Fried chicken livers, gorgonzola, cream cheese, rosemary, orange marmalade, roasted tomatoes, deep-fried salami, hot sauce, lettuce, onion, vinaigrette, and … wait for it … mayo. You may think you’ve died and sailed to sandwich heaven on a steak roll, but really you’ve just entered the mind of sandwich genius Peter McAndrews of Philly’s Paesano’s. He calls this gratuitously good, over-the-top sandwich the Liverace. Hoagies, heroes, grinders, Dagwoods … time and time again, serious sandwiches at superlative sandwich shops stole our hearts and taste buds in every city we visited in 2013. Even though sandwiches are casual, the best aren’t casually crafted or constructed. James Beard Award-winning Chef Rob Evans gave up Maine’s destination restaurant, Hugo’s, to focus on Duckfat in Portland—a 25-seat sandwich shop where he makes everything from his own fish sauce, soda, and charcuterie, to a dozen varieties of soft-boiled-egg mayonnaise. And yes, we had a flight of mayo. Dan Sauer’s 7a Foods in Martha’s Vineyard is a dynamic and free-spirited sandwich shop and bakery where fiction fantastically becomes fact. His Liz Lemon Sandwich (of the “30 Rock” TV show character’s dreams) is delectably realized: pastrami, turkey, swiss, coleslaw, Russian dressing, crumbled potato chips and all—on marble rye. Hich Elbetri of Sandwhich in Chapel Hill, North Carolina served us a summer sandwich the likes of which we’d never seen before. Elbetri’s Corn and Maytag sando is filled with sweet corn sautéed in butter, crispy pancetta, cremini mushrooms, oven-dried tomatoes, a little cheddar, and Maytag blue cheese. Now we can’t imagine summer without it. David Mitchell’s eponymous deli in Nashville offers a Banh Mi of epic proportions—the pork shoulder confit filling is cooked in Benton's bacon fat. The sandwich trend is shaping up to be a high steaks game of one-upmanship in decadence.