The Best Sandwich in Redlands

Allright, I’m taking a break from the usual insurance-related topic I normally write about to dive into something I’m really passionate about: food.  I love food and I love walking from my office to nearby restaurants in Redlands to get it.  While I like to eat many types of foods, one thing I’m really into right now – and what this article will focus on  – is the sandwich.  So, what is the best sandwich in Redlands?

First, I haven’t tried every sandwich in Redlands, so there very well may be a delicious sandwich out there I would love that has not yet met its demise in my mouth.  If you know of one, please let me know, and I may consider expanding my list.

Next, you may wonder why such-and-such sandwich doesn’t appear on this list, and, oh my, how could you forget the ABC Sandwich from XYZ Restaurant?  Well, here are the rules of the game, i.e., what it took to get on the list:

1) Hamburgers are not allowed.  While a burger is technically a sandwich (and delicious), a burger needs a list of its own.  Right now, the focus is on non-burger sandwiches only.

2) Breakfast sandwiches are also not allowed.  I’m only talking about a sandwich that you would find on a lunch and/or dinner menu.  I do love a good breakfast sandwich but like the burger above, that would be a different list for a different day.

3) Sandwiches must be from independent restaurants.  Subway makes a great sandwich to be sure, but you can get a sandwich from them in any city on this planet.  This is a list about sandwiches made in restaurants based in Redlands – the beloved quaint town in which I work – only.

4) I must be able to walk from my office near State Street on a normal hour lunch break to get it.  If I can’t walk there on my lunch break, I can’t include it on this  list.  Fortunately, I walk fast and have decent endurance for a guy my age, so my walking radius is about a mile out, allowing me to approach nearly every restaurant in Downtown Redlands.

OK, now that you know the rules of the game, here are my favorite sandwiches in Redlands.

ONE – THE ROCKY BALBOA

Restaurant: Saverino’s Italian Deli & Market

I can’t say enough about this sandwich.  I love it.  It’s the only thing I’ve ever gotten at Saverinos in my almost four years of going there, and they have a solid looking menu.  I keep wanting to try other sandwiches, but every time I get close, I think about how much I’ll miss not having the Rocky Balboa.  What is the Rocky Balboa?  It’s a Philly Cheese Steak.  They toast and butter the bread, they melt the cheese, and serve it up with a side of chips.  It’s freaking delicious, and I love it when I finish the sandwich and notice there are pieces of cheese, peppers, and steak that have fallen out and I get to eat them up with a fork (or my hands).  It’s like having seconds.

TWO – THE BBQ PORK

Restaurant: State Street Deli

I’ve been going to State Street Deli since it opened over ten years ago.  Since then, they’ve moved up the street and gone through two new owners, and I have to say: the food still rocks (and the new owner Jeff is super nice too).  What makes the BBQ Pork sandwich so special are the little crispy onion things.  They, along with the toasted bread, crunch in your mouth and make it a textural experience as well as a tasty experience.  I just wish they made a 12 inch version… no I don’t – I’m tracking my calories.  The size is just fine.

THREE – THE SMOKEY TURKEY

Restaurant: Hogi Yogi.

I know, I know, I said that I’m talking about independent restaurants only, and technically Hogi Yogi is a franchise with other locations.  But last I checked, there are like two or three other locations and they’re all in Utah, so I’m  giving a pass on this situation.  Hogi Yogi has a ton of great sandwiches including the Reuben, but my continual go-to is the Smokey Turkey on Asiago Cheese Bread that they bake right there in the restaurant.  You get to customize your sandwich, so my Smokey Turkey may not be anything like yours, but whether you put American cheese or Provolone, sprouts or lettuce: rest assured you’re going to get really good turkey in between those slices of bread.

FOUR – THE BEEF MEATLOAF SANDWICH

Restaurant: The Mitten Building

I didn’t even know that the Mitten Building had a restaurant.  Did you?  I just found out this piece of information a few weeks ago.  I’ve been to the landmark building many times for weddings and special events, but little did I know that tucked around the back is a lunch-only restaurant that’s been opened for a few years now.  How glad am I that I was introduced to this place?  So glad I go there every week now.  The meatloaf sandwich rocks.  It’s got cheese, it’s got caramelized onions, and the bread is to die for.  This place is definitely the most hipster of all the restaurants on this list, so I feel like I should describe the sandwich with words like “notes,” “rustic” and “lovely” but I’ll just stick to what I know: super good.  One thing I do find fascinating is how a meatloaf sandwich is so much like a hamburger, but is clearly not a hamburger.

FIVE – THE BLUE CRAB BURGER

Restaurant: Caprice Cafe

Hey, you said burgers weren’t allowed on this list.  Yes, I know, I did say that.  But this isn’t really a burger.  They call it that but it’s made of crab, and in my book, if it’s not made of beef it’s not a burger.  This crab cake sandwich comes with avocados and a sweet & spicy sauce, and it’s the bomb.  If you’re thinking about stopping by the Caprice, just know that it’s a little more upscale than the other restaurants I’ve been talking about.  You may want to take your special someone to the Caprice on a date, or take your prospective clients there to impress.  The Caprice is an impressive place, and just about everything there is completely on-point, including the bread they serve as an appetizer.  Man, it’s so good.  If you like crab cakes, you’ll love the Blue Crab Burger.  Give it a try and know that you’re enjoying one of the finer things in life.

There you go – the top five sandwiches in downtown Redlands that are within walking distance from my office.  I’d write more, but I’m getting hungry…. maybe today I’ll try something different and get a salad….. hahahahahaha!  Yeah, right.  It’s time for a sandwich.

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ELI GILLESPIE

I’m the Commercial Producer and Manager at Gillespie Insurance Services. If you have questions or want to know where to grab lunch, please call me at 909-793-6878 or email at eli@giscoverage.com.

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