"You want at shot at the title? You ain't even a contender" - Killer Croc
Sandwiches - their invention is credited to a John Montagu the fourth Earl of Sandwich. Whether this is true or not is of minimal interest to me. For your edification I leave a link for a slightly more complete synopsis of the origin of the sandwich: http://www.wordsources.info/words-mod-sandwich.html
So what are the great sandwiches of the day? What are the sandwiches that rise above the myriad combinations of materials shoved in between two slices of starch? Here is a list in ascending order, which I submit has a thoroughly New York City bias. The bias, it should be explained, is for sandwiches that frequently get eaten in NYC, though almost certainly not sandwiches that were invented in NYC.
Although technically sandwiches, I'm comfortable saying that the hot dog and cheeseburger have transcended mere sandwich status.
Roast Beef sandwich - the original sandwich as legend would have us believe the 4th of Earl of Sandwich had improvised during one of his many gaming (gambling sessions). With the deservedly bad rap beef gets for health purposes, this sandwich is in [relative] disfavor, but might rank as the only sandwich to be made in ever century since the concept of sandwich became known.
BLT - simple, classic, tasty and almost heathy - also spawned an imitator that ultimately failed (McDLT anyone?)
Grilled Chicken - the default, healthy sandwich, everyone has a version, it's ubiquitous and varied in approach; conducive to myriad combinations.
Pastrami on rye with mustard - does it get more Manhattan than this sandwich, it should actually be called the Manhattan, or the "Upper West [Side]" - i gave up beef a long time ago; i don't miss steak, rarely miss burgers, but how I miss pastrami.
Cuban Sandwich - not classic and as revered as some of its running mates on this list but so good: sliced pork, ham, swiss cheese, pickles, mustard on garlic bread. No lettuces, no tomatoes, nothing cold; just meat, cheese and "sharpeners" to deliver lots of taste.
Chicken Parm - this is it, #1 - the sandwich that is a true meal unto itself; the sandwich that makes you say, "I give up"; an uncompromising sandwich: cheese, breaded meat, hero roll, tomato sauce; is there anything remotely healthy about this sandwich, no. You might as well have a cigarette after eating it, i know I do.
Which of course brings me to a question for which I do not have the answer but will be blogging about - who makes one of the best chicken parm sandwiches in NYC? What defines a great chicken parm from a good one and a bad one? Hmmm. More on the chicken parm later.