There's a lot of sandwich chains competing for your munching money. I've had most of them and the race for the top spot is not unlike Excitebike and closer than you might think. But for me the result has been decided as Potbelly Sandwich Works is my personal favorite. The menu may not be as extensive as some places, but they more than make up for that insufficiency with quality ingredients and craft. I also really like the interior. It feels like a deli mixed with an Ivy League library. At my local location there's a very small stage in the corner where they'll have live solo singer/songwriter acts perform and adorning the walls near it are bookshelves with some choice titles (thought about leaving one of my own there).
My wife will usually get a salad and I'll always end up chowing down on some of it also. My son Owen likes to dig in, going after chickpeas, tomatoes, bacon, and other morsels he can nab with his tiny fingers. This time she tried the Farmhouse Salad with comes with all-natural chicken, hard-boiled egg, bacon, blue cheese, tomatoes, red onion, and cucumbers. With the buttermilk ranch it was both delicious and flavorful.
Here's my spread! I order the Turkey BLT on wheat. Now, at one point this was the advertised special sandwich (which is ever-changing) but since then it doesn't appear on the menu, I still order it by name and that seems to do the trick and I'd certainly recommend it. I also got some Zapp's Mesquite Bar-B-Que chips (Owen was definitely a fan) and their potato salad which is out of this world. Seriously, whether you love it or loathe it most of the time, you simply need to try theirs, it's creamy and smooth and a very nice accompaniment to a sandwich.
Sandwich perfection. Besides the turkey, bacon, lettuce, and tomato, I also got mayo, pickles (theirs are long and thin), onions, and Italian seasoning sprinkled on for the hell of it. Their sandwiches come in two sizes and its always a good idea to go "Bigs" which is 30% more food for just a little more. I've tried the Tuna Salad, Meatball, and Pizza Sandwich, but right now my easy choice is this Turkey BLT.
Brandon "Big Boss" Babel: Driver, get me to Potbelly!
Driver: Sure thing, sir! Uh.. what about the bound and gagged man in the trunk?
"Big Boss": Let him wait! AHAHAHA!
Overall, I really like this place. It's not a fancy night out or a guilty pleasure burger joint or diner, it's a sandwich shop no pretensions; but rather on your lunch break, grabbing food to go, or dining in with friends or family, it's a solid option. Part of the reason I personally connect to it is often when my wife, our kids, and I go out to the nearby mall and shopping area, it's usually a staple in our day out as we'll grab lunch there so it holds a special place for me. You must try some of their baked goods, grab one for dessert or to take home for a late-night snack, my wife and I are both crazy for their Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie, it's moist and rich and we never visit without getting at least two!
Overall Grade: A-