I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve already El Paso-ized this place. I’ve been calling it Potbelly’s for the last week or so. Potbelly Sandwich Shop is a franchise from Chicago that opened a new location at 1373 George Dieter (in the Las Palmas Marketplace area, next to Chico’s Tacos).
Ordering at Potbelly is like ordering at Quiznos and Subway, except they only offer one size of sandwich. All sandwiches cost a little over $4 and do not include a side. You first choose your sandwich, then bread (they offer white and multigrain), the sandwich runs through the toaster, and then you choose your toppings.You can also ask for a sandwich to be “thin cut,” which is 1/3 less bread. Toppings can include mayo, mustard, hot peppers, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, and oil & Italian seasoning. The peppers are actually hot and come with crisp carrots that are also pickled.
Sides include the soups of the day ($3 for a cup, $4 for a bowl), Zapp’s Potato Chips, coleslaw, macaroni salad, and potato salad. Soups include broccoli cheddar (not vegetarian), chicken noodle, garden vegetable (vegan), southwestern chicken, and spicy southwest veggie (vegetarian), and chili. They also have several vegetarian salads, including one that has chickpeas and blue cheese. Potbelly also serves, shakes, malts, smoothies, and cookies.
I of course ordered the Vegetarian on multigrain bread (the regular bread is vegan), but was disappointed by the lack of veggies. It has mushrooms, Swiss, Provolone, and American cheese, and that’s it. At least at Subway I can get bell peppers, olives, cucumbers, spinach, and at some locations, a veggie patty. I thought that the sandwich was a little small, but liked the bread a lot. The Italian seasoning made it tasty and the hot peppers gave a good amount of heat. I also tried Zapp’s Voodoo flavored chips. I liked the Cajun flavor, but they were a little salty. They tasted like jalapeno flavored chips with paprika. Best of all, they sell Orangina! Orangina is a slightly sparking orange flavored beverage that is so addicting. They stopped selling it at Sun Harvest, and now I can’t find it anywhere in town!
Unfortunately, my partner found a long hair in her sandwich. A staff member passing by, noticed this and quickly took the sandwich away and brought a new one. No one apologized and we were not compensated for the incident. I couldn’t believe we received such poor customer service on opening day. The restaurant wasn’t busy at all and the owners were present.
I’m not sure if I’ll return, except to pick up a bottle of Orangina. The vegetarian sandwich is small and unremarkable. Meat eaters might enjoy the Pizza Sandwich (pepperoni, marinara, Provolone, & mushrooms), A Wreck (salami, roast beef, turkey, ham, & Swiss), or the Italian (Capicola, Mortadella, Pepperoni, Salami, & Provolone).
By the way, I had a hard time resisting the urge to type “Potbelly’s” into this post.