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THE SANDWICH CLUB: Does Barry Manilow know you raided his cupboard?

Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report
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OKLAHOMA CITY – As the proliferation of 80s-themed eateries begins to Back to the Future Part 2 its way into Oklahoma City, apparently leading the charge is the pseudo-nostalgic lunchtime spot The Sandwich Club, 3703 N. Western Ave.

Located next to Guestroom Records, I decided to try out the hip new eatery for lunch after a mid-morning scouring of the music store’s $1 record bin, wherein I walked out with a Julian Lennon 12-inch of “Too Late for Goodbye” remixes. It really put me in the mood to, thematically, at least, put the Me Decade back where it belonged, in my stomach.

The joint was sparser than I expected. With the exception of the framed black and white examples of only the most popular of 80s ephemera on the walls (Miami Vice, etc.), it was way too desolate and dark a place to truly give off the hot pink Lisa Frank feel the menu was trying to impress upon. I felt like I was in an Eastern European’s idea of an 80s café, possibly a country where Levi’s 501s and Coca-Cola sweatshirts still sell for hundreds of dollars on the black market.

Proclaiming proudly that all sandwiches are served on “honey whole wheat” and “lettuce, tomato and onion included,” I perused the menu, filled with items based around things that anyone in the 35 to 45 year old demographic—hey, that’s me!—grew up with, concoctions with names like “Long Duk Dong” (turkey, bacon, provolone, red pepper humus), “Cosmic Cow”  (roast beef, gouda, deli mustard, mayo) and the “Regal Beagle” (bacon, Swiss, avocado, lettuce, tomato, mayo) bandied about with wild Reagan-esque abandon.

To be honest, there are only so many ways to make an interesting sandwich and this menu can only hit so many of them. The two that I eventually picked—the “Snake Plissken” (turkey, chicken, bacon, pepper jack, cream cheese, jalapenos, red bell pepper, hot sauce, chipotle gourmaise) ($8.50) and the “After School Special” (pastrami, turkey, cheddar, jalapenos, jalapeno chips, horseradish sauce, hot sauce, honey mustard) ($8.50)—seemed packed with enough creative tastes to justify the trickle-down prices.

Now, as I went up to the counter to order, only then did I finally feel like I was in an 80s movie; the uber-cool girl working the register obviously let me know I was far too much of a nerd, dork, geek and spazz to eat as this fine establishment by audibly sighing and barely speaking during the icy transaction. All that was missing was a buff blond Alpha Beta named Chet to come and dump my tray in my lap. Maybe he had the day off?

The “Snake Plissken” was a pretty decent escape to deliciousness, loaded with happily liberal amounts of lunch meats, cream cheese and jalapenos, a heavy enough sandwich that even the Duke of New York would proclaim it A-Number One. Paired with a bag of Tapatio Doritos, it was a filling lunch but still…something was missing.

I noticed in their icebox they carried sides of potato salad and macaroni salad for $2.00 each. I really, really wanted to try one, you know, for the review, but I was afraid to have another awkward transaction with the girl at the register. I can only take so much culinary dejection in one lunch period so I figured I’d just go without. Shazbot.

Potato salad-less, I dove into the “After School Special” and was also pleasantly surprised. I loved the use of chips—especially jalapeno chips—as a crunchy topping, the pastrami and horseradish sauce crafting a bold, delectable sensation. Sided with a bag of Doritos Dynamitas, the “After School Special” proved itself a worthy lunchtime addition and I learned about the dangers of angel dust. Win-win.

The Sandwich Club is a cool little novelty to try with somebody’s baby, but, in the end, much like the 80s itself, I don’t know if I’d ever want to go back. Sure their sandwiches are made with gourmet precision, but let’s be honest: most of them can be crafted at home (with a lot less attitude) and with all the money you save, you could blow it on hiring Van Halen to play your birthday party. Goodbye, goodbye. 

Photos by Louis Fowler / Red Dirt Report.

The Sandwich Club
3703 N. Western Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
Phone: (405) 525-0799

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Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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