As I stated in yesterday’s post, the rain really kind of messed up my plans for the posts at the start of this week. My Saturday dinner plans got rained out and the place I was planning to go for this week’s sandwich closed because of rain as well. I plan on hitting both of them in the next couple of weeks when things dry out.
One place I’ve been thinking about going and trying a sandwich out is the new Potbelly Sandwich Shop that opened up off of Knoxville near Dunlap. I got an email from an employee asking me to stop out and try a sandwich for the blog but I told her I didn’t go to chains much. She told me that while Potbelly is indeed a chain, it’s owned and managed by a local couple, so I looked into to it and it found out from this PJ Star article that she was right. Well, I’m a little pressed for time and this looks like a place that has fast service, so let’s go see what the story and the sandwiches are at Potbelly Sandwich Shop.
Here we are at Potbelly Sandwich Shop. It’s hard to tell from the photos here but when I was taking them it was pouring rain and I’m not that happy with the angle of them but sometimes you just have to snap and run!
I had an umbrella, but it was giving me fits out here and almost didn’t close up and no way am I entering a building with an open umbrella and dooming all of us with bad luck! Finally I got it all set and it’s in we go away from this horrible weather!
Ah, it’s nice and dry in here and spacious too! I saw a gentleman standing over there and my MBIP sixth sense told me he might be the owner and I was right! That’s Jeff Ackerman in the second to last picture and in the bottom photo It’s Jeff with his wife Kim and daughters, Adele and Charlette. Jeff and Kim manage the place and told me that while it is part of a chain, they try to give it as much of a local feel as possible and Jeff said he’d show me around and show me some examples. Very nice, let’s go take a little tour of this place, you don’t get this kind of treatment at Subway!
The first thing Jeff pointed out was this photo of the Central High School All-Conference winning team members from 1961. That’s his dad in the upper right corner and his dad’s Central Lions jacket patch is framed and hangs above the photo. The bottom photo is another family memory, it’s a four seat plane that his dad flew and Jeff said that he, his brother and his parents flew in this plane to Florida and it’s a great memory for him. I think it’s so cool to see these personal photos and memories within the restaurant!
Check out the photos and Peoria themed items on the walls in here. There’s items from Bradley—Jeff’s alma mater, a Main Street sign and lots of local knick knacks to peruse in here. That D-31 sign is the land-marker for the actual site of this place! Below that is a vintage Peoria game similar to one that I blogged about a while back. Jeff worked for a while at Maui Jim’s and he has one of their signs up as well as a whole section of a wall devoted to the Peoria Rivermen, including a signed jersey and hockey stick.
If you’re a Cub fan, you’ll love this autographed photo of Chicago Cub and last year’s World Series MVP, Ben “Zorilla” Zobrist, who’s from Eureka, Illinois. I can’t remember the exact details, but Jeff and Kim are friends of (I think - I should really start writing this stuff down!) relatives of Ben’s and he autographed this especially for Jeff and Kim’s Peoria Potbelly Sandwich Shop! It says, “I love Potbelly’s!”
Peoria is not only represented on the walls in here, it’s on the tables as well! Check out these four tables with iconic Peoria logos on them. I love the bottom photo that has the Peoria Chiefs logo with the Cedar Hills Drive street sign reflected in it!
Okay, there’s plenty more to see in here, but you’ll just have to make your own trip in here to see it all, because now it’s time for this week’s sandwich! You order over here and there’s a menu hanging above the beverage cooler. There’s lots of sandwiches and styles to choose from. I went with Potbelly’s signature sandwich called, “A Wreck,” because I’ve been called that myself now and again, so I can identify with that! That’s Dre who assembled my sandwich and at the end of the counter, Taylor rang me up. Everybody here is really nice and you get wonderful personable service.
Here’s the dining area, there’s lots of tables up here in front and in the back there’s a row of wooden booths lining the wall. I chose that one and the blue thing on the seat is my umbrella that wouldn’t fold up correctly. Hate that umbrella! HATE HATE HATE it!
They had chicken noodle soup so I got a cup of that for a pre-sandwich appetizer. It sounded good after standing out in the chilly rain taking photos. It was really hearty and tasty—lots of noodles, vegetable and big chunks of chicken. And I like the fact that you get two packs of Oyster Crackers without having to ask for them! Okay, time for the main event: Sandwich number 45!
Here’s the signature Potbelly sandwich, the Wreck. It’s neatly rolled up in butcher paper and it looks delicious, let’s dig in!
This is really a delicious sandwich! There’s a quartet of meats on here including: Angus roast beef, turkey, smoked ham and salami. It’s topped with melted Swiss cheese and I got mine with lettuce, onion and spicy mustard. The sandwich is housed in a multi-grain roll. The meats are really fresh and tasty and the melted Swiss cheese added a nice, rich creaminess to the mix. The mult-grain roll is bakery fresh and this is a great sandwich and if you’re in a hurry, it’s prepared fast. There’s also a drive-through window if you want to zip in and out and eat your sandwich at work or at home!
Here’s Jeff, with the entire crew from that afternoon! As I was leaving they all applauded me which is a first for this tour! Jeff also told me that there’s lunchtime live music at Potbelly's on Thursday, Friday and Saturday with musicians including: Mike Larimore, Matt Ellis and others. This was a fun afternoon and a great sandwich, thanks to Jeff and everyone at Potbelly for showing me that not all chains suck and that some are local and fun places! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Three and a half Dagwoods—I got the signature sandwich, The Wreck and it was really tasty. The meat on the sandwich include: roast beef, turkey, ham and salami and I got mine with spicy mustard, lettuce and onion. The sandwich was housed in a fresh multigrain roll and it was delicious. The ambiance and service here is wonderful with local flavor and lots of smiles from the crew here. Plus live music at the end of the week!
10408 N. Centerway Drive
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