The Sonoma List: Great sandwiches

The smoked duck sandwich at Sunflower Caffe.


Welcome to a new regular feature in which staff writers and contributors will offer up recommendations in various categories, from food and drink to events, outdoor fun and more. Here’s our first list:

Sunflower Caffe’s Smoked Duck

When picking up lunch on the Plaza, the best sandwich is one that you can’t make easily at home. When at Sunflower, smoked duck breast sandwich definitely fits the “bill.” It’s pricey, at $15.75, but a big meal, served with a side salad. Layered atop a grilled baguette, the sandwich includes melted greyere, balsamic onion jam and Dijon mustard. On a beautifully warm day, taking the time to eat lunch outside at Sunflower exemplifies everything that is great about Sonoma, and about California cuisine. 421 First St. W. - Lorna Sheridan


The Cheese Factory’s Golden Gate

They may as well call it the California Veggie, or the Hippie Sando. The ingredients what you’d expect – avocado, tomato, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, mixed greens and sprouts, and garlic jack on whole wheat bread. Don’t expect to lose weight behind this vegetarian lunch, though – the sandwich is swollen with fixings, and avocados are hardly lo-cal despite being popular. What makes it work are the sprouts, and the price – only $9 for lunch, less if you’re a local. 2 W. Spain - Christian Kallen


Broadway Market’s Rueben

Ten types of bread. Twenty-four meats and spreads. Eight different cheeses and a constellation of condiments. Whether you’re ravenous from a morning of long labors or just a bit peckish from vacation idling, Broadway Market will make your Dagwood the way you like it. On a wet weekday, a hot sandwich seemed right, and this Rueben-- thick with corned beef and sauerkraut, oozing with melty Swiss cheese on toasted light rye for $5 hit the spot. 20511 Broadway - Kate Williams


The Reel’s Shrimp Po’boy

I spent three years living in Louisiana as a photographer for the Opelousas Daily World. While I don’t miss the 90-degree and 90-percent humidity days nor the mosquitoes the size of hummingbirds, I did get attached to the food – especially the po’boys. But it’s hard to find a po’boy in Wine Country. Until The Reel opened anyway. The Reel has a fried shrimp po’boy, and while they use tartar sauce instead of spicy remoulade, it’s still something I can’t resist. When we go, I tell myself I’m going to try something different. Then I see the po’boy on the menu and my good intentions are all for naught. 401 Grove Street - Bill Hoban


The Girl & The Fig’s Croque Madame

As someone who rarely eats sandwiches, I find it’s usually a safe bet to order a BLT, but I love the Girl & The Fig’s Croque Madame, a melt-in-your-mouth combo of warm ingredients. This is a fork and knife sandwich, for sure. The soft brioche bread squishes slightly as you cut into the housemade bread loaded with housemade ham and St. George cheese, all dripping with cheesy Mornay sauce and topped with a fried egg. It’s that egg that makes it a “Madame,” whereas the Croque Monsieur lacks the egg. Let’s see – what might that suggest? 110 West Spain - Kathleen Hill