Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this Gut Check series, we are chewing our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. To see hundreds more winners and finalists and download the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis mobile app, visit our Best of St. Louis homepage.
What does Riverfront Times' crack eating squad (not the same as our crack-eating squad, though there's some overlap) eat more than anything else? While the exact numbers aren't handy, the safe bet isn't pizza or barbecue or burgers.
It's sandwiches. From humble deli creations to artisan salume, we love 'em all. (Well, most of 'em.) Only five could make the cut for "Best Sandwiches," though. Here are the finalists.
5. Nora's (1136 Tamm Avenue; 314-645-2706)
Meats smoked in-house help distinguish this small Dogtown establishment: The "For Pete's Sake" features smoked pork loin with bacon, brie, caramelized onions and applesauce, while smoked turkey serves as the centerpiece for several sandwiches, including the "Hangover Club" (with Genoa salami, provolone and bacon). The vegetarian crowd isn't left out, as smoked portobello mushrooms are the basis for a couple of sandwiches.
4. Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium (1170 South Big Bend Boulevard, Richmond Heights; 314-932-5414)
You don't need to love The Muppets to love Fozzie's Sandwich Emporium. (In fact, the restaurant was named after a cat, not the bear.) You just have to enjoy fat, flavor-packed sandwiches, like the "BABLT" -- both Bs stand for bacon, a half-pound in total -- the gyro and the "Juicy Lucy," a burger with melted cheese in the center. Make sure to leave room for a shake.