfect turkey reuben.
Kat Rembacki

New Orleans has the muffaletta and the po’boy. Miami’s got the corner on Cuban. And New England owns the lobster roll.

It’s kinda crazy that we put all those into one food category, isn’t it? The humble sandwich has and many different interpretations and regional variations as your imagination can dream up. The only requirements are two slices of bread with something – meat, cheese, veggies, whatever – in the middle. After that, it’s anyone’s game.

You might be a fan of the Philly cheesesteak or the Jersey beef, but our favorite sandos to scarf are the ones that Detroit does better than anyone else. Read on for five uniquely Detroit sandwiches you should be eating right now.

Mabel Clark at Grand Trunk. Photo: Core Detroit.

Mabel Clark at Grand Trunk. Photo: Core Detroit.

Mabel Clark, Grand Trunk Pub

Ah, good ol’ Mabel. She never steers us wrong. Grand Trunk gives this sandwich a twist on a Midwest classic: the Reuben. They swap out the usual ‘kraut and bring coleslaw in as a pinch runner. And it’s even better than the original. We don’t know why anyone would eat a regular ol’ reuben after tasting this gem.

Tender Wrigley’s corned beef is piled high onto a Golden Wheat Bakery onion poppyseed roll then topped with melty swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. Did we mention there’s coleslaw? Creamy, tangy slaw, right on the sandwich.

Perch Sandwich at Jacoby’s German Biergarten

The Midwest might not be known for our seafood (we’ll leave that to the coasts), but perch is plentiful in the Great Lakes region and Detroiters are known for dunking the delicate little fishies in batter and frying them up for a Friday night fish fry, or just for a casual weekday lunch.

Jacoby’s fries their freshly caught lake perch in a golden, crispy beer batter. Then, they’re slathered with your choice of traditional tartar sauce or a cilantro aioli, and served on a kaiser roll. You won’t find a better fish sammy from sea to shining sea.

Dime Store duck reuben. Photo: Core Detroit.

Dime Store duck reuben. Photo: Core Detroit.

Duck Reuben at Dime Store

We used to think the best part of a reuben sammy was the corned beef. Then, we tried Dime Store’s duck reuben and wept foodie tears of joy over the juicy, tender hunks of duck leg confit stacked onto rye bread with bright purple pickled cabbage, peppery arugula, melty gruyere cheese, mayo and whole grain mustard. The bread is toasty and a glistening golden brown – shiny with wisps of butter still melting into its surface. This is unique sandwich is a work of creative genius.

That’s Jared at Mudgie’s

The Corktown sandwich king is another spot to get a uniquely Detroit twist on the classic Reuben. We can think of few things more midwestern than throwing a scoop of potato salad – in all its starchy, mayo-laden goodness – onto a sandwich, and that’s exactly what the mudge does here. Lovely Sy Ginsberg corned beef and swiss cheese are topped with a scoop of redskin potato salad. The whole thing gets a final squirt of spicy mustard and is served warm on a kaiser roll.

PB&J with chips at Red Hook. Photo by Red Hook via Facebook.

PB&J with chips at Red Hook. Photo by Red Hook via Facebook.

PB&J with Chips at Red Hook

You never know what edible treasures you’ll find at this charming West Village coffee shop. The pastries and baked goods – both sweet and savory – change often but are always delightful. This past weekend, though, they had a real treat: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with potato chips. Not on the side. In the sandwich.

Is there a kid around who doesn’t remember the time they first snuck a handful of crunchy, salty potato chips onto a sandwich, and watched the world turn technicolor around them? Just a few miles from the Better Made factory, where dense ground tubers become light and crispy chips, you could be reliving the best parts of your youth. This sando probably won’t be around forever, so stop by this weekend and ask – pretty please – if they’ll make one for you.

  • queenie1

    RE: Mabel Clark, – Its Wigley’s corned beef (Eastern Market legend), and that sandwich has always been called a Dinty Moore at a lot of deli’s around town. I agree, it’s DELICIOUS!

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