The Great Sandwich Smackdown: Ray’s to the Third vs. Bub and Pop’s

Time for the heavyweights.

It’s a heavyweight battle between Bub and Pop’s hearty sandwiches, such as the meaty Italian (left, photograph by Andrew Propp) and the indulgent options at Ray’s, including a craveable steak and cheese (right, photograph by Scott Suchman ).

Happy Friday, Smackdown fans! Yesterday was a big day for the competition, with two winners and, unfortunately, two losers. G by Mike Isabella beat WTF in a special overtime session, while Taylor Gourmet trumped Red Apron in the regular round. Look for plenty of Philly pride and Jersey swagger when the Taylor team goes up against Isabella’s crew in the next round.

Today’s Smackdown brings two heavyweights to the spotlight: Ray’s to the Third and Bub and Pop’s. These aren’t places where you go for a light turkey on wheat. Ray’s steak and cheese is one of the best all-round sandwiches in town, albeit an unconventional version with buttery rib eye, grilled onions, American and provolone cheeses, and a Thousand Island-esque sauce. Pop’s, too, is a haven for meat lovers—oh, that deliciously drippy beef brisket—but we also love the hearty veggie option stuffed with Bulgarian feta, grilled veggies, and hazelnut gremolata. Either way, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and make some decisions about who moves forward.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.