It’s time for lunch.
Most of us Ole Miss grads, students and fans are fortunate enough to have a Newk’s Eatery nearby in Oxford or elsewhere. The Newcomb family opened their doors in 2004 to share family recipes of Southern classics, and they now boast more than 100 locations.
Newk’s has 18—yes, 18 like Archie Manning the GOAT—sammiches for you to gorge on in your 35 minutes of solace to yourself before Janet in accounting comes by your cubicle to complain about your expense reporting.
Maybe you have a standard order. Maybe you are a cultural traveler who has tried them all. But for those of you needing to know what the crack reporting team at Red Cup thinks about Newk’s sammiches, we’ve put together the definitive ranking.
Every sammie was ranked 1 to 18 by our writers and editors, then averaged out for these rankings. It was very official and scientific.
1. Pimento Cheese
WHAT KINDA BLOG PUTS A NO MEAT SAMMICH AT THE TOP OF ITS LIST?!? It us. This is creamy, savory and warm pimento cheese sammich screams Southern classic. It’s peppery, perfect and you can slather it on just about any dish and it immediately elevates it.
Sodium is actually very good for you, and the cured meats of our soccer fanatical brethren pack this sammie with loads of hearty flavor to keep you full all afternoon. Throw some hot peppers on this bad boy from the condiments cart, and you’ll feel like you can accomplish anything with the rest of your day.
3. Newk’s “Q”
This sammie started the whole idea for this post—one of our writers said it’s his go-to feeling like a fatty sandwich. Chicken, bacon and white barbecue sauce piled high to keep you feeling like a champ for hours and hours.
4. Chicken Salad
Phenomenal textures, creamy and luscious mixture of chicken, mayo, onions, grapes and pecans, finished with creole mustard and toppings. It’s as traditional Southern as chicken salad comes. It’s also very good on crackers, warm or right out of the container standing in front of your open fridge at 3 a.m.
5. The Boss “Q”
Newk’s dove into the white BBQ sauce game, and like most other areas, it immediately became a legit option for your lunchtime. White BBQ sauce usually pairs best with smoked or grilled chicken, which landed this newcomer in the top five.
6. Grilled Chicken
The chicken here is solid. It’s not the greatest chicken you’ve ever eaten, but it is solid. The gamechanger is the made-from-scratch honey mustard that’s good for almost any application. Pro tip: get some of this honey mustard and marinate your chicken wings in it, then throw them on the grill for some tangy and sweet wingy ding dingin time.
7. Grilled Steak
To be clear, this isn’t a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, so it’s not a cheesy, indulgent option. The horseradish sauce sets it off and clears out the sinuses as needed.
8. Dozen Shrimp “Q”
Any sandwich with shrimp is worth a hard look, and then you top it off with some white BBQ coleslaw and sauce and suddenly you’re transported to Destin, toes in the sand and a cold PBR by your side. Then you finish the sandwich and realize you’re still in your hometown and have to go back to work.
9. Turkey Avocado
If you’ve tacked on some lbs. since the college days, here’s your best option, no bread, wrap it in some lettuce and smash it. The avocado provides plenty of healthy fat and makes for a fulfilling sandwich that’s pretty straightforward.
10. Newk’s Club
Club sandwiches are one of my absolute favorite sandwiches, which is why I think the Newk’s club slid down the list a little bit. It’s not your traditional club on toasted bread cut into triangles and stacked high. The honey mustard is the saving grace for this pretty traditional sammie.
11. Shrimp Po’boy
Ok, so it’s not a NOLA-quality po’boy, but the cocktail sauce and fresh ingredients make this far and away one of the best shrimp po’boys you can regularly get hundreds of miles from an ocean.
12. Pulled Pork “Q”
For us, the white BBQ sauce just didn’t really mesh as well with the pork, and there’s so many options for great pulled pork in just about any Southern town. This is one you can maybe skip, but if you want to try white BBQ sauce on something other than chicken or shrimp, you’re good to go.
13. The Royal
This is a classy Subway Club. Cold cuts piled in there, and there’s just a lot better options. At least there’s creole mustard to liven it up and put a twinkle in the old eye.
14. Pesto Chicken
The chicken is all well and good but there are so many other better options. Isn’t pesto made out of, like, ground leaves and oil or something weird?
15. Turkey Breast
Goat cheese, no thanks. That’s a bridge too far for RCR.
16. Smoked Ham
The smoked ham is rated this lower because of just how basic it is. My kids split this sandwich every time we go, so thanks for that.
17. Choice Roast Beef
No shame in the game here but clearly not a specialty. Arby’s and Danver’s are the GOAT’s of the roast beef game.
18. Farmer’s Market
There are so many married bros on this blog that anything related to a farmer’s market gives us PTSD. It’s a vegetarian sammie, meaning we balanced out our number one ranking of a no-meat sammie with a last place finish as well.
What’d we get right? What is your favorite? Tweet at @RedCupRebellion or leave it in the comments.