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Small Wonders: There can be only one winner

November 09, 2012|By Patrick Caneday

The election is over.

We the people had our say.

And Chuck Norris' prognosticated “1,000 Years of Darkness” has begun.

Or it's simply the end of daylight saving time.

So now that that's over with, let's get to a debate that truly matters, one I know you've been eagerly awaiting, a vote that will impact your life more than which president's picture you'll be throwing darts at for the next four years: Who makes a better sub sandwich? Mario's Deli in Glendale? Or the Handy Market in Burbank?


As a Glendale son and Burbank resident, my heart belongs to both cities. And this column appears in both newspapers.

In my efforts to rile up residents of both burgs into emailing me over something other than my political, religious and social views, I threw down that truly savory challenge to readers a few weeks ago.

It's not exactly Hatfields and McCoys, or even high school football. But no lives were lost.

The results are in. And the response was abundant, much like the contesting sandwiches. Overall, both earned rave reviews — each on their own was a favorite.

Aisle 3 at Handy Market is one of the few lines I don't mind standing in, given its view of the choice meats at the butcher counter and its friendly and courteous people. Their Italian sub is a meal in itself: a foot-long concoction thick as Peyton Manning's forearm; a masterful mélange of hand-sliced mortadella, hard salami, pastrami, mayo, mustard, red onion, pickle, shredded lettuce, tomato and Provolone.

At Mario's there is no line. You take a ticket and wait. Which is a glorious thing. Because if you didn't have to mill around waiting for your number to be called you'd miss seeing the selection of premium meats, cheese, wine and imported goods; the refrigerators and freezers filled with Italian delicacies, pastas and sauces.

Oh, the clam sauce! Heaven.

The Mario's house combo sub is a double-layered symphony of salami, mortadella, capicolo, ham and whatever other meats they have available that day, plus lettuce, onion, tomato and mozzarella cheese. Coating the bread is a sauce that combines mayo and mustard.

“Two votes for the Handy Market in Burbank,” Rachel emailed me. “Fresh and tasty. Not as expensive. While Mario's Deli had a great special sauce and delicious meat, we didn't like the three layers of bread.”

For others it was that special sauce that set Mario's apart.

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