Best Sandwiches

Stellina Pasta Cafe

Too often we take the sandwich for granted. Anyone can throw together some cold cuts, cheese, vegetables and condiments between two slices of bread and call it a sandwich — the result is usually satisfying, sometimes good. But to make a great sandwich takes the same attention to detail chefs shower on a more "refined" dish. Jamey Tochtrop is a very good chef, and the small menu he and his wife, Lisa, offer at Stellina Pasta Café, their cozy, charming restaurant in south St. Louis, permits him to shower attention on half a dozen fantastic sandwiches. First among equals is the "South Side Smoke," a heavyweight contender for Best Pulled-Pork Sandwich in the Midwest: pork smoked over hickory and applewood, with smoked gouda on ciabatta bread with the welcome bite of sea salt. Lovers of meatless sandwiches can enjoy a grilled bounty of eggplant, zucchini, spinach, red pepper and red onion, while hard-core carnivores will rejoice at the "Il Capo": roast beef with prosciutto and coppa. The "Hog Wild" could win over Porky or Wilbur: shaved ham and bacon with white cheddar, slices of Granny Smith apple and mustard. Some pig. Some sandwiches.
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