Celebrate National Sandwich Day in Moscow, Idaho


The sandwich is an art form all to itself. Construction is a huge factor. You have to make choices about bread types and stability, based on the moisture content of your spreads and ingredients (nothing takes down weak bread faster than a juicy tomato). Will this thing hold together? Height is a consideration: You want your sandwich to be substantial, but not so thick that the average person can't put their mouth around it.

Nov. 3 is dedicated to all those who make sandwiches, as National Sandwich Day. Residents of Moscow, Idaho, have plenty of places to celebrate. Here are a few of my local favorites.

Moscow Bagel & Deli
In all my travels, I have never found another restaurant that serves sandwiches like those made at Moscow Bagel & Deli. The unique factor here is that you chose your bagel, pick your combination of toppings and the entire thing is put inside a machine and steamed. Yes, steamed. Then they hand you this tin-foil wrapped, warm, melty, delicious bagel sandwich. The steam perfectly takes away any hardness from the bagel, but leaves it strong enough to withstand all the insides. The only downside: That steamy bagel has a tendency to stick to your teeth. So not an awesome first-date place. My favorite sandwich is the Riverside Ave. — turkey, cream cheese, avocado, sprouts and mustard. But, "The Sweaty Teddy," (turkey, cream cheese, bacon, colby, smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, sprouts and mayor) also has its charms. Check out the menu online.

Moscow Alehouse
The Alehouse is well-known for its burgers, which are all made with Vandal Brand Meats. I love the Blue Cheese the best myself (with sauteed red onion and roasted red peppers with Gorgonzola crumbles), but their sandwiches are a close rival for me. The Southwestern Meatloaf comes with a grilled slice of chipotle meatloaf on a focaccia roll, with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and chipotle aioli. A little bit of a kick, but you can wash it down with a great microbrew. See the menu.

Stax
This fall, Stax of Moscow is getting a remodel, or rather, a whole new building. Which means I have to drive all the way down to Lewiston to get one of their fantastic sandwiches. Thankfully, they will reopen soon. You can get a totally normal, delicious sandwich there (I love the Mushroom and Swiss with the house sauce and a side of au jus), or you can get something more fun, like Brillo's Reuben, which comes with pastrami and sauerkraut on their homemade Rye bread with 1000 Island dressing, or The Fat Tinney — turkey, ham, roast beef and pastrami. Warns the menu: "It's big!"

Mikey's Greek Gyros
Admittedly, I'm not sure if a gyro counts as a "sandwich," since it's made with a pita.But let's say that it does and so Mikey's Greek Gyros makes the list. They call it a sandwich on the menu, anyway. If you've never tried a gyro but always wanted to, Mikey's is a great gateway. You can choose from seasoned beef or lamb (and it's hanging right there and you can watch them cut it), with cheese or without. They also have Falafel (spicy ground garbanzo beans), the "Leapin' Lizard Chicken" which comes with cream cheese, seasoned chicken and a special sweet/spicy sauce. It is really good. Or really cross your boundaries with a pita burrito: Refried and black beans, seasoned, jack and cheddar cheese, topped with sour cream, salsa and olives. Truly multicultural.

• Savannah Tranchell is a Moscow local who has spent many a lunch making sure she doesn't still have bagel in her teeth.