The Best Sandwiches We've Seen On Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives

There's never a bad time to stack up a bunch of delicious ingredients between two pieces of bread and shovel them down your gullet. Sandwiches are one of the best culinary inventions around, and we have a man named John Montagu to thank for the popularization of this creation. According to the legend, in 1762, Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, was so invested in a game of cards he demanded food be brought to him so he didn't have to get up from his seat. What arrived was two pieces of bread with some kind of meat in the middle. Pretty soon, people all over jumped aboard the sandwich train. And nowadays, that same train makes its final stop at none other than Flavortown, the place where Guy Fieri reigns supreme and bleach-blonde hair dye stands in rows on the shelves of every convenience store. 

This chef knows a thing or two about good eats, especially when it comes to sandwiches. He's put down the wildest sandwich concoctions ever found, and all you can do is stare in awe as he goes full-Fieri on them. Throughout the course of his wildly popular Food Network show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," Fieri traveled all over the country visiting spots that slung some amazing sandwiches. So, keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times, because these are the best sandwiches Guy Fieri ever ate while touring the country (and parts of Canada, too!).

Sloppy Jacques

When you hear the word "sloppy" associated with a sandwich, your mind naturally envisions that messy little number called the Sloppy Joe. Nearly everyone remembers Sloppy Joes from grade school. During that glorious lunch period, it was perfectly okay to wear sauce all over your face while you stared down at the heaping mess of ground beef on your tray. Sloppy is good. And, in one episode of "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," Fieri headed to a Boston spot called Saus to get his Sloppy Jacques on.

Co-owner and chef Chin Kuo explained the reason for the name Saus (which means "sauce" in Dutch) was due to a love of Dutch street food and condiments (the restaurant has 20 delicious variations to choose from). Interestingly enough, the Sloppy Jacques only contains the house-made ketchup, but that certainly doesn't mean it was lacking the kick of the unique flavors the other condiments offered. Kuo stuffed a brioche bun full of braised beef and bacon, and then topped it with pickled red onions for a vinegary bite that cut through the richness of the meat. As one diner put it, "The Sloppy Jacques is one of those sandwiches that just kind of reminds you of childhood." Sometimes the greatest part about food is the nostalgia it carries with it. After a couple bites, you could tell Fieri was a huge fan, concluding the Sloppy Jacques "pushed the boundaries of Sloppy Joes."

Pork Belly Rueben

Pork belly is one of the most decadent cuts of meat you can eat. It's taken from an outrageously tender area of the pig, so it's chock-full of glistening melt-in-your-mouth fat. When you take that first bite, your palate is coated with a rich glaze that sits in your mouth long after you swallow. So, you'd be hard-pressed to find a way to make pork belly even better, right? No way, Jose. The answer, according to Bunk Sandwiches in Portland, Oregon, is slapping that meat onto a Rueben and serving it between two pieces of toasted bread. And, Fieri couldn't agree more.

The process begins when the chef grinds up a mixture of chili flakes, black pepper, fennel seed, salt, and sugar, spreads it onto a pan, lays the slab of pork belly right on top, and rubs the seasoning in. After the meat sits for a couple days to soak up all the flavor, he slow-roasts it for four hours. Once it develops that crispy golden outer crust, the chef slices it up and starts the sandwich construction job. On two pieces of dark rye bread, he slathers homemade Russian dressing, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and then adds the star of the show: pork belly. After a quick press on the panini grill, Fieri bites in, and you can tell by the look on his face he wishes he could eat one of them every day.

Crab Cake Grilled Cheese

"Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" makes sure to visit spots around the country that serve unique fare you can't find anywhere else. It doesn't just highlight great tasting food; it points out small locales with one-of-a-kind options that might otherwise be overlooked by those traveling through the area. That's why Fieri made his way to Somers Point, New Jersey, to snag a Crab Cake Grilled Cheese at the appropriately named The Grilled Cheese and Crab Cake Co.

