These days, many of us have less money to spend on the necessities of life, like food. This means that when we eat out, what we order is especially important. Gone are the days where a plain turkey sandwich would suffice; if we’re going to drop money on a meal, particularly one as seemingly simple as a sandwich, it needs to be sufficiently satisfying and unique—in other words, a caloric bomb with the craziest ingredients you can imagine between two slices of bread. (We are the society that spawned ThisIsWhyYou’reFat.com, after all.)
Luckily, these restaurants rose to the challenge and brought forth the most gluttonous, heart attack-inducing sandwiches you can barely wrap your mind—let alone your mouth—around.
1. The Primanti Sandwich, Primanti Bros. (Pittsburgh, PA)
At this Pittsburgh institution, all of the giant sandwiches automatically come with a heaping scoop of coleslaw, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and plenty of French fries. Any of their sandwiches are sure to quiet the loudest of stomachs, but the Cappicola & Cheese—which comes with spiced ham and a fried egg, along with the usual fixings—is an especially safe bet. Photo source: sylvar (cc)
2. Fat Darrell, R.U. Hungry Grill and Pizza (New Brunswick, NJ)
Created by a ravenous college student (Darrell) who wanted to satisfy all of his cravings without a hefty cost, the Fat Darrell is a sandwich comprised of mozzarella sticks, fried chicken tenders, and French fries smothered in marinara sauce. It was voted the best sandwich in America by Maxim magazine in 2004. According to the video, there’s a whopping 1,600 calories in each sandwich. Photo source: Fat Darrell.
3. Pastrami Sandwich, Carnegie Deli (New York City, NY)
Those craving a sandwich with enough meat to feed an army should head to Carnegie Deli, where the pastrami’s stacked so high it usually requires a knife and fork for consumption. Some might argue that goes against sandwich protocol, but beggars can’t be choosey; sometimes generous portions have to top tradition. Photo source: jasonlam (cc)
4. Reggie Deluxe, Pine State Biscuits (Portland, OR)
Long established as the Sunday morning hangover cure for many Portlanders, this breakfast monstrosity consists of bacon, sausage gravy, fried chicken, a fried egg, and cheese wedged between two buttermilk biscuits. Take one and call your doctor for a cholesterol checkup the next morning. Photo source: Pine State Biscuits.
5. Southside Slopes Headwich, Fat Head’s Saloon (Pittsburgh, PA)
Called “headwiches” because they’re the size of a human head, this bar and eatery made Maxim’s 2004 sandwich list at number five. Order the Southside Slopes and you’ll feast on kielbasa, fried pierogies, “horsey sauce,” onions, and American cheese. Photo source: Road Food.
6. Doomsday, Ike’s Place (San Francisco, CA)
Ike’s Place has literally hundreds of sandwich options for carnivores, vegetarians, and vegans with combinations you’re not likely to experience anywhere else. For example, The Joker comes with meatballs, red pesto, ranch dressing, and fried zucchini sticks. If that’s not artery-clogging enough, try Doomsday: roast beef, pastrami, corned beef, turkey, ham, bacon, corned beef, mozzarella sticks, avocado, and fried jalapeno poppers. Photo source: Between the Bread
7. Jimmy’s Favorite, Jimmy & Drew’s (Boulder, CO)
Jimmy’s Favorite includes the standard Reuben ingredients—corned beef, Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut, and swiss cheese—stuffed between two potato latkes. It’s similar to the French fry-laden sandwiches in Pittsburgh, but without that boring, non-fried bread getting in the way. To see the creators make the sandwiches, check out this video. Photo source: Jimmy & drews.
Times are tough and people need their meals to last for the long haul. Unless you’re Michael Phelps, any of these sandwiches should keep you full the majority of the day. And given the popularity of blogs glorifying obscenely fattening foods and state fairs finding increasingly horrifying things to batter and fry every summer, we can look forward to more sandwiches like these with even more filling (read: chest pain-inducing) ingredients. Who knows what we’ll find between our bread slices—or if you’re in Pittsburgh, deep fried potato cakes—in the future? As long as the price is right, sign us up.
Updated April 15, 2011