Potbelly Sandwich Shop opens in a great location but doesn’t impress with food

I found the food convenient but not worth it

potbelly

From left to right, a whole tuna sub, a cup of chili, half of a turkey club sandwich and Mediterranean salad. 

Sadie Goodman | Cavalier Daily

When I heard about the new Potbelly Sandwich Shop near the Standard, I thought I’d give it a try. The location seemed great, and the online menu had an exciting variety of sandwiches to choose from. I was hopeful this would be my new go-to lunch spot. 

Appeal

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is conveniently located and a moderately inexpensive option for diners who want to grab a quick bite. I ordered a half sandwich and half salad, one of their affordable deals that lets you sample more of the menu. 

Potbelly boasts fresh veggies, meats and cookies on their website. I was sadly not impressed with the freshness of my Mediterranean salad. There was nothing wrong with it, but it was certainly a chain restaurant salad and felt more like an afterthought than a delicious and fresh bowl of greens. I was also a bit disappointed that the Potbelly vinaigrette dressing came in a prepackaged container. It tasted processed and artificial, and I chose not to put it on my salad. 

The turkey club sandwich was great. It was toasted well and had a flavorful, although small, helping of turkey, mayo and crisp veggies. 

If you love Panera and Subway, then Potbelly is a nice intermediate between the two. The sandwiches are much better than Panera’s because there is more variation. I also found the bread to taste much better and fresher than the bread at Subway. The Potbelly sandwiches are customizable, but there are also great choices straight off their menu. However, I still prefer Little John’s or Take It Away to Potbelly. 

Potbelly, however, does offer catering, and I think it would be a great option for meetings or parties, since the sandwiches are tastier than Subway’s and pretty affordable. 

Affordability

Potbelly is slightly overpriced for the quality of the food but certainly won’t break the bank. I ordered a half turkey club sandwich without bacon and pickles, a pickle on the side and a half Mediterranean salad. This rang up at $10.22. While the price was fair, the sandwich was not filling — understandable since it was only a half sandwich — and the salad was less than special. 

My boyfriend ordered a whole tuna sub, a cup of chili and a drink — totaling to $13. His sandwich, however, contained barely any tuna salad, and he didn’t realize the tuna sub only came with tuna and cheese. Any additional sandwich ingredients have to be asked for specifically. Since his sandwich had no additional toppings, it was thin and not satisfying or filling. The chili was good — it was warm, thick and moderately flavorful. 

While my meal seemed affordable, the pricing was too much for the amount of food my boyfriend received. While this would be a great meal in terms of convenience, I can’t say I’d return of my own volition. The food didn’t stand out ,and you have to be careful about what you order — some meals are a steal and others are disappointingly overpriced. 

Accessibility 

Potbelly is right near the Standard and offers free one-hour parking in their lot for customers. It’s an easy walk from apartments and the Corner, but I wouldn’t say it’s worth the hike for those living on Grounds. Potbelly is wheelchair accessible and has ample seating inside. The line moved quickly — in fact, they promise that the wait will never take more than eight minutes. 

The menu was a bit overwhelming to read, so it took me a minute to figure out exactly what I wanted. Many of the employees appeared to be in training so the ordering process was hectic. Though it was difficult to convey my order, my food came out just as I asked. 

Atmosphere

The inside of Potbelly is cute and rustic. There is a big potbelly furnace in the corner that carries on the story of the friendly, familial atmosphere of Potbelly Sandwich Shop nicely. The lighting is warm and the bright walls are dotted with pictures and graphic menus. I also loved the covered, shaded seating area outside and there were quite a few high- and low-top tables inside. 

The workers were friendly and understanding, but the ordering process was a bit chaotic. Our sandwiches came out quickly, and it was fun to watch them be made and toasted. 

Potbelly Sandwich Shop would be a great place to take kids or picky eaters, as the restaurant has many simple, classic sandwich options. Though it isn’t my first pick for sandwiches, I would definitely stop here again if I’m in a hurry. 

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