#41. Odessa Sandwich at Moscow Deli

#41. Odessa Sandwich at Moscow Deli
Dave Lieberman

Our Best of Orange County is coming out in just a couple of months; in the meantime, here are 100 dishes that we think make dining in OC the happy experience it is. Sausage, chicken, butter, sour cream and smoked fish: these are the five things Russians do better than anyone else on earth, and this sandwich contains two of them. The Odessa sandwich at this tiny strip-mall g (delicatessen) is worth the drive from any corner of the county. The outside is coarse black (rye) bread; one side is smeared in Russian butter and the other with a pepper-eggplant dip that has more than a passing acquaintance with a garlic plant. The sandwich is then stuffed with thinly-sliced, cold pork sausage, topped with tomatoes, marinated onions and cabbage (this last is sometimes lettuce, and always slightly salted so that it wilts just a bit).

I crave this sandwich. I crave it when I go anywhere that's not OC; I crave it even in Brighton Beach, the US home of expat Russian culture in Brooklyn.

At $5.99 for a large sandwich, it's a bargain; add a small portion of one of their slaw-type salads for an extra $2, and leave room for dessert.

Moscow Deli, 3015 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa; (714) 546-3354; www.moscowdeli.com.

Here are the previous contenders:

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#93. Cuban Sandwich at DeSimone's Deli
#92. Lamb with Preserved Cabbage at Mas Islamic Chinese
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#89. Midnight Al Pastor Burrito or Taco at Taqueria Tapatia
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#80. Nem Nuong Cuon at Au Lac Restaurant
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#47. Corn Dog at Disneyland's The Little Red Wagon
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#42. Omakase at Sushi Shibucho

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Moscow Deli

3015 Harbor Blvd.
Costa Mesa, CA 92626



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