The place is located right near the boardwalk in Ocean City, so it's no surprise they have crab cakes on the menu. Chef Steve Novack purchased the restaurant with some financial help from his family. Novack was more than happy to walk Fieri through the Crab Cake Grilled Cheese-making process. Once the binding mixture (which includes mayo, eggs, lemon juice, sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, breadcrumbs, and a variety of seasonings) is thoroughly mixed, Novack dumps in a heaping bucket of jumbo lump crab meat. Next, an ice cream-scoop full of crab meat gets plopped onto a flat grill, and while that sizzles to perfection, the chef toasts two pieces of bread draped in Monterey Jack cheese and tomatoes. Once the crab cake finishes, it's placed on top of the bread. And voila, mission accomplished! Fieri does note the crab cake is a little creamier than most people would expect, but that doesn't stop him from giving the chef a well-deserved fist bump of appreciation after he tastes it.

Hot Blonde

If someone ever said to you, "Hey, did you see the guy with that hot blonde over there?," you'd likely expect to turn your head to see an attractive blond woman. However, that couldn't be farther from the truth if you're talking about a particular specialty sandwich from a place called Dad's Kitchen in Sacramento, California. They serve up a panini called the Hot Blonde that's sure to turn heads in a totally different way. So, naturally, Fieri had to take a road trip out west to see what all the buzz was about.

When Fieri learns of the sandwich's name, he seeks clarification whether it's a reference to him. To his dismay, it's not (but Fieri can still dream). The ingredients, which the chef carefully layers on grilled sourdough, consist of fresh roasted chicken, avocado, cucumbers, tomatoes, roasted red onions, Swiss cheese, garlic spread, brown mustard, and a sauce called Pepper Plant that adds a nice little kick of heat to the whole thing. After he takes a bite, Fieri tells the chef, "It's like a club sandwich gone wild." He then adds that it's "the kind of sandwich my mom would flip out for." Unfortunately, Mama Flavortown didn't accompany him on the trip.

Smoked Duck Sandwich

As a kid, you might remember ripping off small pieces of bread and feeding the ducks swimming around the pond at a local park. Well, as it turns out, duck is freakin' tasty, as well. It has a tenderness to it you won't find in pork or beef, and as a meat lover, you owe it yourself to try some. Fieri, as we know, is never one to back down from a Flavortown journey, so he ventured out to a place called Meat Press in Ottawa, Canada, and discovered our neighbors up north know exactly how to get their duck on.

Meat Press makes their own buns, so right off the bat you know they mean business. The duck they use sits in a dry rub for 10 whole days before it's cooked, so it's loaded with flavor by the time it hits the smoker. A mixture of cherry and maple wood gives it a super smoky essence, and once it comes out, Fieri's excitement is palpable. Before the duck is sliced, Meat Press chef Étienne Cuerrier renders down homemade bacon and onions, and then he adds a handful of cabbage to the same pot. As soon as the ingredients cook down, Cuerrier pipes homemade mayo onto the fresh buns, slices the duck breast super thin, and then piles everything on in one glorious glistening heap of goodness. It all pays off tenfold for Fieri, who exclaims, "Brother, I'm gonna be honest with you. That changes the world of duck!"

Peruvian Chicharron Sandwich

It's not easy to find food in the States that truly rivals the authentic flavors of a foreign country. As much as some places like to tout they have food that tastes exactly like the stuff from back home, oftentimes it just doesn't have that same authentic taste the locals make. That's why when Fieri learned of a Peruvian sandwich spot called J28 Sandwich Bar, he had to see why people kept coming back again and again. J28 is a reference to Peru's Independence Day (July 28), and the place actually also opened its doors on July 28, so there's significant meaning behind the name. 

