In religion: The Holy Trinity.
In film: The Star Wars Trilogy.
In horse racing: The Triple Crown.
In sandwiches: The Three Little Piggies.
Sometimes the sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Mastery of pork three ways (double smoked and braised ham, pork tenderloin, and of course bacon, accessorized with Gruyere, a fried egg, and an onion ring—Hallelujah!) is an accomplishment that rates as a creative and oh-so-fine art in my book.
I have trekked to Chicago two different times now to prevail upon The Silver Palm Restaurant to muster America’s best sandwich. Best! Who would make such a promise? Who could lure me to an old railroad dining car on my first ever foodie trip? Tony Bourdain.
And, yes, it is as good as he says. In fact, the first bite elicited such an ecstatic countenance from me that my husband accused me of looking like I was making love to the sandwich. In response, I shrugged and smiled, glazed-over with happiness that only ham and an impending cardiac arrest can bring.
One other sandwich bears mentioning in the category of great sandwiches: The grilled cheese with roast beef and green chile at Tomasita’s Restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It, too, has ties to this country’s railroading past, nestled by an old Denver & Rio Grande railroad station. Whereas I can’t finish the Pigs, I can eat two of these blessed (and gloriously cheap) conglomerations. Next time, I’ll order an extra to take on the road.
Who’s comin’ with me on a holy quest to find the third-best sandwich in America?