Houston's Best Sandwiches: Grab and Go at Central Market

The sandwiches at Central Market really do deserve a mention in this spot.
The sandwiches at Central Market really do deserve a mention in this spot. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

If you think grocery store sushi is gross, you probably haven't tried it at Central Market. Ditto the sandwiches. Years ago, I used to love turkey sandwiches made by a wonderful handlebar mustachioed gentleman at the Montrose Kroger (RIP Disco Kroger) who would hand you this delightful hoagie steamed with a pump steamer and yell, "EN-JOY! Next!"

While the sandwich makers at Central Market don't have quite the personality (not all anyway), what they lack in frivolity, they make up for in incredible sandwich making. And the main reason is not just the quality of ingredients — Central Market is known for some pretty select stuff in general — but the massive selection of them.
click to enlarge
Stacks and stacks of all kinds of ingredients and bread choices.
Photo by Jeff Balke
Want a turkey with roasted red peppers, caramelized onions and feta on a baguette? Gotcha. Feeling like a roast beef on whole wheat with spicy mustard and olive spread? Weird, but sure. Maybe you're thinking a wrap with falafel and hummus. No problem. It is that crazy selection that you just don't find pretty much anywhere else that makes the place so unique.

Then, there are the signature sandwiches right off the menu. They are as unique as the ingredients they have normally. The Grilled Chicken, Fig and Blue Cheese panini is spectacular with sweet, savory and a bit of twang from the blue cheese. The Turkey Manchego is unique with roasted red peppers, arugula and basil pesto. Of course, you can sub almost anything on these as well.

My favorite is the Cuban Press, a nod to the classic Cubano, which I love. It comes on CM's signature panini bread, which is dense enough to hold up, but thin so it can be pressed nicely. This includes ham and roast pork, but also salami and Swiss cheese. I add mayo to go with the spicy mustard and pickles for a little creaminess. It's not the best Cubano I've ever eaten, but it is damn close, especially considering I'm in a grocery store when I get it.

Honestly, this place is about as close to gourmet sandwich as you get considering it comes to you in a wrapper and you take it to the front of the store to pay for it. The best part is there are plenty of ways to experiment with endless choices. What sandwich lover doesn't want that?

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke