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Rhode Island’s Best Classic Sandwiches

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Last week we picked the best upscale sandwiches our fine state had to offer. This week we pick the best sandwich shops -- part neighborhood meeting place, part restaurant, all delicious. We found 5 tasty spots to grab a sandwich and hope you'll agree.

Geoff's, Providence

For as long as we can remember, Geoff's has been serving delicious, creative sandwiches to the masses on the East Side. We remember being college students and stumbling in looking for something that wasn't Ramen noodles and finding incredible, reasonably-priced sandwiches. The shop's giant barrel of spicy and briny pickles was also a frequent gathering place after a long night of cocktail sampling experiments. You know you've made it in Rhode Island when you've got a sandwich named after you at Geoff's. Susan Farmer, Alan Shawn Feinstein, Patrick Kennedy -- they're all here immortalized in deliciousness. We tend to keep it simple and order the Geoff. Hot pastrami and Swiss cheese in the classic combo. Have it on toasty rye bread with spicy mustard and find yourself dreaming of Katz's in N.Y.C. We also love the Juggs. It's a slightly odd combo of hot turkey, bacon, cheddar,cranberry and the incredible Shedd's sauce. 163 Benefit St. 751-2248.

Sandwich Junction, Warwick

You need to make some delicious sandwiches to survive when you're hidden from the world off Post Road in Warwick. We'd gotten a suggestion to try them when we picked best sandwiches last year and although it took us some time to find Sandwich Junction, we are glad we took the time. Because these are great sandwiches. This is a classic old-school sandwich shop. If you're looking for amenities, this is not your sandwich joint. If you're looking for quality ingredients prepared the way you remember, then this is your shop. We went classic with the Freight Car Combo. This is their version of an Italian with lots of fresh meats and an oregano based dressing that took us back in time in a good way. We also dove into the Cannonball express. This was a classic meatball grindah with the simple combo of fresh meatballs, provolone cheese and a slightly sweet tomato sauce topping it all. We were impressed with the freshness and flavors here. 86 Kilvert St. 738-0559

J's Deli, Woonsocket

Sandwich fans in the northern end of the state have long found refuge at J's Deli. Smithfield, Cumberland, Woonsocket and Attleboro all boast locations and we dare say they're all worth seeking out if you're in the area. J's is a cool stop for a lot of reasons...you can grab and go a terrific assortment of deli meats, sides like potato salad and cole slaw and even pizza and calzones all in one location. Makes it easy to feed an assortment of picky eaters in one stop. The sandwiches are also very reasonably priced, so feeding a group won't break the bank. When we went, we wanted to try a couple of their specialties and settled on the the Italiano and the Mutual Fund. The Italiano was a pannini with Capicola, Genoa salami, roasted red peppers and mozzarella cheese grilled untill it was toasty and delicious. The mutual fund featured roast beef, turkey and ham with american cheese and bacon. They top it with russian dressing which gives the sandwich some spice and some moisture. 760 Cumberland Hill Rd. 356-1430, www.jsdeliri.com

Dee's Deli, Cranston

Sandwich hounds in the western side of the state have a terrific little sandwich shop in Dee's Deli. Located on Cranston Street, it serves tasty sandwiches to the masses from western Cranston and Johnston. This shop is tiny and the food is good, so expect to wait. We are not usually ones to wait in line for food--our little state has so many dining options--but we figured we would try. The line moved swiftly and everyone seemed excited about the sandwich prospects. The staff was courteous and blew through the line quickly. These grindahs are huge. The large is the size of two sandwiches and was more than enough to feed us on one. We had heard good things about the pastrami, so we headed in that direction. The pastrami was fresh and had a perfect fat-to-meat ratio to keep it moist and flavorful without being too fatty. The bread was amazing and we were told that they get a certain amount everyday and when it's gone, it's gone. Get there early and if there is a line, don't let it scare you. 1296 Cranston St. 942-0151

Sandwich Hut, Providence

For almost a half a century, the Sandwich Hut has been cranking out classic sandwiches in their retro-looking building on North Main Street. The tasty tradition that was started by Joseph Tatulli is continued today by his daughter Denise and her husband Donald. We used to live up the hill from the Sandwich Hut and it was our "go-to" quick lunch spot. This is a classic sub shop menu with a couple of stand-outs. We fell in love with the capicolla. It reminded us of days at the beach with Grandpa Cervini. Spicy and porky--if that's a word--and cooled by lettuce and tomato, this was everything we remembered and it was delicious. We also happened to be there on a Friday and had to try the omelet grindah. We got the pepperoni and egg and declared it the best hangover food we had had in years. It sounds crazy but the combination works wonderfully together. The salt and spice from the pepperoni gives the sandwich a nice kick. And don't forget to try the stuffed peppers...they're some of the best around! 1253 North Main St. 272-2590, www.thesandwichhut.com 

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