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Best Sandwiches

Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches
Six locations

READERS' PICK: Baggin's, some would say, is the best innovation since sliced bread. The crusty sandwich shop picks up where Mom left off, making the return to the brown bag lunch an ever-appealing lunchtime alternative. Scrumptious sandwiches throw together egg salad with strips of bacon, cranberries with turkey, roasted almonds with tuna, and avocados and cream cheese with the classic BLT. Nothing served here is ordinary. They have a sandwich called the Unforgettable Baggin's, which pretty much describes the whole menu.

READERS' POLL RUNNER-UP: You'll find a mighty meal at Bison Witches, 326 N. Fourth Ave., an outstanding institution. These monstrous Dagwoods, with about a foot of fixins packed between two giant slabs of grilled bread, would satisfy Goliath's appetite. And check out this bargain--five bucks gets you half a sandwich and a bread bowl full of cream of broccoli, Wisconsin cheese soup or beefy chili. To top it all off, they serve the finest Bloody Mary in town and a great selection of cold beer, including some classy microbrews. Now if only the place were twice as big so we could find a seat once in awhile....

STAFF PICK: The Food Police have had their eyes on the perennial favorite for some time now, and for good reason. For now, sneaking to 2334 N. First Ave. to consume the infamous Sausage Deli Italian Grinder may get you eighty-sixed from Sprouts a full day later, and provoke your vegan friends to shriek "EEYUCKK!" and arrange a curing ceremonial to purge you of the World Trade Center-sized quantity of pastrami, provolone, salami and veggies drenched in Italian dressing. A sandwich this good ought to be outlawed by the Surgeon General.

For the more genteel and less carnivorous, the popular Susie Sorority packs a turkey and Havarti on whole wheat sandwich that, as the Deli admits, is "embarrassing to order, easy to eat." They've even deigned to include a vegetarian sub to bring the remaining hold-outs into the fold.

This central Tucson institution may not have a whole lot of space, but they've got just about everything else; prices from a bygone era, funny stuff on the walls, Saguaro chips, groovy side salads, the beer, the 'tude and the service. With all that to brag about, why whine about a little cholesterol?

Case History

1998 Winner: Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches
1997 Winner: Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches
1995 Winner: Baggin's Gourmet Sandwiches

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