At Potbelly Sandwich Shop Double Meat Might be the Way to Go
You can’t deny it, people love Potbelly (44th btw 3rd+Lex). There has been a line out the door everyday since it first opened last week (though I’m sure eventually it will die down). I was sort of on the fence about Potbelly at first. On one hand, from reading some of your comments, Potbelly seems like a slightly above average Subway (my Chicago friends think Potbelly is just meh) but then Andrea really enjoyed her sandwich at the Downtown store. Seeing so many people excited about Potbelly gave me hope about the sandwiches but I was still a little skeptical.
If you’re not familiar with Potbelly, they do sandwiches with optional toppings like tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, hot peppers, and Italian seasonings. You could also get the same meat and toppings as a salad. They also have soups, chili, shakes, and sweets.
Before getting to the counter, a person with a touch-pad will take your order (sans the toppings) and once you get to the counter, your sandwich will already be waiting for you. That is when you tell the sandwich maker what toppings you would like to be included in the sandwich. Then you pay and consume your sandwich.
The very first sandwich I got was the roast beef with provolone cheese ($5.50) in a multi-grain bread with all the toppings (mayo, hot peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, pickle oil and Italian seasoning.) Like Andrea’s sandwich, the grease pretty much soaked through the two layers of papers.
The sandwich maker did a good job at balancing all the ingredients in the sandwich. I was able to taste most of the things inside the sandwich (except for the provolone) and it was darn good. The roast beef was great, the hot peppers added some nice heat to each bite and the lettuce and tomatoes cooled down your mouth from the heat of the hot peppers.
Make sure to grab a lot of napkins because it will get greasy and messy.
Besides the typical roast beef, turkey or smoked ham fillings, Potbelly also offers what they called their “signature” sandwiches. I was intrigued by their Pizza sandwich ($5.80) which had pepperoni, sausages, ham, marinara sauce, provolone cheese, mushrooms & Italian seasoning. Just like a pizza the sandwich had just enough marinara sauce to not overwhelm it. All the different meats were really flavorful and the cheese melted really nicely. I’m usually not a fan of pizza that isn’t a pizza (like pizza burger or pizza burrito) but this was actually quite good.
At Potbelly you have a choice of regular sized bread or the thin-cut which is thinner. Also if you prefer more meat in your sandwiches, for $1.80 more you can go “double meat”! For the third sandwich I decided to go the simpler route. I got the thin-cut bread (though it doesn’t look any different than the regular bread), double smoked ham, swiss cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato ($7.30). I really think I found the winner. Getting double the amount of ham in the sandwich was a great idea. The thinly sliced ham was salty and flavorful. Without the hot peppers, pickled oil and Italian seasoning getting in the way of the flavors of the ham this was a really good sandwich.
After eating three sandwiches from Potbelly, I’m definitely glad they’re so close to my office. They make solid tasting sandwiches with really good and delicious ingredients. There are definitely other tasty sandwich choices in the area but it’s hard to beat the price at Potbelly.
The + (What somebody who likes this would say)
- I’m from Chicago and a huge fan of Potbelly.
- Double meat?! Heck yeah!
- Who doesn’t like cheap sandwiches?
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- Meh, I hate chain restaurants.
- Not a fan of greasy messy sandwiches.
- They’re just sandwiches, I don’t get the hype.
- ….and the sandwiches all sound like pretty standard deli sandwiches, why do I want to wait 25mins for that?
Potbelly, 150 E 44th St (646) 289-4202