In 2019 a magazine (remember those?) published a list of the best sandwiches in each state. Ruth & I were on a trip at the time we first saw the article about The Bests, and it was relatively easy for us to sample some of the sandwiches as we returned home. We are now up to 14 tried of the 51 mentioned and I have some observations. In general no one should eat these sandwiches. They are mostly not diet-friendly food.
We had only tried one of them before beginning. Turkey and the Wolf in New Orleans, LA was the first sandwich we sampled, and it was quite good. If fact, it was memorable. The creator of the sandwich was being interviewed by the local press when we were indulging, and it made the experience especially vivid.
The best sandwiches were in Montana, Missouri, and Oregon. Tagliare, Pappy’s, and Lardo served truly exceptional sandwiches. We have only been back to Pappy’s, and it was beneficial for business to have been judged Best. Tagliare was the warmest human experience. The Lardo sandwich began with Korean pork shoulder and was a genuine treat, but we were glad we had it early in the day and we did not eat for a long time after indulging in it. The worst sandwich for personal reasons was Worth’s in Atlanta.
We have been in 3 states, Colorado, Alaska, and California, where we could have eaten what is perceived as the best sandwiches around, but we did not try them because they were difficult to get to. In Utah Pretty Bird Chicken was considered The Best, and people on the downtown streets agreed, but it was hard to get to and created a large order. Pretty Bird, however, has expanded into a 2nd location and is doing quite well.
This brings me to Meltz. This is considered the best sandwich in Idaho and is in Coeur d’ Alene. When locals heard we were going there, they rhapsodized about their experiences with this sandwich shop that was a bit hidden. Meltz serves “Extreme Grilled Cheese” and is a delight, It’s also a bit of an anomaly in a very diet-conscious place. We actually went to another sandwich shop because the greeter at our motel wrote another location for Meltz that turned out to have nothing to do with the winning sandwich emporium. The owner of the 2nd shop was actually offended by our presence.
Meltz has won other awards since its cheese infused sandwiches have been around. The sandwich we sampled was The Cubano, and it was sensational and typical of other Cuban sandwiches of our experience, USA Today, for example, has become a big Meltz fan. This is an efficient operation that serves mostly overweight people. The other patrons who entered, let me say, were not typical Coeur d’Alenians. I’m glad that I am not in charge of convincing Americans to reduce calories after sampling the sandwiches that the average person downs here at lunchtime in Meltz.