Sunday, August 13, 2006


Funny Name. Serious Sandwich.

Website: [See website for locations and hours]

Delis are a dime a dozen and they all pretty much do the same thing. Or they did until the 1971 when Schlotzsky’s opened a store in Austin, TX. The first time I had a Schlotzsky’s sandwich was the late 70s. We were playing a gig in Dallas. While we were setting up, the guy who booked us asked if we’d like something to eat. Of course we did and he came back with Schlotzsky’s sandwiches, the original. I was skeptical, but I reserved judgment and took a bite.

Before that moment, I would have laughed at the thought of sending out for sandwiches. “Heck, we can make sandwiches. If you’re going through the trouble, get some real food,” I would have said. After that moment, I no longer regarded sandwiches with such a cavalier insouciance. It was a watershed experience in my understanding of the nature of sandwiches and their place in the culinary and gastronomic universe.

First you must understand that they make their own bread. From scratch. Every day. And of course we al realize that the bread is the foundation of the sandwich. A sandwich cannot achieve greatness with indifferent bread anymore than a Motown band can achieve greatness with a marginal rhythm section. To that wonderful sourdough bread add lean smoked ham, Genoa and cotto salamis, and melted cheddar, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses layered with black olives, red onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard and their signature dressing. (If this sounds familiar to faithful readers of Eating Fred, Texas, note that when designing the sandwich many years ago, they based it on the muffaletta.) The way to go is the meal deal, with their own brand chips (plain, don’t want to sully the palate with chemicals attempting to taste like something else) and iced tea.

In the 30 years since I first bit into a Schlotzsky’s sandwich I have eaten them all over the place, including in Honolulu, where they had a store in the Ala Moana Food Court up until 2003 or so. The menu has expanded to include all other manner of sandwiches, divers pizza and sundry soups and salads. I’m sure they are all excellent. I wouldn’t know. Why eat pizza when I can have The Original?

OK, if that wasn’t enough to send you straight to the website looking for a location, be advised that they provide free WiFi internet access in many of their stores. You know I’m all over that. And why the heck not, I’d like to know. If I can still recall a specific sandwich experience 30 years later, you know it is a consummation devoutly to be wished. So do more than wish. Find one. Consume it. Be the sandwich.

1 comment:

kelly said...

I love these folks- and their bread.
wow, I didn't know they had been around longer than me. Just think, you sitting around having a schlotzky's and me not even born yet...
the pizza is all about the crust by the way- I advise you try it the next time you think of dialing delivery (then again, that may prevent us from reading your Pizza HUT blog entry, so I digress..)
::sending smirks your way::