Give us two slices of bread, some yummy filling, hold the attitude, and make it snappy
Devra First: I have to rant about sandwiches for a minute. I’ve had so many frustrating sandwich purchases recently at “good’’ sandwich places. Tiny, totally underwhelming sandwiches that are completely overpriced, served with an attitude, and take foooooorrrrreeeeevvvvveeeeerrrrrr to make. What gives? And where are the truly good sandwich places? I’m never disappointed by Mike & Patty’s. I’ll throw that out there for starters.
Everymoms: Domenic’s in Waltham. They make their own bread, and bread makes the sandwich.
Marc H: Strip T’s in Watertown always has excellent sandwiches. And I love the sandwiches at Murray’s Deli in Braintree.
Bianca: I like Darwin’s in Harvard Square for overstuffed sandwiches, and also Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square.
Everymoms: Also, Tutto Italiano in Hyde Park. They also make their own bread.
Alex: Tutto Italiano makes some of the finest sandwiches anywhere.
Nelly: In Arlington Heights, D’Agostino Deli makes great sandwiches for takeout only.
Joel W.: I still like All Star in Cambridge for sandwiches but others disagree. The Whistle Stop in Lincoln is good if you’re out that way, but Mike & Patty’s is still tops for me.
Ora M: There’s always Chacarero, but even that’s become somewhat formulaic and doesn’t seem as good as the old days. Could just be the newness wore off. But I’d love to find a new, unique equivalent if anyone wants to share a hidden secret.
D.F.: Perhaps the banh mi? It’s always a good value.
One Good Guy: Soul Fire has a brisket Reuben that is awesome — I think they have the best brisket of any BBQ place around.
Alex: Best new sandwich shop is Cutty’s in Brookline Village. Their roast beef is phenomenal, and their old-fashioned Italian spuckie is amazing. The only negatives: too small and too pricy.
Marc H: I forgot about Nick’s Famous in Beverly. Perhaps the greatest roast beef sandwich in the Boston area.
Carl: Oh, that is a good sandwich, Marc — middle of a strip mall, but good.
Marc H: For agnostics and roast beef lovers, Nick’s Famous is about as close to a religious experience as you’ll get.
D.F.: Gassing up the car and heading out a.s.a.p.
Matt: My fiancee was recently told she needs to go on a gluten-free diet. Any places in Boston you can recommend with options for her?
D.F.: Myers + Chang and UpStairs on the Square are very gluten-free-friendly. Scampo has some gluten-free pasta on its menu, as does Nebo (gluten-free pizza there). P.F. Chang’s and Legal both have gluten-free offerings, in the realm of chains. Sushi places tend to be good bets, but you should bring your own soy sauce and avoid the pickled ginger if you’re being really stringent. I think Hungry Mother has gluten-free beer available. Anyone have gluten-free suggestions?
Seabass: Elephant Walk.
Graham: I think Flour has several gluten-free options, too.
Marbleoc: Burton’s Grill does a great job with gluten-free — including gluten-free hamburger buns and gluten-free rolls in a bread basket. B.Good has gluten-free hamburger rolls if you ask. And I’ve been told the Boston Melting Pot has gluten-free bread for its cheese fondue. As I write this list, it is clear there is a lot of room for “non-chains’’ in the Boston area to offer gluten-free menus.
Drew: Any good fried chicken spots you can recommend?
D.F.: I’ve had good examples at Mrs. Jones in Dorchester and Coast Cafe outside of Central Square, though it’s been a while for Coast and someone told me they had not-so-great chicken once.
MILK: I hear Summer Shack is good for fried chicken. Never had it myself.
Marc H: The boneless fried chicken plate at Grumpy White’s in Quincy is outstanding.
One Good Guy: I’ve had very good fried chicken at Hungry Mother.
Everymoms: Believe it or not, the fried chicken at Firefly’s is pretty good.
Graham: I love the fried chicken at Trina’s Starlite Lounge and Highland Kitchen (and I’m from South Carolina originally).
D.F.: I knew I was forgetting something important here. Trina’s fried chicken is really good.
Excerpted from Devra First’s weekly chat. First is off this week. Go to Boston.com today at 11 a.m. to chat live with food editor Sheryl Julian about your favorite dishes, recipes, and weeknight suppers. First can be reached at email@example.com.