One of the keys to drawing in new customers is location. I know that I can't be the only person out there that makes mental notes to try out someplace new when I discover them. Unfortunately, roadside property comes with a premium price tag. When I find something in an unusual and not-visible-from-the-road location, it intrigues me. The Sandwich Board was just such an establishment. Tucked away in a small complex behind the CVS store on West Market Street in Akron, the only mention of it was on a small placard that sits underneath the much larger sign for CVS. Having discovered the restaurant only after they had closed for the day, I was determined to go back for lunch the next day and check them out.
Officially, the Sandwich Board was located at 1947 West Market Street, Akron, Ohio 44313 and can be reached at 330-869-5653. As of this writing, there was no website currently associated with the restaurant. The CVS mentioned earlier was the one at the corner of West Market and South Frank Boulevard. If you know where Ken Stewart's Grill is located, then you'll know the CVS of which I speak. To get to the restaurant, turn into the parking lot of the CVS and then drive along the right side of the CVS parking lot. Once you've reached the back of CVS's parking lot, it connected to the small collection of shops where the Sandwich Board was located. There was a small lot available where you can park your car.
Here was a shot of the front of the restaurant:
Not knowing if this was a take-out or sit-down kind of place, I walked in to discover a rather narrow but deep room full of tables. As there was a sign at the entrance indicating that patrons should seat themselves, I opted for a table right by the window so that I could take advantage of the natural light for my photos.
My server dropped off a menu and explained the du jour selections for the day. Here was the menu:
I was a little concerned because the prices seemed higher than what I was expecting. Fortunately, as I would discover when my sandwich arrived, the higher prices translated into both quality and value for the dollar. As a nice bonus, any sandwich on the menu was available with a garden salad for only $0.99 more.
I decided to start out with the optional garden salad and a side of their homemade yogurt dressing:
While the tomato was mealy and more or less tasteless (as one would expect in Ohio in the winter), the rest of the salad was nice and fresh. To my taste, the Iceberg lettuce in the salad seemed to have a lot of "core" ends, but they weren't so fibrous as to be inedible. The real star of this salad was the yogurt dressing. At the same time sweet, sour, salty, and creamy, this dressing really sang. I would've been happy just having a nice gyro to dress with this delicious sauce. In fact, I ended up only using about half of it to dress my salad. The other half I saved to dip the potato chips that came with my sandwich.
Only a few minutes after finishing my salad, my sandwich arrived. Today I decided to order the Hidden Panini. Consisting of turkey breast, Swiss cheese, 1000 Island dressing and fresh tomato, it was griddled between two slices of marbled rye bread. I asked my server why it was called "Hidden," but he didn't know the story behind the peculiar nomenclature. The next time I visit, hopefully the owner will be there so I can find out more.
The sandwich came with a side of potato chips and a pickle spear:
Here was a close-up shot of the side of the sandwich:
What jumped out most prominently as I sank my teeth in for my first bite were the fact that you get a lot of turkey in your sandwich and that the turkey used in this sandwich was very high quality. In fact, it tasted like it had been freshly carved from an actually roasted turkey. So many times I've ordered a turkey sandwich and the deli cuts used have that slimy, over-salted quality to them. Not this turkey. Hot, fresh, and juicy, this turkey had the perfect texture. The cheese was nicely melted and the 1000 Island dressing added a nice bit of moisture, but little flavor to the overall sandwich. I think I might have preferred the sandwich with something a little more assertive, perhaps a Dijon mustard, rather than the 1000 Island dressing. Since you can build your own sandwich, I'm sure that the kitchen would be happy to substitute one for the other.
Overall I was very happy with today's meal. Yes, $8.49 does seem like a lot for a turkey sandwich, but between the quality and the quantity of the meat, the value became immediately apparently. Between my salad and half of my sandwich, I was quite full. I ended up talking the other half of my sandwich, some of my chips, and the rest of my yogurt dressing home for a second meal later on that evening. I highly recommend you take the time and effort to track down this little gem and try the sandwiches out for yourself. I know that I plan on returning soon to try out another sandwich soon. Well, that and to get more of their fantastic yogurt dressing.