Walking into the Sandwhich Emporium was an experience in itself; without any electric lights above the tables, the only light in the entire room came from the windows, which only lined one side of the room. A small television mounted on the wall was playing random channels with advertisements at a distractingly high volume. The dingy and poorly lit environment accented the restaurant’s tables, which were all dark, wooden and slightly sticky, and the soda machine in the back of the room had flies buzzing around it, which I found really offputting and gross. The shop’s overall environment was extremely sketchy and dirty — definitely not a prime first date spot.
First, my friends and I ordered the Southwest Chicken Chipotle ($8.50) sandwich, the California ($7.99) sandwich and the Mighty Italian ($7.99) sandwich from the menu, which had a wide variety of sandwiches. The wait time was only 15 minutes for all three sandwiches, which I liked.
When I first tried the Southwest Chicken Chipotle sandwich, I was dismayed to find out that the chipotle sauce was extremely runny and dripped on the plate as soon as I picked it up. However, the sandwich itself made up for the messiness with the flavor. The bread was thick and crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and it balanced well with the spiciness of the pepperjack cheese and chipotle sauce.
For someone with a low spice tolerance like me, this was the perfect sandwich to eat without needing to chug a glass of water. Although it was 50 cents more than the other two sandwiches we tried, paying more for the Southwest Chicken Chipotle wasn’t worth it, in my opinion, but it was still a solid sandwich.
We tried the California sandwich next, and I was pleasantly surprised by the large sizes of the two sandwiches so far. The halved sandwich showed all of the ingredients — turkey, provolone, avocado, tomato — which all looked extremely appealing and fresh. The sandwich itself was creamy and sweet from the avocados and provolone. The only complaint I had about the sandwich was that there was an imbalance in the ratio of turkey to avocado; the excess of avocado made it too creamy, which could have been fixed by the addition of more turkey.
The last sandwich we ordered was the Mighty Italian sandwich. Like the other sandwiches, it was large and a generous size for the low price. Similar to the Southwest Chicken Chipotle sandwich, there was too much Italian dressing, which leaked onto the plate and made for a messy, less-enjoyable, eating experience. But the overall taste was enjoyable and the bread was the same type as the Southwest Chicken Chipotle’s bread. The different meats like the salami, capicola and the smoked ham were salty and spicy and paired well with the mild-tasting bread.
Sandwich Emporium serves undeniably high quality sandwiches, but its ominous and unpleasant environment made the eating experience less enjoyable. Takeout is a better option.