Delicious Stateside Sandwiches will win your heart… you’ll see!
“Diners Dive-Ins & Dives” goes Gourmet
By Kenny Spahn
Ever watch an episode of Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and been absolutely seduced by an awesome looking local specialty from some ‘real deal’ mom ‘n pop eatery somewhere, and said, “Wow, I wish I could get that around here!” Of course you have. Or maybe you’re just jonesin’ for a true taste of your own hometown favorite. Sure, some regional dishes (e.g., Philly cheesesteaks, Buffalo wings, Maryland Crab Cakes) have worked their way into the mainstream — but most other local specialties remain indigenous to their own home base. That means finding a legit Kentucky Hot Brown, New Orleans Mufuletta, Philly Porkloin, Chicago Italian Beef, or Minnesota Juicy Lucy in south Florida is practically impossible. But good news, fellow foodies — now you can find a full array of these authentic specialties all in one place — Stateside Sandwiches in Boca Raton.
Make no mistake, this is not just another ‘sub shop’ slapping together pre-fab cold cuts. Instead, Stateside Sandwiches creates high-end, restaurant quality “gourmet meals on bread” from scratch, using the highest quality ingredients possible. Chef/Owner Steven Tart’s heart-felt mission is “to recreate premium versions of your favorite regional and hometown specialty sandwiches, using fresh, premium ingredients, sourced locally when available.” No stranger to the kitchen, Chef Steven cut his eyeteeth at some of New York’s finest establishments, and then established himself locally with the Burt Rapoport Group (Bogart’s, Burt & Max’s, Prezzo, Rappy’s, etc.).
Chef Steven embraces the concept of a totally scratch kitchen, meaning he makes practically everything fresh in-house (no easy task, especially considering the ‘ship’s galley’ sized kitchen). That means he sources, seasons, and slow-roasts the highest grade USDA Prime Rib for the French Dip sandwich, served on a hearty hoagie roll with his own house made horseradish sauce, accompanied by a side of the obligatory au jus for dipping (or served “all way,” as they do in L.A., with entire sandwiched dunked in the savory au jus). That same Prime Rib takes a trip to the Midwest in the form of the classic Chicago Italian Beef sandwich, topped with Giardiniera (Italian marinated fresh veggies), which of course, is also made fresh in house. His Prime Rib also makes the ultimate Philly Cheesesteak, presented in the classic “wit” style, topped with sautéed peppers and onions on a Philly-style hoagie roll and classic cheese ‘wiz’ — which (you guessed it) is also fresh made in house. Chef Steven gives equal love to pork shoulder (“Boston butt”), which he skillfully seasons (with his own homemade rub mix) and slow-smokes (using a customized blend of wood chips) for the Smoked Pulled Pork sandwich, served with his homemade authentic Carolina style BBQ sauce and fresh coleslaw (also homemade, of course). It’s simply one of the best damn Pulled Pork sandwiches in town. Meanwhile, the BBQ Jackfruit (a bizarre, enormous Brazilian fruit) is an incredible vegetarian alternative — so tasty and hearty, even diehard carnivores won’t miss the meat.
A native New Yorker, Chef Steven takes particular pride in his house-made Pastrami — which he selectively sources, seasons, and slow-smokes in house. It’s served on thick cut, slightly grilled marbled rye bread, thus providing structure to support the heaping mound of still-warm, juicy meat, without the dreaded “soggy bread” factor (the scourge of any sandwich eater!). The grilling also adds a satisfying textural “crunch” with each juicy bite. A schmear of special grainy mustard with just enough zip to cut through the unctuous meat provides the perfect counterbalance. Sure, a lot of delis offer pastrami, but very few (if any) actually make it themselves from scratch – and even fewer can come close in quality, taste, and overall excellence. Our opinion was unanimous – this is THE best pastrami sandwich in town.
