Carlos Takes Sandwich Week

What is Sandwich Week?

Sandwich Week is the week SANDWICHED between the Christmas and New Years Holidays...

 where (you guessed it!) you eat a sandwich every day.

Written and Eaten by Carlos Parisi

This was quite an adventure! When I started Sandwich Week just five years ago with my friend at our previous corporate job, it was an excuse for us to take an absurdly --- long lunch on the week sandwiched between the Christmas and New Year Holiday breaks. Through the years, Sandwich Week has only grown and now we've gotten several people involved.  This year, I've had some really great people joining the journey along the way.  

By putting up a Facebook status, asking for suggestions, I've realized just how much people share a similar love in sandwiches, and also, how many sandwiches I haven't tasted!  AND I want them all.


Before Sandwich Week, my business partner and I visited our friends at Stache International in Eastern Market to have the Brooklyn Bloody, a sandwich featuring pickle slices and McClure's Bloody Mary Mix. Great prep and market research for the week ahead. 

Sandwich Week Day 1: 

Mudgie's - one of my favorite places to eat of all time! On day one, I was joined by my long time friend (basically sister) Karla and my friend Cory from Mitten Crate (who would become my partner in crime during this week).  We all built our own sandwiches.  Mine was grilled chicken, Havarti dill cheese, garlic aioli, pesto, and spinach on ciabatta bread (pictured). Adult beverages to accompany the sandwiches were very welcomed.

We naturally stopped at Batch Brewery for a mid-sandwich break.

Stop two was Hygrade on Michigan Ave. They were closed and so was Mike's Ham (Place next door), so we had to take action and create a back up plan. 

Enter stop two fallback plan: Bronx Bar: Cory and I met four of our friends for sandwiches and burgers. Since Bronx is known for their burgers, and Cory had never had it, we had to get that and split it. Also, since I am very fond of just an old school bologna sandwich, we split that as well (pictured). Adult beverages were also consumed in celebration of this great holiday - duh. 

Sandwich Week Day 2:

The Dearborn Adventure (Featuring: Cory, Matt (Cory's awesome roommate), and the Great Eiji Jimbo)

First stop is a favorite of many Dearborn locals: La Cantina (1342 N Telegraph Rd, Dearborn, MI 48128).

Known as the old Italian market in the neighborhood, this traditional shop was purchased by the family who owns the string of "Gonella's" shops - a famous Italian Sandwich in Dearborn. The difference is that the family has kept this shop pretty old school and does a bit more than its Gonella sister shops. Pro-tip: Get the "spicy red sauce."

What to order for your first time: The Gonella (selection available by meat layered options. i.e. 8 layer, 12 layer, 18 layer, etc.)

What I ordered: Build my own - Hot Capocolla, Prosciutto, Hot Soppressata, Jarlsberg Swiss cheese, Lettuce, Hot peppers, both sauces (regular Italian and spicy) all on a soft roll. Since we can't eat there, we took it go.

Stop two was La Penguina on Greenfield. They are known for their Italian Sandwiches and what happens to be my favorite Reuben EVER. They were closed - so yet again - game time decision.

Stop two fallback: Mati's Deli (1842 Monroe St, Dearborn, MI 48124).

Suggestions from friends: Paul's Best Bet (hot corned beef, pastrami, cole slaw, and Russian dressing on an onion roll)

So we got that, the "Ellen's Favorite" (hot corned beef, coleslaw, swiss cheese and Russian dressing on rye), and their special, a French Dip.

With all sandwiches in hand, we went to the Henry Ford Museum, and ate there amongst the museum patrons. 

Secret Mission: Capri Bakery in Dearborn. We split their addictive Pepperoni Roll with Cheese and Sauce (pictured) and a Cannoli. 

Sandwich Week Day 3:

The team at McClure's Pickles joined for a stop at Louie's Ham and Corned Beef in Eastern Market. 

Louie's ham and corned beef.jpg

What I got: Louie's Combo: Stacked pastrami and corned beef on grilled rye (Add cheese).

Celeb Sighting: When I turned around, Jack White was sitting behind me, so you know it's worth a visit.  If it's good enough for Jack White, it's good enough for me! 

Stop Two (the non publicized) Mudgie's 2nd Visit (because it's mudgies):

I heard they had a Cuban Sandwich on special. I was NOT disappointed. This sandwich was incredible. Phone died, no pictures. Went with a group of close friends. Beverages were consumed. Also stopped at Batch Brewery beforehand for yet another sandwich break.  

Sandwich Week Day 3: HYGRADE WAS OPEN!

Had a crew of 15 people who met up! This was one of the best sandwich experiences due to the following:

1. Amazing Sandwiches

2. Incredible people who all gathered with us to eat and laugh together

3. That Sandwich tho

Pro Tip: Get the Reuben.

Stop Two: (The non publicized) Frita Batido's in Ann Arbor (unfortunately crappy picture below):

Joined by Cory, his roommate Matt (who had both become supreme sandwich adventurists throughout the week), and Ben of Mac Shack and El Guapo, we made the trek to Ann Arbor. If you haven't been here, GO!!!! It was incredible. I got the Chorizo.

Pro tip: Get it  "Loco," which means all the fixings.

Things to know:

1. Everything is good here

2. Ask about their specials (I got an incredible warm beverage)

3. Sit with someone you don't know

4. There are a good amount of adult beverage options if you're into that sort of thing

Sandwich Week Finale

 Ernie's Market (Oak Park)

You go for Ernie, his stories, his love, and the love that he puts into every single sandwich he creates - all while chatting with you.

Pro Tip: Get there early, there will be a line.

Amongst our crew, there were about 12 people who joined in line to get a hand-made, individually crafted sandwich by Ernie himself. If you haven't been there before, you should know the following:

1. Have fun

2. Ernie's suggestions are key

3. You want the "Love spice"

4. Ernie won't cut your sandwich if it's your first time. Just go for it!

Since there is no place to eat, we ate outside and some folks joined together to eat with friends (new and old) around town.

What I learned from Sandwich Week:

It is the sandwich that binds.  The fact this this year brought so many incredible people from every walk of life around several tables all over town to enjoy a sandwich together really made this year special. When thinking about the holidays, that's what I enjoy most; It's the conversations, fun, discovery, camaraderie, and of course good food (and in this case - a good sandwich).


Thanks to everyone for making 2016 wrap up in the best way possible - between two slices of bread. Until next year!


Carlos Parisi