Like breakfast, lunch is a big topic, which can go in many directions when discussing some of your favorite places to eat. Lunch can be a salad, a full meal, a sandwich or so much more, so instead of writing about just “lunch” in general, let’s take a look at some of the great lunch sandwiches being created right here in Central Massachusetts. And for this article I am leaving burgers and hot dogs out of the discussion as Great Burgers or Great Hot Dogs will be discussed at some point. And Wraps too, I am pretty sure a wrap is not a sandwich, a wrap is a wrap. And no Pizza Shop subs! Not ready to debate the Great Steak & Cheese subs just yet.
So Great Places to Enjoy a Lunch Sandwich in Central Massachusetts…. well, just about every restaurant open for lunch has sandwiches, some are basic and some border on decadent. White, wheat, rye, bulky? Fries or chips? Pickle or coleslaw? So many choices! Lets start at The Usual on Shrewsbury Street Worcester where you can find all kinds of unique sandwiches for lunch including the Porchetta, the Atomic or the Elvis…. but nothing beats the incredible combination of flavors of the Bahn Mi – sliced turkey, crispy pork belly, pho aioli, pickled carrots, cilantro, cucumber and jalapeño served on a hoagie roll. At BirchTree Bread Company on Green Street Worcester there are a half dozen sandwiches on the menu at any time, all of which feature Birchtree’s freshly baked breads. A favorite at Birchtree is the Vegetarian made with roasted, marinated vegetables, house made humus, crumbled feta on seeded Levain bread. Figs & Pigs Kitchen + Pantry on Foster St. in Worcester (inside the DCU Center) has hand-crafted sandwiches for lunch that change seasonally. One favorite is The Gobbler, their ode to Thanksgiving includes house roasted turkey, bacon, cranberry jam and sage mayo on Nashoba Brook Bakery Slow Rise bread. Got a big appetite? Call ahead to Ciao Bella or Steve’s and get ready for a sandwich that truly is a meal. Travel down Rte. 9 to Harry’s in Westborough and try the Mile High Club (corned beef, pastrami or turkey with swiss cheese and cole slaw) or the Pulled Pork (slow roasted, homemade BBQ sauce) both of which will leave you more than satisfied. Head up to North County and try 435 Bar & Grille in Leominster for a great selection of sandwiches including a huge Meatloaf sandwich or the Caprese Chicken melt. Highly recommended at 435 Bar & Grille is the Salmon BLT – grilled salmon, bacon, lettuce, tomato, garlic aioli on fresh sourdough bread.
As with all our Great Places articles, our Great Lunch Sandwiches is designed to give you an overview of some of the Great Places we have visited. It is by no means a “Best of…” list, so if you have a place you’ve enjoyed let us know! That said, here are some more really Great Lunch Sandwiches in Central Mass you have to try!
Regatta Italian Grinder at Regatta Deli
In Worcester, most discussions around great lunch sandwiches start with “the Regatta.” Year in and year out the Regatta is chosen as one of the best lunch sandwiches in survey after survey. Served on their famous half load of Italian Bread, the sandwich is piled high with Genoa Salami, Imported Ham, Provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and their homemade dressing. There are dozens of condiments to add and you get all this for $5.00!
Sow Good at Flying Rhino
The Flying Rhino has a long list of great lunch sandwiches that change seasonally so there is always something to try. Some that are always on the menu are the famous Ivory Tusk Chicken Cheesesteak and a crazy good Chicken Panini but our choice at The Rhino for lunch is the Sow Good – a Latin spiced roast pork with sautèed onions, Swiss cheese, fried plantains and a special sauce on a bulkie roll.
Pastrami Sandwich at Lock 50
The Pastrami Sandwich at Lock 50 has been getting rave reviews since it was added to the lunch menu. And why not, the house-made Pastrami is piled high with Swiss cheese, homemade brown sugar mustard, homemade spicy pickles on a rich dark Rye bread. Add a Night Shift draft and let the fun begin!
Bacon & Sweet Potato Grilled Cheese at Armsby Abbey
The Grill Cheese has always been a favorite at the Abbey but this seasonal sandwich is taking it to new levels. Roasted sweet potatoes, toasted walnuts, house cured and smoked bacon, cave-aged cheddar on a honey oat bread makes for a decadent and memorable lunch sandwich.
Chicken Salad Specialty at Pickle-Haus
The Pickle-Hause is a real hidden gem located on Rte 20 in Northborough. This no-nonsense deli is open for breakfast and lunch and serves up great lunch sandwiches including a Liverwurst, a Reuben and a Rachel all worth driving for. One of our favorites is the Chicken Salad specialty sandwich that comes served with chive cream cheese, lettuce and tomato on dark pumpernickel.