Have you ever made a poor decision while hungry, or worse, hangry? We’re here to help solve that problem as today is National Sandwich Day! Giving you a list of “the best” sandwiches in Knoxville is a bit too daunting, so we decided to start with Chef Jeffrey DeAlejandro is the owner of the newest butcher shop and deli in town called Hen+Hoc. Read on to see his fave, and who their fave is and so on! Bookmark this for later so you can find these scrump-diddily-umptious (no idea how to spell that) sandwiches!!
Hen+Hoc Butcher & Deli - Hot Pastrami on house made focaccia
Since Chef Jeffrey DeAlejandro got to go first, he was able to highlight his own personal fave: the hot pastrami on house made focaccia. Before we tell you what’s on it, let’s talk shop, literally! Hen+Hoc is located in the Old City, and is the vision of Chef Jeffrey and Chef Jon Newman. Jeffrey owns another Old City favorite – Oli Bea, considered an excellent breakfast option especially for foodies. There you’ll find chorizo breakfast tacos, Cruze Farm buttermilk pancakes, and all kinds of creative morning eats. Hen+Hoc offers skillfully and ethically produced meats, charcuterie, sides, and daily lunch-to-go.
So now onto the meat-focused sandwich – house hot pastrami with whole grain mustard, roasted peppers, onion jam, on house made focaccia.
Steamboat on Central – The Italiano
Steamboat is totally focused on incredible sandwiches, and they are in unique spot in North Knoxville, just past the Happy Holler neighborhood. If you like a brew with your meal, you’re in luck since they are neighbors to Elst Brewing Company. They share a welcoming back patio area with cheerful yellow seating. Jeffrey chose the Italiano as his favorite and owner Matt Turner was pleased to share this deliciousness (although Jeffrey adds Frussie’s is a fave too; they recently closed their downtown shop and are converting to a food truck so keep an eye out).
The Italiano consists of smoked ham, mild capicola, Genoa salami, pepperoni, provolone, lettuce, mayo, white onion, banana peppers, Italian dressing on either white or wheat bread.
Tako Taco – Crispy Chicken Patty Sandwich
This choice of Matt’s might surprise you (it surprised us!) since Tako Taco isn’t exactly a deli. “Tako” means octopus in Japanese, and this hot spot is a funky mix of cultures reminiscent of street food. They serve a wide variety of drinks including an array of margaritas, specialty cocktails, and several types of sake. Expect to find menu items like Crab and Tako Rangoon, Pork Belly Tacos, and Vegan McRib Torta. Chef Jesse Newmister is no stranger when it comes to east Asian cuisine; he also owns Kaizen Izakaya in the Old City. There you’ll find a rotating daily dumpling, steamed buns (get the “Nashville Man Bun”), and Orange Chicken Lo Mein.
Matt chose the Crispy Chicken Patty Sandwich - with a side of curly fries, mind you. It’s got roasted jalapeños, spicy ranch relish, house pickles, nacho cheddar blend, all on a Paysan bun – which leads us to Chef Jesse’s fave…
Paysan Bread & Bagels – Double Sausage on Asiago
Some of the best bread around can be found at Paysan: we’re talking hunky, crusty, rugged loaves and baguettes. Keep it simple with a bagel and a smear or upgrade to a bacon, egg & cheese. Owner Blake Sally has been baking for some time now; you may have had some of his creations at Knox Mason, the Corner Lounge, the Market Square Farmers’ Market, and other locations. BONUS alert – Paysan is right next door to Remedy Coffee. Get to know that shop and other places around town here.
For Jesse’s pick, go for the Double Sausage on Asiago. This sandwich was created with McDonald’s in mind…but obviously 1000x better (approximately). It’s got TWO patties, cheddar cheese, mustard, ketchup, pickles, and even those little McDonald’s-style minced onions.
Holly’s Gourmet’s Market & Café – Southern Grilled Cheese
Chef Holly Hambright is a local powerhouse, an icon in Knoxville’s incredible culinary scene. When Blake said his fave sandwich was to be found at Holly’s, we knew we were in for a treat. Holly’s Gourmet’s Market is nestled in the Bearden neighborhood, an eclectic part of town full of artsy folks doing their thing. At the café you’ll find a plethora of daily options along with their inventive menu, so it’s definitely a place you’ll want to return to frequently to see what’s on the chalkboard be it quiche, soup, or sammies.
The Southern Grilled Cheese delivers delight in every bite. Find grilled pimento cheese on Italian with bacon, tomatoes, and bread and butter pickles.
We hope this helped you find some delicious options to celebrate National Sandwich Day in Knoxville. Still hungry? Head here for more sandwiches!