Pittsburgh fans will ‘take a trip home’ with the fresh-shaved Roasted Turkey and Ham sandwich, served in the classic Primanti Brothers style with lettuce, tomato, coleslaw and French fries, all between two thick slices of country white bread. Two of the absolute best dishes, however, are vegetarian: Grilled Portobello with roasted red peppers and garlic-sautéed broccoli rabe on a specialty hard roll; and the to-die-for Burrata sandwich, starring fresh, locally made Burrata (fresh mozzarella with a mesmerizing creamy interior), organic locally-sourced heirloom tomatoes, roasted red peppers, balsamic glaze, and fresh basil. I’m an avid meat eater, but both creations are still Last Meal worthy in my book.
Stateside’s Burgers are equally outstanding. Sure, practically every place serves burgers — but nowhere else will you find burgers made from fresh (never frozen) USDA Sirloin, ground fresh in-house daily, then individually hand-pattied to order! Experience one of Chef Steven’s adventurous creations, combing the fresh-made burger with a regional specialty, like the Pastrami Burger; Carolina Burger with that house-smoked BBQ Pork and coleslaw; Taylor Breakfast Burger, topped with the “New Jersey’s Breakfast” of Taylor ham, fried egg, and cheddar; or Minnesota’s famed Juicy Lucy, stuffed with oozy molten cheese inside.
Even the fries here are special, fresh cut daily from Idaho potatoes, twice-cooked for extra crispiness, and tossed with the Chef’s housemade salt blend. No other place makes such a variety of specialty fries, like Malt & Vinegar, Schmaltz (chicken fat), Chili & Cheese, Melted Provolone & Gravy (house-made, of course), Triple Cheese, and the signature Mushroom Fries, treated to Chef Steven’s magical wild mushroom dust, which, of course, he also makes himself. Other side dishes range from Pickled Cucumber Salad, Celeriac Cole Slaw, and Greek Horitaki Salad, to Hummus with fresh veggies and Macaroni Salad – all of which are scratch made in house.
Other specialty sandwiches span the nation’s culinary gamut. Kentucky Hot Brown, New Jersey Italian Grinder, a prime beef Tri-Tip Steak sandwich (from Santa Maria, CA), Shrimp Po’ Boy (using fresh Florida pink shrimp), New England Clam Roll, Maryland Crab Cake sandwich, Key West Mahi-Mahi, and Philly Porkloin (Philly’s “other” sandwich,” starring marinated slow-roasted pork, sautéed broccoli rabe, and melty provolone cheese), and a few dozen more are prime examples. Note: Chef Steven uses only fresh (never frozen) seafood, and will never serve less-than-perfect seafood, so aquatic options are subject to availability. The menu then takes an international tour, with the “Passport” selections, ranging from Vietnamese Bahn Mi, French Croque Madam, and Italian Porchetta (also made in-house), to mid-eastern Falafel (made inhouse, of course, along with the accompanying hummus and tzatziki sauces), an English tea time-inspired Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwich, and the aforementioned fresh Burrata Sandwich.
And if you’re trying to avoid bread, no problem – all sandwiches can be prepared as a Salad upon request. Also note: Every sandwich is strategically composed, but substitutions and special requests are readily honored. That means if you want to switch any topping, cheese, veggie, sauce, bread, or condiment, just ask — Chef Steven is happy to accommodate. Yet another really cool thing: Stateside Sandwiches also offers a 20% discount to all veterans, active military, police, and other first responders (very cool!).
So put down that pre-fab lunchmeat, and come visit 50 of your favorite Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives spots all in one spot — at Stateside Sandwiches!
1159 S. Federal Highway (just south of Camino Real) in downtown Boca Raton, FL.
Open weekdays 11:00 am to 7:00 pm; Saturdays 11:00 – 5:00.
Special orders and catering are available.
Delivery available through Delivery Dudes and Uber Eats.
Call 561/757- 5164 or visit www.StatesideSandwiches.com.
Kenny Spahn is a renowned food critic, culinary columnist, and restaurant authority, and has been contributing to Simply The Best since 2004. He also runs Restaurant Placement Group, an exclusive recruiting and consulting rm for the Restaurant and Hospitality industry.
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