This year's Best Sandwich winners reflect broader consumer trends as chefs find a new twist on traditional menu favorites. See all the winners >>
Winner: The Italian Dip
Restaurant: Pirolo's Panino, Los Angeles
Food cost: $3.30
Ingredients: House-roasted Italian beef with secret salt blend, house-made salsa verde with garlic, parsley and capers, on an Italian roll. Served with a side of brodo, a rich beef broth, for dipping.
What makes it special: Los Angeles is often said to be the birthplace of the French dip sandwich, where two restaurants claim to be the originator (Philippe and Cole’s). Pirolo’s, however, which opened in Los Angeles in 2018, offers an Italian spin with meat marinated in garlic confit and caper-spiked salsa verde to give it zing. Chef Michael Pirolo describes it as a cross between a Tuscan sandwich called lampredotto and a classic French dip.
What others are saying: “In 1918, Philippe’s fortuitously invented the French dip in Los Angeles. Or, in a totally different year, it happened totally differently at Cole’s. What is considerably less in dispute is the origin of the Italian dip. That goes to Pirolo’s Panino, a new Italian sandwich shop from James Beard semifinalist Michael Pirolo of Miami’s Macchialina.” — Urban Daddy.