BREAD: ELEMENTARY RULES OF USAGE

Artisan bakery loaves, custom-ordered rolls, and an “I Baked It My Way” mind-set aren’t merely options in Portland. They’re the law.  

BLB at Sweedeedee
The BLB at Sweedeedee: Bacon, lettuce, and beets

The BLB at Sweedeedee

Tomatoes might survive only three weeks in our “where is global warming when you need it?” growing season. But roasted beets are forever, and they glisten like jewels inside Sweedeedee’s ingenious BLT makeover. The kitchen’s BLB also makes room for four lashes of bacon, an inch of crunchy iceberg lettuce confetti, and thick-cut cornmeal molasses bread, deep in soft chew and tang and baked daily. This neighborhood café is going the distance.

PB&J Royale at OUI PRESSe 

Who makes homemade bread for just one sandwich ... starring peanut butter and jelly, no less? Say hello to east-side coffee shop Oui Presse, where each little masterpiece is bound in Japanese milk bread baked for maximum squishability, medium-soft crust, and delicate richness. To nail the perfect PB&J, owner Shawna McKeown binge-tested unsalted peanuts for nutty intensity and jammed untold grinders in search of textural excellence—smooth but roughed up. Each order also sends forth sweet-salty jerks of berry jam and sea salt, while a thin arc of local butter crests the top. All this, made to order, for $4.50. In a nutshell: a steal.

The Sloppy Giuseppe at ROMAN CANDLE baking co 

Slip a little kale and highbrow Late Harvest Katz Zinfandel Vinegar into your Italian grandma’s meat-pebbled tomato sauce. Then stuff it into a vast triangular bread pocket, olive oil–glazed and baked in a cast-iron pan over screaming heat until gloriously bronzed. That’s the long, short, and ultra-crunchy of chef Joshua McFadden’s triumph. Any sandwich that can please a Goodfella and a health maven at the same time is doing something right. 

Grilled 3-Cheese on Sally Lunn at LITTLE T AMERICAN BAKER

This is grilled cheese as the mothers of heaven meant it to be—flawlessly griddled, with just the right crisp and ooze, on addictive bread cruising the lane between pound cake and brioche. Then again, even braunschweiger dip would taste divine on Little T’s Sally Lunn bread, an Old English beauty with a rich buttery crumb. Search the bread bibles for the recipe, but we’re throwing it down right here: you won’t find a more delicious version, anywhere.

The Frank at FRESSEN ARTISAN BAKERY  

Only in Portland: a pig in a blanket with artisan street cred. It begins with a juicy, skin-snapping, mile-long Olympic Provisions pork frank and ends with a wrapper of pretzel dough conjured by a master German baker—all salt, flake, and chew. What more could you possibly ask for? 

Which side are you on? Read and weigh in on our sandwich smackdowns online
—we’ll print the winners in our May issue!