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The iconic pastrami on rye is served in what is arguably its ideal form at New York’s 2nd Ave Deli: double-steamed meat, piled high. It’s the same sandwich today that it was when the restaurant first opened in 1954.

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Take a trip down to New Orleans, where Dot Domilise and her family make oyster po’ boys at their family’s eponymous institution. The sandwich shop’s nondescript, no-frills exterior belies the magic inside the doors: fresh catfish, shrimp, and their famous oysters, which come out of the deep fryer only to be heaped onto Leidenheimer French bread with all the dressings.

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At Brooklyn’s Frankie’s Spuntino, proprietors Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli take their culinary memories of growing up Italian-American in New York and convert them into straightforward, bright-flavored dishes that are somehow both timeless and unabashedly contemporary. Their zucchini and pasta sandwich (see the recipe) is a triumph of leftovers: a simple zuke sautee meets linguine cacio e pepe on a tender slab of pizza bianca. It’s a meal that, true to sandwich form, is far greater than the sum of its parts.

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