Lunch: Sandwich House Makes Surprisingly Good … Sandwiches

I’m exploring far, far downtown eats for an article I’m writing, which is how I ended up at Sandwich House today, on recommendation.

I’ll be totally honest, I kind of wasn’t impressed. Salads in take-away boxes sparsely fill a front-facing refrigerated display case that I’d think normally sandwich shop might use to show off its selection of premium meats, cheeses, condiments, etc. (Come to think of it, where were the goods? Back fridge?)

photophoto(3)The restaurant was mostly empty, and something about the signage and menu design (cleanliness of design? clip art?) vaguely worried me. I felt relief to see the daily specials sign at the register.

photo(2)The sandwich menu is huge, so I figured, what better place to begin than with a special: half a roast beef sandwich, a small pea soup and a diet Pepsi set me back a mere $8.75. I left … not knowing what to expect, frankly.

And then I unwrapped my sandwich. The roast beef was rare it’d left a little bloody pool in my butcher paper. I was not expeacting that. For a medium-rare beef eater, though, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If nothing else, it’s a sign of freshness; roast beef is intended to be sliced ultra-thin and ultra-pink, but the stuff you normally get in the store is either overcooked or dried out.

The roast beef juice soaked into the hearty baker’s sort of multi-grain bread that’s been smearead with Russian dressing; also tucked in there were roasted red peppers, nice leafy greens and … basil. A really thoughtful sandwich, actually, with first-class ingredients. I’ll pass along the recommendation.

TIP: The soup was good, but on an ordinary day I’d stick with what’s in the name — or at least begin there. Save the other options for that day you can’t do another sandwich.

Bloody beef photo after the jump:

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Breakfast: Lowfat Yoga Bunny Pret Pot (Say What?)

Yeah, that’s actually what it’s called. Kind of cute, right? And totally ridiculous at the same time.

The Low Fat Yoga Bunny Pret Pot ($2.54, 240 cal.) beat out Pret a Manger‘s poppy-seed frosted orange and lemon muffin ($2.49, 600 cal.), and the prettier Pret pots, in which the yogurt is layered with colorful fruit compotes and big chunks of granola.

photo(6)The cheddar and apple slim (half) size — 305 calories and $2.59 — did give the Yoga Bunny a good run for its money, but at the end of the day, Yoga Bunny won with a play my heart: I have fond memories of waking up at the Hoxton Hotel in London not too long ago to discover a complimentary breakfast bag hanging on the door that contained water, a banana and … a Pret pot.

No doubt the Yoga Bunny Pret Pot is filled with good stuff — Ronnybrook Farm yogurt, slivered almonds, julienned green apples, dried cranberries and raisins — but what the description doesn’t tell you is that the cranberries and raisins plump up a bit in the yogurt, still retaining the sweetness of their dried forms. For a moment I mistook are-hydrated cranberry for a cherry, and that’s a compliment.

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TIP: Add honey. I topped off my Pret pot with a healthy pour before heading back to the office, and it was absolutely delicious.