The Best Sandwich in Burlington
by Ruby LaBrusciano-Carris
I’d heard about the famed Four Corners of the Earth Deli for months before I ever got the chance to get there myself. I’d heard tidbits about the best sandwich that someone had ever eaten, and a crazy midnight adventure that had ended up at a closed deli where the chef still made amazing sandwiches for the whole crowd even though it was afterhours, and entertained them with wild stories of travelling. Everything that I heard was undoubtedly intriguing, but perhaps because I’m not an avid sandwich-lover, I didn’t care to go out of my way for any sandwich, even if it was rumored to be the best in the world. I just couldn’t imagine that there WAS a sandwich that was the best—it seemed like such an overdone and uncreative kind of food. But of course, as prefaced by my title, this story ends with me having an absolute sandwich epiphany—all thanks to the sandwich wonders of the Four Corners of the Earth Deli.
There is nothing pretentious or flashy about the deli, which resides underground off a quiet parking lot in the South End, where the Art Hop happens in warmer months. Once you have descended the few steps into the deli’s interior, you are met with an eclectic and somewhat bizarre setting. There are tables, booths, and a counter, just as in any normal deli, but the comparisons to any kind of normalcy stop there. Every inch of wall space is jam-packed with some of the funkiest art pieces that I have ever seen—a true collection of odds and ends from who-knows-where. Although it is a tad crazy, there is something immediately homey about the funky aesthetic, which does not beg to be anything other than what it is; a perfect contradiction of unassuming and provocative.
But if the artwork is eclectic, the sandwiches are possibly twice as much so. With a menu that ranges from “Czech Chicken” to “Sicilian Eggplant” to “Korean Kimchi” to “Russian Salmon”, you are going to have no shortage of choices. There is no description for any of these sandwiches other than their colorful names, so picking just one ends up more like a blind grab than a studied decision, but you really can’t go wrong. Each sandwich is just as unassuming and humble as its setting, because presentation isn’t exactly what the creator behind Four Corners of the Earth set out to do. Instead, it is a surprising fusion of tastes, which seem so incredible that it is unbelievable that they have come in such a modest form as a simple sandwich, and yet they tantalize taste buds with the pungency and vigor of fine gourmet cuisine.
If I sound like a convert, I simply can’t deny it. The Four Corners of the Earth has turned me into the sandwich appreciator that I never thought that I could be. I dub Four Corners to be the Best Sandwich in Burlington, and can only say that if you make it through four years at UVM without trying one of these amazing sandwiches, your college years will be truly lacking. So be it on foot, or by bus, or via car, get yourself to the Four Corners of the Earth to have a taste for yourself.