Imagine warm baked bread, a veritable goldmine of freshly cut vegetables and meats, and condiments to fulfill your every desire for tangy goodness. This vision of the perfect sandwich, all decked-out, can be achieved in these Santa Barbara eateries – face it, you’ve come a long way from your mom’s PB & J.

Meat Lovers Unite

Norton’s Pastrami
18 W. Figueroa St.
(805) 965-3210
Price: Under $10

With a name such as “Norton’s Pastrami,” this quaint eatery located just off State Street can only lead you to expect original and stacked-to-perfection selections. Norton’s is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. (Wednesday through Friday until 8 p.m.) and offers a full range of creative pastrami sandwiches which are sure to satisfy your large appetite after a day at the beach.

“Our Pastrami Reuben is the most popular item, which customers keep saying is the best sandwich that they have had in 10 years,” supervisor Chris Timmerman, the supervisor said. “Another favorite is the Pastrami Cheese, but it really just depends on the customer’s preference.”

If you prefer a smaller version of a Norton’s Pastrami specialty, then you are in luck – this eatery fixes up small and regular size sandwiches. For a mere $5.95, you can enjoy a small Norton’s Famous Pastrami Dip on a French roll, or you can venture to go big and order a large version of The Philly for $8.95, which is a mountain of thinly sliced beef, provolone, marinara, mushrooms and grilled onions on a French roll.

According to Timmerman, Norton’s hot sandwiches are better when enjoyed fresh inside the welcoming eatery.

“The atmosphere is nice and our prices are very reasonable considering how huge our sandwiches are,” Timmerman said. “Customers should size up what they get for their dollar.”

With a short menu of sandwiches, hot dogs and side orders, such as homemade onion rings, Norton’s Pastrami is a surefire bet for a little piece of heaven. If you are in need of a pick-me-up, this sandwich shop offers daily specials and combos, like shoestring fries and a soft drink for $3.25.

So if you’re downtown and dying for a dip, be sure to sandwich Norton’s Pastrami into your busy schedule.

Leave It To Cleaver

Ye Old Butcher Shop
4317 State St.
(805) 967-9213
Price: Under $10

On upper State Street you will find a true gem of a sandwich shop. Ye Old Butcher Shop is open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., and consistently conjures up delicious, piled-high sandwiches, elevating it to customer-favorite status for its menu and value.

“We are known for our hearty meat-filled sandwiches,” manager Jennifer Fredericks said. “Everything on our menu is a pretty good value for what you get, considering there is a pound of meat on our 12-inch sandwiches.”

Once you walk into this historic deli, you can immediately tell it’s been a local’s favorite since its establishment in 1962. With the classic chalkboard menu and deli-style atmosphere, almost everyone is apt to find a sandwich that suits his or her fancy.

“Our meats, such as tri-tip, roast beef, pork loin and chicken salad are all made fresh on the premises,” Fredericks said. “We are most popular for our freshness and our hormone-free meat.”

If you desire mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, peppers and onions piled high on top of your meat selection, then Ye Old Butcher Shop is the hot spot. And for only $5.95 or $8.95, you can enjoy either a 6-inch or a 12-inch sandwich, respectively.

Despite the establishment’s longevity in Santa Barbara, the Ye Old Butcher Shop’s sandwiches continue to be on the cutting edge of flavor and satisfaction.

Cool as a Cucumber

Mr. Pickles Sandwich Shop
6545 Pardall Rd.
(805) 562-8700
Price: Under $10

Mr. Pickle’s company slogan, “Good food, good friends and good fun,” gets magnified in its cozy beachside Isla Vista location. With 20 specialty sandwiches, Mr. Pickles, a franchise business, is the perfect place to savor quality food.

“Our number 13 Mr. Pickles with chicken breast, bacon, avocado and jack cheese is our most popular sandwich,” said Paul DiPierro, one of the three owners.

This small sandwich shop offers its customers a unique combination of meats and toppings. A perfect example of the vast opportunities to try something new is the Hang Loose Pastrami sandwich, which is a stack of hot pastrami, bacon, cream cheese and avocado.

Condiments, an integral ingredient in sandwich artistry, are not overlooked at the eatery. Patrons can kick their sandwich up a notch with the tasty “Phat Sauce” – a spicy Chipotle sauce, which is available upon request, DiPierro said.

With so many options, it can be hard to decide which sandwich masterpiece is the one for you, but the staff will happily offer suggestions.

“The number seven Hot ‘T’ sandwich is also another favorite,” Jordan Corbett, another owner, said. “With hot turkey, melted pepper jack cheese, baja and cranberry sauce, this is Thanksgiving in a sandwich,”

For $8, you can have yourself a delicious sandwich and a soda. After all, Mr. Pickle’s owners are students at SBCC and UCSB, so they understand the limitations of a college student’s budget.

“You pay for what you get,” Diplerro said. “We do not use generic brands, and we serve only high quality meats and breads.”

When you’re in a pickle and your hunger can’t wait, you can easily make it to this eatery in time to devour an alluring original specialty sandwich.

Jonesin’ for Javan’s

938 Embarcadero Del Norte
(805) 968-2180
Price: Under $10

Right down the road from Mr. Pickles you’ll find Javan’s, an I.V. tradition since 1988. With a menu of customer favorites and credibility among students and UCSB faculty alike, this is a go-to restaurant for quality sandwiches, burgers and salads.

“Our Chicken Club sandwich is definitely the most popular item on our menu,” co-owner Fay Javan said. “We cook everything right here on the premises, so everything is fresh. Our prices are really reasonable considering the quality, freshness and size or our portions.”

The large restaurant has an open atmosphere with plenty of tables to sit at, and big screen televisions to watch as you enjoy Javan’s homemade delights.

“We really truly care about the food we make and everything is homemade, including the bread and our delicious cookies,” Javan said. “For food and for beer, we have the most reasonable prices in Isla Vista.”

With a mix of students and UCSB faculty and staff, this I.V. eatery caters to everyone. It seems as though once you try Javan’s, you must keep coming back for more of the best service and food around.

“We have something for everyone,” Javan said. “We even have a veggie burger and a veggie sandwich for vegetarians. Since our food is not processed, customers can truly note the difference as far as taste goes.”

You cannot beat the prices at Javan’s either – small sandwiches run about $4.50 and medium ones are only a buck or so more.

So, venture to Javan’s, an I.V. staple, for their satisfying sandwiches and maybe an order of fries – it will do you and your wallet some good.

Whether you prefer the Dagwood-style monstrosity of a sandwich or a simply roast beef on rye, these delicatessens are sure to assemble the perfect lunchtime meal – it’ll be a cut above the rest.