No, this is probably not the best guide in the gluten-free era, but there's something particularly comforting about a good sandwich. Possibly because many of our first food memories involve the dish likely invented in Europe in the 18th century, possibly a peanut butter and jelly handed to us by our mother. Yes, the definition of a sandwich generally includes burgers, but the wide variety of those available on Fourth Avenue, including the world famous OMFG at Lindy's, deserves its own list, so we're sticking to the rest of the sandwich world. We understand that this is subjective and you might have your own personal favorite (take it online to our comment section), but these are our top selections from menus up and down the Ave, presented in alphabetical order by the restaurant's name.
Athens on Fourth, 500 N. 4th Ave.
Monday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Athens has been serving up Greek food since 1993, so they know what they're doing with Hellenic classics like the gyro, served on the lunch menu, featuring a pita stuffed full of lamb and beef, ready to be doused with their delicious tzatziki sauce.
Beef and Brie
Bison Witches, 326 N. 4th Ave.
Daily: 11 a.m. to midnight (kitchen)
Sure, you'd assume Bison Witches would appear on this list, considering they should probably be able to make solid versions of their namesake, so you'll be fine just picking something off their menu based on your preferences, but we prefer to feel a little sophisticated by ordering the Beef and Brie, which also adds sprouts, tomatoes and spicy Russian mustard to the equation.
Chicken Parm Hero
Brooklyn Pizza, 534 N. 4th Ave.
Daily: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Yes, pizza is the key to Brooklyn Pizza's fame, but they also serve up a delicious sandwich, in this case, the fried cheesy goodness of their Chicken Parm Hero. You might do some damage to your waistline eating these, but you'll at least be thinking of the environment at the solar powered eatery, so that balances out, right?
Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Panini
Café Passe, 415 N. 4th Ave.
Sunday – Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Anything would taste great next to Café Passe's patio bar, which should be open again soon for fall and the caprese-inspired freshness of the Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Panini holds up its end of that deal.
Grilled Spicy Italian Ham
Delectables, 533 N. 4th Ave.
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m; Friday: 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Sunday: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
We don't know what wine to pair with Delectables' Grill Spicy Italian Ham sandwich, but when bottles are half price on Wacky Wednesday, I'm sure something will match up with with the sandwich's capicola ham, swiss cheese and spinach on delicious marble rye.
Strip Club Sub
4th Avenue Delicatessen, 425 N. 4th Ave.
Monday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday – Saturday: 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday: Noon – 4 p.m.
Not having been to a strip club (wink, wink), we're not sure of the association between this sandwich's name and the chicken, bacon, wing sauce and ranch dressing inside, but it's quite tasty, as is everything we've tried in this narrow restaurant.
Magpies, 605 N. 4th Ave.
Sunday – Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.; Thursday: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
They don't have many sandwiches on their menu at Magpies, but the Grilled Veggie is just as trustworthy as any of the pizzas this Tucson classic offers. Basically a salad in a sandwich, eating the peppers, mushrooms, roasted chilies, olives and artichoke hearts probably counteracts some of the somewhat unhealthy choices you might make elsewhere on Fourth Avenue. OK, maybe not, but it's quite tasty.
Veggie and Egg Torta
Martin's Comida Chingona, 555 N. 4th Ave.
Monday: 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.; Sunday: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
We would need to hide our heads in shame if there wasn't one torta on this list, considering it's Tucson's official sandwich (that's probably not true, but it should be). We wouldn't blame you for getting the Chicken Mole version, but the perfectly flavored calabacitas and two over-easy eggs on the Veggie and Egg Torta are perfect for breakfast, but we'd take one anytime.
XXX Grilled Cheese
O'Malley's on Fourth, 247 N. 4th Ave.
Daily: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.
The fact that you can get a giant bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch might lead you to believe O'Malley's isn't serious about food, but their smart, flavorful takes on a standard bar menu pair perfectly with one of their eight Arizona beers on tap. We like the XXX Grilled Cheese, with five cheeses on Parmesan toast.