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BEST SANDWICH IN DUBLIN!!! A special report by Caroline Byrne

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A meme is an agent that transits cultural ideas, symbols and practices from person to person. An internet meme does this on the internet, through blogs and social media and such, aided by people Malcom Gladwell calls ‘mavens, moguls and connectors,’ or who PR people call ‘influencers.’ Well the humble sandwich is a meme. It’s been the source of great inspiration to many a food entrepreneur in the US for years – it even had it’s own TV show with the ultimate maven of foodie memes, Adam Richman (of Man Vs Food renown).

Well it happens that this phenomenon, like many in recent times, has ‘tipped’ in Dublin. When exactly we started to become sandwich worshipers is unclear, but it’s clear that we have.

Prompted by a bona fide internet maven, @Nialler9, I decided to conduct a little experiment to see how much we have been infiltrated by the American sandwich kick. I asked the Twinterverse for the top 30 sandwiches in Dublin. Three hours and multitudes of effusive sandwich fandom later, I had a list.

But this was just the beginning, as disappointed fans of various singular sandwiches tweeted support for the objects of their desire in a bid to see them elevated to this now important list. The church of sandwich is a competitive place.

It’s also a world of creativity, where classicists and radicals perfect their craft with the dedication of Olympic champions, proudly building higher, grander, faster, using more and more exciting combinations of flavours and textures – unique condiments, unusual breads, finest quality produce.

Faithful to the American ancestry of this sandwich culture, pulled pork was ubiquitous on the list. Stateside sandwich deli staples pastrami and slow-barbecued brisket are also becoming regulars. Even the Southern ‘po’boy’ has made an appearance – a fried shrimp (or prawn) filled sub.

Traditionalists like the simple pleasures of a tasty sausage sandwich, while adventure-seekers favour the bold flavours of Asia and Middle East, which are employed in all manner of sambos from falafel pittas to the many quirky takes on the chicken sandwich.

By the end of a week’s polling and debating on Twitter, the list stood at 57, only three slots away from a top 60. It’s a bold list filled to bursting with slices and dollops of delicious imagination and care for the art of sandwich making. Some contenders are well-known, with more than one offering making an appearance, while others are hidden gems, prized by those who have found them in their tucked away corners of the city.

But this is not the end of our journey. A sandwich explosion of this magnitude demands a contest to challenge our master sambologists, and the faithful disciples of their beloved butties. A competition to find the top 10, possibly even the ultimate sandwich champion.

The battle has already begun, on the cultural battle ground of the modern age: Comers may post images of their efforts and fans may post votes of support – or of course tweet us @DublinFoodie @McKennasGuides with you favourite sandwich or sandwich maker #DublinSandwichOff – and when the champions are revealed let us judge their creations in person until we have the superlative, the crème de la crème, BEST SANDWICH IN DUBLIN!!!

Dublin’s best sandwich list

The top 60 (almost) sandwiches in Dublin
From a Twitter poll of sandwich enthusiasts:

1. Falafel wraps, Syrian Foods @ Stillorgan Market on Wednesdays
2. Sandwich deli, The Runner Bean
3. The brisket roll from Bison Bar
4. The pulled pork roll from Bison Bar
5. Roast lamb sandwich from Poulet Bonne Femme
6. Roast chicken sandwich from Poulet Bonne Femme
7. Tuna nicoise sandwich from @clodaghmckenna @ArnottsDublin
8. Pastrami Melt from The Pig and Heifer
9. Provencal Reuben from The Pig and Heifer
10. Bacon, roasted pear and Mount Callan cheddar from The Pepper Pot café
11. Sausage and relish sandwich from The Pepper Pot café
12. Pulled pork sandwich @brother_hubbard
13. Sandwich deli, Honest2Goodness Farmers' Market
14. Roast chicken sandwich @ Simon's Place
15. The chicken sandwich @ Urbun Café, Cabinteely
16. chicken, lemon mayo, stuffing and rocket sandwich from Oxmantown
17. pulled pork sandwich from Oxmantown
18. 'El Magnifico' @ pablos tortas from Pablo Picante
19. brisket sandwich @PittBrosBBQ
20. falafel sandwich @UmiFalafel f
21. BBQ Pork Shoulder sandwich @ Green Bench Café
22. sandwich deli, Lilliput Stores
23. dry-aged Hereford prime steak sandwich @ The Chophouse
24. Grilled chicken sandwich @JuniorsDeliCafe
25. The Ruben in Bell & Pot Cafe
26. sausage bap with caramelised onions@ Cup café
27. The porchetta in the Fumbally
28. Po Boy at the Ugly Duckling
29. Brisket at the Ugly Duckling
30. Toasted cheese sandwich in the Stag's Head
31. Corned Beef in a roll @ Juno's café
32. Beef or breakfast burrito in a bap, from The Fat Peach food truck
33. Parma ham panini from Fallon & Byrne
34. Rialto (pastrami) @ Dublin City Food
35. Muffeletta@ Dublin City Food
36. Marino (roast beef) @ Dublin City Food
37. Chicken Tijuana Panini from O'Donovan's on Pearse St
38. Sandwich deli @ Coppa in the RHA
39. pulled pork sandwhich in Le Petit Parisien Café
40. falafel, hummus, spinach, carrot, apple & cranberry slaw sambo @Staplefoods
41. Poached chicken with harissa mayo at Sip and Slurp
42. Club sandwich @ Honest to Goodness
43. smoked chicken with extra bacon from the Cake Café
44. Hero sandwich @ Junior's
45. bacon & sausage blaa, Hatch & Sons
46. Fivemiletown goats cheese and root veg blaa, Hatch & Sons
47. pulled pork @WhitefriarGrill
48. Chicken Hero Parm @ Whitefriar Grill
49. Philly cheesesteak at Damson Diner
50. pastrami sandwich from Green19
51. The Club @ Itsabagel
52. striploin steak sandwich from Urban Picnic
53. The Steak Sandwich @ Elephant & Castle
54. KCP Club from KC Peaches
55. The San Diego from KC Peaches
56. Warm turkey sandwich from The Lovely Food Co
57. Baked ham & artichoke @ Mayfield Deli

Caroline Byrne

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