CEDAR RAPIDS – Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop opened its doors on Monday near Best Buy at the corner of First Avenue and Collins Road NE. Unlike some restaurants that open just in time to let the paint dry, Capriotti’s is a chain that was ready from ceiling to floor. The staff was well trained, poised and ready for their first customers.
On opening day, my lunch date and I decided to try a sandwich on each end of the spectrum. Capriotti’s is proud of its turkey, so I went for The Bobbie, which is essentially Thanksgiving on a bun. And my lunch date decided on the Cheese Steak. As we waited to place our order, the gentlemen told us that the turkey is shredded each morning. You won’t find any sliced turkey here.
Upon sitting down with our “small” sandwiches (apparently small here translates to the length of your arm), we traded halves of each of our sandwiches and dug in.
Amy is a “picker” and tastes every single bite and ingredient. I’m more of a “how does it taste by itself? Small bites? Big bites? If I just eat the whole thing at once?” person. So while I was enjoying the mix of cold cranberry sauce, turkey and the soft, saltiness of stuffing with the buttery goodness of real mayonnaise all trapped inside sub bread, Amy was enjoying each element.
- Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is located at 4640 First Ave. NE
- 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.
- More information at Capriottis.com.
The cranberry sauce had the homemade texture of berry skins and tartness. The stuffing had bits of sage and a few crispy edges — not the mushy-nuked-in-the — micro feel. The turkey was just as promised — shredded right off the bone that morning, but cold, the same way you find your leftovers after mom put it away. The bread held it all together with the help of real mayo. When you are looking for something at a Jimmy John’s price point but more than a basic turkey sandwich, this is your best option.
The Cheese Steak was also good with a spice that made you sweat just a little if you loaded it with all the peppers they offered. It was a good sandwich, but I had already found my favorite. (Plus that chicken cheesesteak from Cheesesteaks & Chili on Blairsferry Road two weeks ago was still on my mind).
The only thing I found disappointing about our visit was the variety of sides. Though a chain, Capriotti’s has the feel of an authentic submarine shop. The wood tile floors, painted brick walls and artisanal-style sandwiches prompted me to expect homemade sides as well. But alas, a wire rack of chips was our only choice. Now, I know that this is a chain decision by Capriotti’s and not the local owner, but if I could write a letter to their owner, I would beg for a variety of potato salad, pasta salad, fruit cup like another regional chain Potbelly’s Sandwiches and a little less like Subway.
The vegetarian options are intriguing. Veggie Turkey, Veggie Cheese Steak, a Veggie Cheeseburger? Made with meatless products and tasty vegetables. The variety sounds enticing enough to give it a try once, but I’m pretty sure I found my go-to already because who doesn’t want to relive the 1 a.m. post-Thanksgiving dinner refrigerator raid any time of the year over your lunch break?