July 16, 2014

Mark's Ultimate Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich

Piled high with fresh in-season marinated sweet onions and garden tomatoes, these Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwiches are the ultimate in simplicity and summer yumminess.

One thing my husband Mark is going to miss when we move in a couple of weeks are the onion & tomato sandwiches he loves to get at The WoodShed restaurant in Stanley, NC.  See, they're kinda an institution in these parts.  Super simple.  No fuss.  And totally yummy.  To my husband, they're the ultimate marinated onion and tomato sandwiches.

So, since I'm sweet sometimes, I decided to figure out how to make them before we move away.  The hubby says I have them recreated beautifully!  In all their super simple yumminess and glory.
 The WoodShed is a no fuss, not fancy, small-town, good-cookin' steakhouse right beside the railroad tracks in Stanley, NC.  And it's one of my husband's absolute favorite places to go.  One reason he loves it? ... because he can get a huuuuuuuge steak cooked extra rare, just the way he likes it.

Another reason he loves it?

Because he can eat all the onion & tomato sandwiches he wants.  Piled high with marinated onions and tomatoes on ever-so-lightly toasted bread ... you know, so it can soak up all the deliciousness of the marinade, turning into just the right amount of sogginess in the bread without becoming too  soggy.

Now that it's Vidalia onion season, I surprised the hubby by making him his ultimate marinated onion & tomato sandwiches at home.  If you can't get Vidalia onions ... grown only in a particular region of Georgia, choose a mild, sweet onion available in your area.

Making these yummy sandwiches is simple ... and this is one case where simple is the best.

Simply slice up some onions and some tomatoes in rounds.  I've found the easiest way to slice a tomato is with a serrated bread knife ... or other serrated knife, if you don't have a bread knife .

The 'teeth' on a serrated knife slice through the tomato so easily and nicely, without squishing the bejeepers out of it.

Just use a back-and-forth sawing motion with the serrated knife, and you'll have really nice 'clean' tomato slices!

Throw the onion and tomato slices in with a sugar-and-vinegar marinade and let them sit in the refrigerator for at least several hours.

When you're ready to devour assemble your sandwiches, very lightly toast some bread.  And I do mean very  lightly toast the bread ... like to the point where you may just barely be beginning  to see some golden brown toastiness.  You want the bread to say nice and soft inside, but give the outside just a touch of extra sturdiness from the toasting to be able to absorb marinade juice from the onion and tomatoes.

Butter the toasted bread ...

... and then lay on those wonderful marinated tomatoes ...

... and marinated sweet Vidalia onions!

Ooooooooh, that bread gets sooooo good when it soaks up the marinade juice.

Sprinkle with some salt & pepper ...

... top with the other bread slice, and you're good to go.

Good to go to enjoy Mark's Ultimate Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich.  Simplicity at its best.  

Since we won't be able to get to The WoodShed any more, I have a sneaking suspicion I'll be asked to whip these simple beauties up quite frequently.

And I certainly won't mind. ...  As long as he'll share.

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Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwiches
Source:  Inspired by The WoodShed restaurant
(Printable recipe)

  • 2 Vidalia onions {or other mild, sweet onions}
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes
  • 1/2 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/4 c. white vinegar
  • 1 c. water
  • sourdough bread {or other 'crusty' sturdy bread, or regular whole wheat or white bread}
  • butter
  • salt & pepper
  1. Thinly slice onions into rings and place in a medium-sized bowl. Slice tomatoes approximately 1/4-inch thick. Place in bowl on top of onions.
  2. Combine sugar, vinegar, and water; stir until sugar dissolves. Pour over onions and tomatoes. Cover and chill at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. When ready to prepare a sandwich, slice two pieces of bread and VERY lightly toast each slice ... you want the bread still soft on the inside but slightly toasted on the outside to give it just a bit more 'sturdiness' to soak up the marinade juices from the onions and tomatoes. Butter one side of each slice of toasted bread.
  4. Place a layer of tomato slices on the buttered side of one slice of bread; sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Top with a layer of onions; sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Don't worry about marinade juice getting all over the bread ... marinade soaking into the bread makes the sandwich sooooo good! And remember ... that's why we toasted the bread.    :-)
  5. Top with the remaining slice of bread, buttered side down. Serve immediately.

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Please enjoy these other summer vegetable dishes from The Kitchen is My Playground ...
Green Bean, Walnut, & Feta Salad

Stewed Zucchini & Summer Squash


  1. Yum, yum, and yum!!! I'll definitely be trying these when we get our first ripe tomatoes.

    1. Enjoy them, Mindy!! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  2. I love a fresh sandwich like this one. It is light and tasty and really hits the spot. Blessings, Catherine

    1. Thank you so much, Catherine. Summer at its simple best!

  3. I have fresh tomatoes that are just waiting for this awesome recipe! Thanks for sharing with Full Plate Thursday, I always look forward to your visits!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen


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