Take a look at a sandwich. Hold it between your hands, and you note that it’s really nothing more than a hodgepodge of neatly stacked ingredients between two slices of bread. It’s simple and foolproof, or in other words, it’s something you can’t mess up even if the kitchen is not your forte. You figure that all you need is a loaf of bread, some filler meat and veggies, condiments and voila! You have what has to be the sandwich that tastes just like every other honest-to-goodness sandwich out there, because let’s be serious: Sandwiches are merely a tower of random stuff from your refrigerator that you decided would taste good together.
Well, that’s where you just might be in the wrong. Why? Because if you check out some of Berkeley’s local sandwich shops, you’ll see that sandwiches are not all created equal — and it’s a darn good lack of equality that happens, because these sandwiches stray quite a bit away from what you whip up in your kitchen yet remain affordable and accessible. If you don’t believe us, then you should know that Total Frat Move officially named Cheese ‘N’Stuff as one of the 33 top college sandwich places in the United States.
But perhaps the more pressing questions are, “Who had time to actually compile this information?”, and, “How could TFM even know which sandwich shop is best for UC Berkeley students?” So we decided, after taking a look at Yelp reviews and receiving input from the foodies who know their sh*t, to visit four sandwich shops in the area that have the Berkeley community raving, including Cheese ‘N’ Stuff, and sample one of their sandwiches. And we were more than happy with what we came across. #SubwayMoveAside
1. Cheese ‘N’ Stuff
2442 Durant Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704
Sandwich: The “Deluxe”
Standout ingredients: Roast beef, cheddar cheese, sprouts
Feedback: We can see why TFM named this one of the top sandwich shops. Classic and simple, the cold roast beef on this sandwich is out of this world and of great quality. The secret just might be in the sprouts. Dutch crunch bread is thin enough to provide the famous crunch but not overwhelm the sandwich. Also, the price is beyond reasonable for the quality and quantity of the sandwich. It has fresh ingredients, without a doubt, and it certainly deserves its title! #HailTheKing
2. The Sandwich Spot
2106 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704
Sandwich: No. 20 “The Anava Monsta”
Price: $7.99 without tax
Standout ingredients: Hot roast beef, bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese
Feedback: This is damn good, with wonderfully tender roast beef that pairs well with the sweet roll bread. The sauce makes the sandwich melt in the mouth, and the peperoncini gave a sweet little kick of flavor. This sandwich is hearty as hell and almost a challenge to finish unless you’re super hungry.
3. Brazil Cafe
1960 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94710
Sandwich: Tri-Tip Sandwich
Price: $9.87 with tax
Standout ingredients: Cilantro sauce, grilled onions, Brazilian tri-tip
Feedback: This sandwich shamelessly bursts with flavor (those with a preference for milder taste, beware). It’s heavenly when hot but not too great when cold, so eat this sandwich quickly. The meat is extremely tender, delicious tri-tip that goes perfectly with the cilantro sauce. Overall, this sandwich aesthetically pulls off that effortless “messy-just-got-off-the-grill” look.
4. Montague’s Gourmet Sandwiches
2510 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94720
Sandwich: Regular Sandwich (on a sweet roll)
Price: $6.50 with tax
Standout ingredients: Roast beef, Monterey Jack cheese, avocado add-on
Feedback: Not to sound like a broken record here, but Montague’s sandwich is yet another example of a fantastic, simple sandwich that has nothing to hide, only ingredients that taste fresh. The roast beef here was yet another example of great quality. Stopping by here is definitely not a mistake, especially because Montague’s offers avocado as an add-on. And come on, who doesn’t love avocado? While similar in taste to Cheese ‘N’ Stuff, that establishment’s price of $3.95 for a sandwich versus Montague’s approximate $7 can’t be beat, which is why Cheese ‘N’ Stuff might just reign above all other sandwich shops in the local area.
Essentially, what makes a good sandwich is simply high-quality ingredients that are both fresh and tasty, and all four shops we stopped by definitely offered that. Happy eating! #SandwichesAreAwesome
Contact Eunice Choi at [email protected].