Lowell’s Best Sandwich?

by Andrew McCabe

In the first month of InsideLowell I’ve seen a couple of polls and questions posed which are easily answered but somehow seem up for debate.  Questions like is Christian Hill its own neighborhood? It’s not.  Simply because if we break you guys off then I’ll have to listen to people in Belvidere argue over splitting neighborhoods based on what side of Andover St or Clark Rd you are, and we’re not opening that can of worms.  Or what bridge in Lowell do you avoid? The answer is all of them!! You don’t cross the river unless absolutely necessary.

But a question came up amongst friends the other day that I realized immediately brought up strong opinions but really had no correct answer as it was ultimately and literally a matter of taste.  That question is “What is the best Sandwich in Lowell?”  Mind you this is an individual sandwich not the best sub shop or pizza place.

So we took to the streets (and by streets I mean texting people on our phones) and polled some of Lowell’s most discerning palettes to figure out what the single greatest sandwich in Lowell is.   We leaned on some already established insideLowell personnel and also branched out to ask municipal workers, utility workers, long time residents, new residents, and people who work in businesses around the city.  One long time pro tip in figuring out where to eat lunch, is to follow the work trucks.  If you see multiple National Grid, Verizon, Lowell Water, or Lowell Police vehicles at a place, odds are the food is pretty good.

Some Criteria:

This is Lowell specific not in the greater Lowell area, so the North Shore Beef from Tessi’s in Tewksbury, the Chicken Cutlet from Center Deli and the Steak Tip sub from Brickhouse in Chelmsford are all disqualified on a geographical basis.  Also, this is for the best Sandwich, not lunch item, so the Chicken Burrito from El Potro, the beef tacos from Tacos Lupita, and the Cheeseburger Egg Rolls from Egg Roll Café are also cut, if you’re one of those people who try to claim that a hot dog is a sandwich, I will physically fight you, and on that basis Elliott’s is out.

Finally this was the toughest omission from this list, because while it is technically a sandwich and it is within the city limits, for this question I consider it a breakfast item and not in the spirit of what we were looking for when this topic came up.  It breaks my heart, but the Bacon Boot Mill from Fitzy’s is disqualified. Let it be known, however, if it did make the cut it would be easily in the top 3 and very probably would have come in first.

Let’s get down to brass tacks.

We’ll start with the departed, RIP to the Jason Burger from Captain Jason’s, the Teriyaki Cheese Steak from Lena’s and the Chicken Cutlet from Vics.  3 Sandwiches that were mentioned multiple times by people but sadly are no longer in business.

The also rans:

Fat Chicken – Suppas – 94 University Ave
This was only mentioned by College Students who by definition have no taste.  A Chicken Parm, with mozzarella sticks and French fries crammed on it as well, is a recipe for me to hate myself afterwards not the best sandwich.

Chicken Souvlaki – Athenian Corner – 207 Market St
This is not a shameless suck up to the founder of this site.  It’s just that I have way too many friends whose last names end in -akos or -opolous for this not to be mentioned at least a few times.

American – George’s Deli – 1224 Gorham St
2 different people insisted this was the best sandwich on the menu, which seems a completely absurd statement and made me immediately question their sanity but don’t worry we’ll be back to George’s later

And now the top 5:

#5. Chicken BLT – The Purple Carrot – 107 Merrimack St
2 words Candied Bacon, 2 more words Garlic Aioli

#4. BBQ Pork Bahn Mi – Saigon Sandwich House – 507 Dutton St
With a strong Southeast Asian population in the city there was no way a Bahn Mi wasn’t going to be in the running.  By all accounts the Saigon Sandwich House was the best of the bunch.

#3. Mount Pastrami – Lou’s Deli – 155 Middlesex St
Pastrami guys have strong opinions, and Lou’s seemed to garner the most support narrowly beating out Olympos Bakery and Spartan Pizza to make the list

#2. Fat Boy Italian – Olympos Bakery – 216 Broadway
The runner up and by all accounts a dynamite sub.  Make sure to get it on the Fat Boy bread or it’s just not the same

#1.  Steak & Cheese – George’s Deli – 122 Gorham St
The Fat Boy Italian made a strong run, but time and time again when I asked someone “what’s the best sandwich in Lowell” the Steak & Cheese from George’s was mentioned almost immediately.  It was the lack of hesitation by the people who mentioned it that really put it over the top.

What’s your favorite? Reply in the comments below

One response to “Lowell’s Best Sandwich?”

  1. Winfield Thurlow says:

    I’ve been trying to find out what the ingredients were for the Pioneer’s torpedo, they were on Bridge Street across from the RKO movie theater. Best torpedo ever.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *