The Great American Sandwich

Hosted by


Jane and Michael Stern
are a husband-and-wife team that have traveled the country since the 1970s, seeking out what they call “roadfood.”  Since that time they have written more than 30 books on the subject.  They are also contributing editors to Gourmet magazine, where they write a James Beard Award-winning monthly column, called (surprisingly) RoadfoodRoadfood Sandwiches: Recipes and Lore from Our Favorite Shops Coast to Coast is their latest book.  Their website -- -- is a tribute to the most memorable and beloved local eateries.

Ham & Beef & Cheese Double Decker

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Servings: 1
Recipe Source:  Camp Washington Chili Parlor

While lesser known than chili outside of Cincinnati, the double decker is every bit as big a deal to Queen City chowhounds. As the name suggests, it is a variation of the club sandwich: three slices of bread interleaved with multiple ingredients, almost always constructed in such a way that the sandwich is taller than it is wide, defying the most wide-open jaw. Ingredient choices for double-deckers range from bacon and egg to hot ham and cheese, turkey, beef, and bacon, all generally piled in with lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, pickle, etc. We are especially fond of hot ham, which is sliced thin and loaded into the bread in moist clumps, and generally paired with American cheese.


3 slices sturdy white bread ("toasting style" preferred)
Softened butter
Lettuce leaves
3 ounces thin-sliced baked ham, warm
Tomato slices
Mayonnaise, mustard to taste
2 ounces sliced American cheese or Velveeta
3 ounces thin-sliced roast beef
Pickle chips as garnish


1. Lightly toast the bread.
2. Butter two slices of the toast.
3. Lay the lettuce leaves onto one buttered slice, then pile on the ham. Place the tomato slices atop the ham.
4. Spread mayonnaise on one side of the unbuttered piece of toast and place it, mayo-side-down, onto the tomatoes. If mustard is desired, spread the mustard on the top of this slice. Place the cheese on top of this slice. then pile in the beef. Cap the sandwich with the third piece of buttered toast.
5. Use two long toothpicks to hold the sandwich together and use a very sharp knife to cut it into two triangles.

Green Tomato BLT

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1
Recipe Source:  Loveless Cafe

Of all the variations on the classic theme of the BLT, the Loveless Cafe's version, layered with crisp fried green tomatoes, is one of the most beguiling. The tang of the tomatoes and their brittle crunch provides extraordinary balance for the savor of bacon and gentle notes of mayo and lettuce.


3 to 4 slices of green tomato
Black Pepper
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup canola oil
3 to 4 thick bacon strips (cooked)
2 to 3 lettuce leaves
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 slices toasted wheat berry bread


1. Season sliced tomatoes with salt & pepper and dredge in cornmeal.
2. Heat the canola oil in a skillet. Fry the tomatoes until crisp and golden brown on both sides.
3. Spread the mayo on the wheat bread. Add lettuce on both sides of the bread. Add the fried green tomatoes and bacon.
4. Build the sandwich and cut in half.

Recipes courtesy of