→The Queen City is experiencing something of a sandwich renaissance, with small-batch, homegrown, and handcrafted creations in the spotlight.
If its glorious cases of meats and cheeses (not to mention its name) are any indication, Panino does a mean grilled sandwich. All ingredients are locally sourced and prepared in-house, including meat curing, to ensure peak freshness. The Italian panini bursts with flavor: capicola and mortadella are balanced with provolone, pickled peppers, tomato, onions, and arugula on ciabatta.
Panino, 1313-1315 Vine St., OTR, (513) 381-0287, findpanino.com
Beyond its grown-up gamer snacks, sandwiches at The Rook are definitely worth trying. We especially love the BBQ Battleship, with honey-bourbon barbecue pulled chicken, complete with cheddar cheese and an onion ring. Pro tip: Ask the server to “sink your battleship” for extra heat.
The Rook OTR, 1115 Vine St., (513) 954-8191, facebook.com/therookotr
Jean-Robert de Cavel’s fast-casual Frenchie Fresh serves up smart yet simply done burgers and sandwiches. The open-faced Flat Madame—sans croque (there’s no crunch, just flaky, buttery goodness)—marries ham, Swiss, and a rich béchamel sauce with a rolled-flat croissant, topped with a sunny-side-up egg. It might not be tidy, but it’s undeniably brunch-approved.
Frenchie Fresh, 3831 Edwards Rd., (513) 366-3960, frenchiefresh.com