Fieri arrived ready to bite into one of their most popular sandwiches, the Peruvian Chicharron. The sandwich starts with marinated pork belly that sits overnight in a delicious concoction of ginger, sugar, aji amarillo, garlic paste, and soy sauce, among a few other things. Once the belly is taken out of the fridge, it's deep fried to get a super crisp outer skin. Then, it's sliced and layered onto a house-made roll along with sliced sweet potato, pickled red onions, and a drizzle of pepper sauce. Crispiness is the name of the game here, and Fieri explains that both the crunchiness of the roll and the crispy pork skin all work wonders for this authentic sandwich.

Canadian East Coast Donair

If anyone says you'll be diving headfirst into a sandwich full of both "razzmatazz" and "pizzazz," you know you're bracing yourself for quite a treat (well, you hope so). Well, those are the exact words that came out of OCCO Kitchen & Bar head chef Mark Steele's mouth while he was explaining his culinary invention called the East Coast Donair sandwich. Fieri, who traveled all the way to Ottawa, Canada, to try the sandwich, jokingly asks, "What did I get into?" after the chef's explanation. Well, he was about to traverse some serious flavors once all was said and done.

The sandwich, Steele tells Fieri, is the restaurant's unique take on everyone's favorite classic Greek sandwich: the gyro. Instead of using lamb, ground chuck stands in its place. The beef is seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Once seasoned, the meat is rolled out onto a sheet pan and placed into the oven. The sauce drizzled on top of the final product consists of evaporated milk, condensed milk, fresh garlic, sugar, and vinegar to thicken it. A pita is then tossed onto the grill, along with strips of the cooked meat. Once everything develops a nice char, the bread is slathered with garlic butter, then on goes the beef, shredded cheddar, lettuce, cherry peppers, sliced jalapenos, pickled red onions, and a hefty drizzle of the sauce. Fieri takes one messy bite and has nothing but compliments for the smiling Canadian chef.

Double-Fried Chicken Sandwich

As much as we know that deep frying is probably the least healthy way to eat anything, we can't deny that giving something a dunk in that sizzling oil jacuzzi gives it a crisp coating that our stomachs and mouth love way too much. But, when you double fry something, you give a whole new meaning to "smiling stomach." You have something so crunchy, that you can hear every bite from down the block. That's why Fieri hopped behind the wheel of his classy red ride and headed straight to Sol Ave. Kitchen in Moorhead, Minnesota, to loudly crunch his way through their Double-Fried Chicken Sandwich. The only thing he forgot to bring was earplugs.

The chef begins by dousing the chicken breasts in batter and then dunking them in a dredge full of spices. The chicken then enters the deep fryer for the first time. Once it's pulled out and cooled down, it takes a second glorious dip for an extra-crispy outer shell. The condiments slathered on the toasted bun are lime aioli and a spicy Korean paste called ssamjang, and once they're applied, on goes a pile of kimchi, the chicken itself, and house pickles. The sandwich is teeming with ingredients, but Fieri manages to grab it with two sturdy hands and take a bite. The verdict? Nothing but love. Fieri immediately tells the chef, "My friend ... that is super crunch-itatious!" That means "outstanding” in Fieri-speak.

Salt Cod Sandwich

Usually when Fieri arrives at a restaurant and the chef explains to him what they're making, he's excited to see exactly how the plan unfolds. But it's not often that he wears a look of sheer puzzlement after the explanation. Well, that look couldn't have been more obvious when he visited Bunk Sandwiches and tried a Salt Cod sandwich which left him scratching his head. But Fieri appreciates the weirdly unique, so in typical Fieri style, he showed up amped to take his first bite and see why everyone raved about it.

The words "salt cod" don't exactly conjure up a delicious image. However, this sandwich turns that unsightly image on its head. Before the fish cooks, it sits in water for multiple days to pull out the high amount of salt that coats it. Once it's ready, it's cooked in a pot of milk, garlic, and thyme until the meat starts to flake off the bones. The cod meat and mashed potatoes are then pureed into a thick paste before being slathered onto a toasted roll. Placed on top of the puree is a tuft of salad consisting of parsley, red onion, oil-cured black olives, slices of fried Spanish chorizo, red wine vinegar, and a glug of olive oil. Fieri is definitely surprised by the sandwich's unique flavor, but he proudly concludes it's nothing short of "funkalicious."

