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Celestial Sandwiches - Day One

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Since picnic season is upon us, we've got sandwiches on the brain. Sandwiches, we feel, are nature's perfect food. You can eat them on the go, pack them up for school lunches, or fancy 'em up for company. They work for vegetarians, pescatarians, and carnivores alike -- any person, any season, any time of day. This week we're offering up 25 of our favorites, five each day. Here's today's list.

Fried egg sandwich at Avalon - Avalon Diner is a Houston institution known for its burgers and milkshakes. Next time you're ambling through River Oaks, though, stop by for its charming fried egg sandwich. Served on whole-wheat toast with plenty of lettuce and tomato, this one is actually healthier -- and much less messy -- than most of the fare in the restaurant, yet still maintains that glorious 1950s diner flavor.

Pork and pate banh mi at Givral's Café - The traditional banh mi sandwiches at Givral's arrive on lightly toasted French rolls filled with marinated meat, shredded carrots, onion, jalapeño and cilantro. Categorically, the sandwiches here are a flavor delight. Our favorite is the ever-popular grilled pork with pate sandwich, which offers just the right mix of textures. A little of the meaty marinade sinks beautifully into the bread, exempting the need for condiments.

The Mid-Towner at Spec's - If you haven't yet sampled the deli at the Spec's warehouse in Midtown, it's time to get off your hiney. Huge offerings piled high with just-sliced meats and fresh toppings make these sandwiches a burly man's dream. Our favorite is the Mid-Towner, a roast beef classic spruced up with layers of rich 'n creamy Jarlsberg cheese. Why more sandwiches don't involve Jarlsberg is beyond us. Simply delicious.

The Genova at Nundini's Italian Market - Nundini's has a list of fans 12 miles long, but there remains a subset of you who've never been. Stop on by for those hard-to-find olives, gorgeous cheese selections, and a fabulous sandwich. Our perennial favorite is the Genova, a lover packed with salami and provolone. The smoky, fresh flavors transport you right over to Sicily. In spirit, of course.

El Capitan at Bowl - Bowl is anchored by its do-it-yourself salad menu, yet also sports an impressive list of sandwiches. The El Capitan is the most popular, and we can clearly see why -- prosciutto and brie, grilled to melty on crunchy-fresh bread, served alongside a heaping helping of housemade potato chips. If prosciutto's not your style, we also love the smoked salmon sammy here, too.

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