You could stand on a corner and look around until a restaurant sign draws you in. But we've got a better idea. Each week, Santee Patch picks a great restaurant, either in town or nearby, that is worth checking out. Here's this week's choice:
Overview: The Sandwich Bags is on the east side of Santee, one might drive right by if not for the big sandwich flag waving to the street. A former fine-dining manager, the owner opened shop six years ago inspired to provide fresh, wholesome food daily to the community. They offer breakfast and lunch sandwiches, hearty homemade soups and a selection of sides one might want in a brown bagged lunch, chips, potato salad, etc. For full menu visit www.sandwichbagsdeli.com.
Decor: The restaurant is modest, with a colorful and descriptive sandwich board featuring their "specialties" and soup of the day. Order at the counter for to-go or eat in, all food is made fresh to order.
Entrees and Sides: We sampled two sandwiches, one specialty and one classic.
The classic club sandwich was a good example of a basic sandwich, the usual turkey, ham, bacon, cheese with mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, red onion on choice of bread. The wheat bread was soft and good, not freshly baked in house, nor toasted. The bacon wasn't as thick as I like, the deli meat was fine, overall I would probably not order the sandwich again (then again, Steven ordered it and gobbled it up quick).
The Specialty Indian Summer was a good deal better. Tuna with mango chutney, slivered almonds, curry mayo, lettuce and tomato on wheat. I enjoyed the sandwich, though I would have added a lot more curry and mango flavor, I missed the intensity of flavors I was expecting with the description.
Overall I would order it again, though for $6.95 I was expecting a bit more.
The chicken vegetable soup was the star of the meal. I was pleasantly surprised since the menu made no indication the soup was from scratch, I assumed it would be a massed produced boxed soup from a large food distribution company. In fact, the soup was so reminiscent of the soup mom used to make for us as kids, big hearty chunks of vegetables, chicken and a rich chicken stock that you can immediately taste is from scratch, especially since it was under salted and I had to add a considerable amount of salt. Pre-packaged soups have excessive amounts of salt and the broths are usually thinned, the richness and depth of flavor in the broth was so satisfying. I would go back just for the soup, a steal at $3.75 for a large cup.
With a lot of options to choose from and a passionate cook in the kitchen, my mind is not yet made up about Sandwich Bags. I will be back to sample more offerings, and as the weather is getting cold it is really making me crave a cup of soup.
Service: So friendly and welcoming, it's a "mom and pop" establishment that focuses on freshness and quality to nourish their customers daily. The fire captain and many members of Santee's community were eating lunch while we were there- not an empty seat in the house!
They accept phone orders and offer catering services, call 619-258-0102 for more information.
Located at 10769 Woodside Ave. #108 Santee, CA 92071, just off of the 67 freeway, exit Woodside Ave.