Staff Opinion: Stop pretending a slice of bread is a sandwich

By Molly Lowney | March 19, 2018 1:24pm

Molly Lowney is a photographer for The Beacon. Photo courtesy of Molly Lowney.

I vividly remember that fateful day I walked into the terminal of the San Diego airport after flying in from Chicago. I was starving. There, in front of me, was a beautiful Einstein Bros Bagels, and my heart soared. 

I quickly ordered a warm ham and cheese bagel sandwich, but when I received my order, I was shaken to my very core. It was not a sandwich. It was merely two separated bagel slices with ham and melted cheese on top. It was bagel toast. Bagel flatbread, but not a sandwich. My father informed me it was an “open-faced sandwich,” which I immediately rejected. 

Open-faced sandwiches are NOT sandwiches, plain and simple. They do not deserve to have “sandwich” in their name because they only fulfill half the definition of a sandwich. According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the primary definition of a sandwich is “two or more slices of bread or a split roll having a filling in between” emphasis on BETWEEN (not just resting on top of the bread exposed to the elements). 

This argument has been hotly debated throughout the web, with online magazines and publications asking the tough question, ‘What is a sandwich?’ If we let open-faced sandwiches live in this category, what will be next? Will frozen yogurt be considered ice cream, will mac and cheese qualify as Italian food?

I strongly believe open-faced sandwiches are not sandwiches at all, and while they may be tasty, they deserve a more accurate name. Perhaps we could place them in the category of flatbreads or “fancy toast.” In conclusion, open-faced sandwiches are not sandwiches, and I am now taking submissions for more accurate names. 

Molly Lowney is a photographer for The Beacon. She can be reached at