Notable sandwiches in the Boston area

On various threads we’ve recorded our experiences with various sandwiches, good and bad. It’s time to unify, people.

Let me start the ball rolling by recording, since I’m a bad boy – as I fondly like to think – a spectacularly bad sandwich from Cardullo’s [Harvard Square]. I asked for ham on a ciabatta with mustard. Impossible to screw up, you’d think? Well, the sandwich guy must have misheard me as saying “mustard, with ham and ciabatta” because this is what I got:

Not convinced? Here’s a closeup:

You’re a backside-person? Here:

Every bite I took sent mustard squirting in every direction.


That is pure U-G-L-Y!


Yikes, that’s bad!
Good sandwiches: pastrami at Our Father’s Deli, Italian sub at Jackson’s Kitchen (Mass Ave on Arlington/Lexington border).

I would travel a long way for a pure fresh tomato sandwich on toasted white bread with mayo and, if one is feeling fancy, a leaf of fresh basil and a sprinkling of kosher salt. Never seen it on a menu though. Sigh…

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Surely one has only to travel as far as one’s kitchen for this – especially with “real” tomatoes starting to fill the farmer’s markets, and the smell of basil in the air?

And talking of toast, several of Iggys white sandwich breads make very good toast, but the crunchiest results I’ve had so far have been with Pigs Fly white sourdough.

I concur on Our Father’s. I did not know about Jackson’s. Thanks.

I realize I started this thread on a negative note – and I hope nobody took my negativity negatively – but I did mean for us to write about our s “notable” sandwich experiences, good and bad.

(When I think of the good, I’m still affected by the loss of several of Strip T’s great lunch sandwiches.)

Forge in Somerville makes excellent sandwiches, but they changed their menu a few weeks ago and I have not had any of the new ones yet.


We aren’t close to real tomatoes at Boston area farmers markets yet. The basil however is great.

The Lobster melt at Bergamot, across from Dali, in Somerville at the Cambridge line is very worthy. They used to have it all the time, available at the bar only, but now they’ve gotten coy and they don’t put it on the online menu and you have to call to ask. They bring it back sometimes but mostly not.

Yes, the large tomatoes are not in great shape yet, but I’ve had some very sweet smaller ones (although a bit thick skinned). I’ve halved them and spread them on garlic-rubbed toast with olive oil (my poison of choice), basil, and flaky salt.

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Had a very good lobster roll at The Hourly Oyster in Harvard Square today. I’d had a nerve wracking morning and was going to have a long work afternoon, and had exactly 40 minutes in between. Exactly enough time for a lobster roll and a glass of muscadet. The lobster roll at THO is of the mayonnaisy Maine variety – not my favorite – but it was the best of that class I think I’ve had – significant chunks of lobster, dressed lightly. When I bit into it and bits fell out – hey, I was in a rush – they were lobster bits, not globs of dressing. But, the most memorable aspect was the texture of the lobster – perfectly tender, without even the slightest hint of rubberiness. And, as you all know, lobster can quickly go from raw to rubber. I don’t remember being so struck by the quality of the lobster meat (in a roll) even at Neptune – but then, I may have so blissfully buttered there that I might not have noticed anything else. Speaking of butter, the briochy roll at THO was very lightly toasted – the best degree of toasting for a lobster roll – and from it wafted lovely buttery smells as I raised the roll in the general direction of my mouth/nose.

The roll came with fries – they were very good on their own, crisp and greaseless, and I ate 7, but I was really there for the main event. The roll cost $28 – about par price these days for a lobster roll – and possibly inexpensive when you consider the +fries. To compare, the price for a lobster roll + fries at Captain Marsden’s Cod Squad truck last year was $18, and an extra $10 for lobster that’s 50% greater in mass and 250% better in quality seems worth it – at least as an occasional treat.


Your time-management skills are to be highly commended.

We lunched at The Hourly a couple years ago and thought it was on point. Glad to hear it remains so.

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fd, Glad you enjoyed it so much, but I think it was expensive. Were the order of fries worth $7.00? I had twin lobster rolls on toasted, buttered rolls (with almost no mayo), at the Fat Cat in Quincy for $19.00 with the best fries on the South Shore, or maybe eastern Mass. Guess that’s the price of Harvard Sq. But, I am glad you enjoyed! Did I mention they threw in a large pickle slice.


Lobster roll (23.50) from Fresco’s in Malden. Loaded with all tail meat, the fries are just OK.


Large Italian with Everything (9.95) from Anthony’s in Stoneham. It’s way bigger than what it looks. No exotic meats but plenty of cheese and cold-cuts.


Sandwich? This is a longtime favorite at Fishbones in Chelmsford., Sesame Yellow Fin Tuna Steak Sandwich ($16) cooked rare. “Sushi grade yellowfin, toasted sesame seeds, brioche roll, pickled ginger, wasabi, seaweed salad, lettuce, tomato, pickle. Choice of two sides”. For my sides, I went with their outstandingly good french fries, and cucumber and tomato salad. I have never seen the salad before and it turns out it is only available during the summer. It was a really fresh mix of veggies that were cut into a perfect brunoise. The tuna was cooked as ordered and the quality of the tune was exceptional.


Fishbones has a knack for cooking yellowfin just right. I didn’t know they offered it in sandwich form at lunchtime. Thanks for mentioning!

Looks great.

I was surprised to read this positive review of Hourly Oyster. I can’t remember exactly but several months ago we had one of the worst restaurant meals we’ve ever had. It was the dreaded brunch hour on a Sunday and we were trying to decide between John Harvard‘s (RIP) and Hourly Oyster. Slice/milk bar had just opened and was veritable shit show and we wanted to try something new-ish in the food wasteland that is HSq. B had had one decent meal there previously so we went with the hourly oyster especially since there was no wait. It was an awful experience from start to finish including food and the service. Perhaps things have changed which is good to know.

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Oh my. That is a surprise to me. We had such a lovely lunch at The Hourly a couple of years back with friends who were visiting Harvard Square. I wonder if it’s one of those places that struggles with consistency?

My one visit is not enough of a sample size.

I respect your food-sense immensely – did you post a review of your bad experience at THO? If not, what were the things you most disliked?

I want to make clear that my comment above was simply one on their lobster roll, which (as I said) I found very good. I sat at the bar, ate my roll, sampled some fries, downed my wine, and went on my way fortified for the afternoon. I’ve no opinion on the place as a restaurant in general.