Sandwich History

All hail the Earl of Sandwich, the first person known to appreciate the endless potential of a meal presented between two pieces of bread! Thanks to this avid gambler’s request back in 1762 for a handy meal that he could eat without leaving the card table, today, more than 300 million sandwiches are consumed daily in the U.S., which is almost one sandwich per person each day, nationwide. From the simplest PBJs to creative combinations that take time to craft, placing food between two slices of bread has evolved into one of the world’s most popular and convenient ways to combine an infinite number of ingredients to make the best sandwich.

Although historians are not clear on when the sandwich arrived in America, it officially appeared in an American cookbook around 1815. Since then, every culture in the U.S. melting pot has created its own variations, from the New Orleans Po’ Boy to the Philly Cheesesteak, the New York Club, Los Angeles French Dip, and countless more. Whatever your ethnic culinary preference may be, you likely can find its version of sandwiches ranging from simple to exotic.  

The Evolution of the Sandwich

Pastrami Sandwich is the best1
Pastrami Sandwich

Sandwiches have come a long way since the cook served John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, a piece of salted meat between two pieces of bread. Even the Earl himself was captivated by the creation. He proceeded to draw inspiration from his travels to the Mediterranean, where meats, cheeses, and dips on mezze platters, appetizers similar to tapas, were sometimes layered between slices of bread. In the three centuries since, sandwiches continued to evolve in countless directions and, regardless of their simplicity, have become a culinary art form.  

The Deli Tradition

TooJay's Best Reuben Sandwich

Among all the types of sandwiches, the deli variety holds a special place in the hearts of most sandwich lovers. Delicatessen, derived from the German words for delicious and eat, originated in Germany around the same time the sandwich was popularized by John Montagu in England. The culinary concept was brought to the U.S. by Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the mid-19th century. Originally a retail establishment that sold fine and foreign prepared food, the deli concept evolved into the restaurants we know them as today.

TooJay’s Deli is proud to satisfy the cravings of deli lovers throughout Florida. Whether you need a break after shopping at Palm Beach Outlets, are stopping for lunch at The Fountains in Plantation or meeting friends after golf or tennis at The Villages near Orlando,  TooJay’s has the wide selection of freshly sliced, piled high sandwiches that keeps deli lovers coming back for more.

Tips to Make your Own Materpiece

Best Turkey Cran Griller
TooJay’s Seasonal Turkey Cranberry Griller

While we love to serve our guests in our restaurants every day and be their favorite choice for takeout, curbside, and catering, it’s our pleasure to share some tips for when they’re making a sandwich at home:

Gathering the pieces: First, compile the essential four elements – bread (we recommend fresh-baked Artisan rye, wheat or Challah bread, available for purchase at TooJay’s bakery); spreads (mayonnaise, mustard, or home-style Russian dressing); a generous serving of deli meat from TooJay’s deli counter (corned beef, roast beef, sliced turkey breast, pastrami or a combination of any of these), and secondary ingredients (Swiss or provolone cheese, coleslaw, sauerkraut, lettuce).

Building the Sandwich: The secret to making a great-tasting sandwich is finding a delicious balance of flavors. The combinations are countless and ultimately depend on personal taste preferences. Generously stuffed or lean? Spicy or mild? Hot or cold? It’s up to you!

    1. Grab a slice of bread and add a generous spread of mayo and mustard, or opt instead for no spreads at all.
    2. We have two favorite options for arranging the meat on the sandwich: layered, with one flat or folded slice on top of the other to match the size of the bread; and 2) rolled, with long layers of meat piled up with spread in between and then rolled into TooJay’s famous signature wrap to create a tempting swirl and ensure all ingredients are in every bite.  Feel free to experiment with combinations such as corned beef and pastrami (like the TooJay’s Classic), turkey, roast beef, or a slice of cheese. Add the top slice of bread (toasting is always an option), and there you have it!
    3. Take a bite and enjoy your sandwich!

Whatever type of sandwich you’re craving, no one makes it better than TooJay’s. Stop by to dine in or order online for takeout or contactless curbside pickup.

Our Chefs’ have been creating the best sandwiches in Florida since 1981!