Mark's Ultimate Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich

July 16, 2014
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.

Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich Image

One thing my husband Mark is going to miss when we move away from the Charlotte area in a couple of weeks are the onion & tomato sandwiches he loves to get at The WoodShed restaurant in Stanley, NC.

See, those sandwiches are kind of 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 to be able to take this piece of the area with us, 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.

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.

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 is because he can get a huuuuuuuge steak cooked extra rare, just the way he likes it.

And 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 ... lightly toasted so that bread can soak up all the deliciousness of the marinade, turning that bread into just the right amount of sogginess without becoming too soggy.

Tomato Sandwich with marinated Vidalia Onions Image

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 which are 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 certainly one case where simple is the best.

To make some of this tastiness, start by marinating together some tomatoes (preferably garden-fresh) and sweet Vidalia onions.

Slice the onions and 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 .

Serrated Knife for Slicing Tomatoes Image

The teeth on a serrated knife slice through the tomato so easily and nicely, without squashing 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.

Bowl of Marinated Vidalia Onion and Tomato Slices Image

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.

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

This is one place where I depart from The Woodshed's classic sandwich.  The Woodshed serves their onion & tomato sandwich on very lightly toasted whole wheat bread.  And while that tastes amazing, I prefer our sandwiches on a bit sturdier bread. -- And choose to make ours with a loaf of crusty sourdough.

Whatever bread you choose to use, butter that bread once it's out of the toaster.

Toasted Buttered Bread Image

Then lay on a layer of those wonderful marinated tomatoes, and heap on the marinated sweet Vidalia onions.

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

Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwiches Image

Then sprinkle on some salt and pepper, top it all with the other slice of bread, and you're good to go.

Good to go to enjoy Mark's Ultimate Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich, that is!  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 for the hubby quite frequently.  And I certainly won't mind. -- As long as he's willing to share.

Ultimate Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich Image

Thank you for stopping by The Kitchen is My Playground. We'd love to have you back soon!

vidalia onion tomato sandwich recipe, marinated Vidalia onion tomato sandwich, Southern tomato onion sandwich
Yield: varies
Mark's Ultimate Marinated Vidalia Onion & Tomato Sandwich

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.
Prep time: 3 hourCook time: Total time: 3 H


  • 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!
  5. Top with the remaining slice of bread, buttered side down. Serve immediately.
Created using The Recipes Generator

You might also like these other summer vegetable recipes:

Marinated Vidalia Onion Salad

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.

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

  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

  4. NOWHERE EVEN CLOSE to woodshed onion tomato sandwiches, we have eaten there for over 20 years, do not know where you was trying to go with this concotion,with all the sugar one would have diabetes ,also any cook knows that one does not put tomatoes in refrigerator NOT EVER.....even to marinate tomatoes should never ever go in frig, UHHGGG TOO sweet, disappointed greatly.

  5. I grew up in Belmont and my parents always went to the Woodshed for steaks. I did not know they had sandwiches too. Fun place!

    1. Mark always said they were great. The Woodshed had a sandwich bar just for these.

  6. This sounds delicious! I particularly wonder how the sitting for three hours will make the tastes mix well.


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