UC BBQ Pork Sandwich

In nearly every episode of "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives," Guy Fieri rolls solo into an establishment, eager to keep all the dishes he tries to himself while everyone else in the room looks at him with a fiery jealousy. However, in one particular episode, Fieri brought along fellow chef Justin Warner, and the two good friends visited a place called Urban Chislic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where they enjoyed some of the best nosh the southernmost edge of Dakota had to offer. Warner had only one thing in mind after linking up with his spiky-headed pal: the UC BBQ Pork Sandwich.

The first step is the creation of the barbecue-sauce base, which packs an umami punch with ingredients like soy sauce, molasses, and liquid smoke. After the sauce is mixed thoroughly, cubes of pork are tossed into a deep fryer to sizzle while a homemade slaw was mixed using green and purple cabbage, mayo, honey mustard, and a house-made dry rub. Once fried to perfection, the pork is placed on a flat grill, doused in sweet barbecue sauce, and covered in Swiss cheese. After the pork, slaw, and a handful of crispy onions are piled onto a toasted bun, Fieri and Warner take bite, and they are blown away by the flavor. When Fieri exclaims, "That's lights out, bro,"  you know it's a tasty sandwich.

Tres Hombres

Is there such a thing as too much meat on a sandwich? If you're a carnivore through and through, then you'd answer that question with a resounding "No!. Pile as much meat up as possible, of course!" Well, if you're looking to satisfy the meat-filled craving that flows through your bones, there's one place Fieri visits you just have to try: ZZQ in Richmond, Virginia. When Fieri arrived with an appetite the size of Texas, he was thrilled the BBQ joint offered up an enormous sandwich called the Tres Hombres that was ready to throw his carnivorous craving into a culinary chokehold.

Brisket ... and sausage ... and pulled pork ... oh my! Those are the three glorious meats packed into the Tres Hombres, and each one glistens with run-down-your-chin fatty flavors. The first meat the chef prepares for Fieri is a huge slab of pork butt. He slathers it in yellow mustard, coats it in dry rub, and into the oven it goes. Then, he does the same thing to an even bigger piece of brisket. Once both slabs finish cooking, the meticulous piling job begins. The sausage, which was prepared offscreen, is sliced and layered onto the bottom bun. The pulled pork is then placed on top of that, and the whole thing's topped off with brisket, pickled red onions, and a dousing of homemade sauce. Needless to say, the end product is a behemoth, but Fieri manages a massive (and very messy) bite.

Thai Curry Chicken Sausage Sandwich

When you think of Delaware, you probably don't associate it with Thai food. Well, that's because you've never been to an amazing spot in Wilmington called Maiale Deli and Salumeria. The owner and chef, Billy Rawstrom, is a culinary instructor who chased his dream and opened a sausage emporium. Now, we know what you're thinking: "What's a Thai sausage doing at an Italian deli?" However, the chef makes it work with his Thai Curry Chicken Sausage Sandwich that whisks anyone who takes a bite away to Southeast Asia instantly, and that's not easy to do.

The first step Fieri observes is the creation of the Thai curry chicken sausage. It's a blend of ground chicken, pork fat, garlic, cilantro, cayenne, curry powder, lime juice, and coconut milk. The mixture is then placed into a massive grinder and then piped into a natural hog casing. The links are poached before being placed on the grill to cook. Next, a slaw is made using shredded red cabbage, shredded carrots, sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and sesame oil. Once the sausage finishes on the grill, it's placed on a toasted bun, topped with the slaw, and then dressed with a lenient drizzle of sriracha mayo. Fieri agrees on the authentic Thai taste, stating, "You'd be hard pressed to tell somebody that didn't come out of a famous Thai restaurant." Bravo, chef.