Call it what you want, a sandwich is a pretty universal creation. Here are five international iterations of the American staple.

Call it what you want, a sandwich is a pretty universal creation. Here are five international iterations of the American staple.

Banh Mi

Indochine Cafe

Vietnam's occupation-1,000 years by China, 100 years by France-helped influence its famous sandwich, says Phuong Mai, owner of Indochine Cafe, which serves a classic version. French butter (made in house) lines bread that's crunchy-on-the-outside, airy-on-the-inside and filled with pork that's barbequed in traditional Chinese style. Layered on top is creamy pate, crunchy jalapenos, cilantro and sweet pickled carrots and daikon radish. $8, 561 S. Hamilton Road, Whitehall, 614-231-7357

Chicharron Peruano

Si Senor

Tender braised-then-fried pork shoulder is the main event in this modified Peruvian sandwich. For the version at his Downtown restaurant Si Senor, co-owner Guillermo Perez replaces pork rinds with shoulder, eschews the traditional deep-fried sweet potatoes for house-made sweet potato mayo and renames the salsa criolla from back home to "pickled onions" to make the sandwich approachable for a North American palate. $6.50, sisenorlatinfusion.com

Shawarma sandwich

Lutfi Ayoub's Pita Hut Grille

Shaved slices of lamb and turkey roasted with Jerusalem-based spices join homemade hummus, lettuce, tomato, onion, red and white cabbage and a customary pickle inside a pita at Lutfi Ayoub's Pita Hut Grille in Beechwold. Considered a high-end meal in Jerusalem, this sandwich is served aside a pile of American French fries. "We eat them back home," he says of the side dish. "But not like you guys do it here." $8.99, pitahutgrille.com

Arepa

El Arepazo

In El Arepazo's straight-from-Venezuela sandwich, two round discs of grilled cornmeal serve as bread for a mixture of peppers, onion and beef, chicken or pork. Lettuce, banana peppers and cheese finish off the tangy dish that is considered a formal food back in Caracas. Try it at El Arepazo's Downtown or Gahanna outposts, or at lunchtime in their Brewery District spot. $6.50, elarepazolatingrill.com

Al Pastor Torta

Los Gauchos

Legend has it the torta-a Mexican BLT-originated in Puebla, just outside Mexico City. Los Gauchos' version (available in their North Side and Gahanna shops and West Side food truck) of the regional sandwich is typical of the Capital City, says manager Vince Fasone. Cold ingredients (lettuce, tomato, onion, avocado and mayo) meet hot (al pastor, melted mozzarella and refried beans) between grilled telera, an oblong white bread. $7, los-guachos.com