On Saturday, I checked out Victory Sandwich Shop's new Decatur location with some friends (right next to Raging Burrito behind the Square — on Church Street).
Over lunch, natural light poured into the joint (it's a long dining room, with a huge wall of windows). The sandwich shop's vibe is industrial, simple, cool and hip (think subway tile, grey grout, lots of galvanized metal). The staff is equally hip and cool (almost feeling like they were transplanted over from nearby Little Five). Despite the place being brand new and there being no shortage of great restaurants around, the place was popping with people.
(Darnit, I wish I'd snapped a picture of the interior.)
We didn't know how ordering worked, so it was nice to be greeted by a server who explained that you order at the counter for lunch (regular table service for dinner). We found a spot at the end of a long, community table and pondered over the menu. Thing was, this was somehow a Victory first experience for all three of us. As we checked out the menu, we chatted about how unbelievable it was that none of us ever hit up the popular Inman Park location (which we hear is set to close to make room for a new building… but I'm having a hard time confirming this news online).
Womp womp. On to happier things… like how the place is revived… but in Decatur!
The menu works like this: sandwiches are half-sizes ($4 for a half), so most people order two along with a side ($3.50 or $4). So that means the average diner's food portion of the bill would be $12.
After much deliberation, I decided on a half of the Hambo (prosciutto, mozzarella, arugula, reduced balsamic), half of a Castro (essentially a Cuban… slow roasted pork, ham, pickle, fontina, yellow mustard) and a side salad (mixed lettuces, radish, apple, parmesan, walnuts and sherry vinaigrette). The Hambo was a good balance of sweet and savory (i'm a sucker for the prosciutto/apple/cheese combo). The Castro's ingredients came together well (who doesn't love a Cuban?) but I did find the pork to be a little dry. However, in a restaurant's first week, I'll give them a break — and overall the sandwich was still tasty. The salad was a great sized portion and reminded me of the Farm Burger "Market Salad," which I'm a big fan of. Sandwiches came with kettle chips (peppery, delicious ones).
Greg and Travis, my fellow diners, were happy with their choices as well. Greg had two halves (so, in other words, "a whole?") of the Mile High Club (smoked turkey, ham, avocado, dijon mustard, fontina cheese) — with a side of potato salad. Mr. T had a whole Castro sandwich, also with a side of potato salad.
Since I can't or shouldn't drink at the moment (see last post), I admired the brief but fun/varied beer and cocktail list. If I could have ordered a beer, I would have grabbed a La Chouffe. I spotted several IPAs and pale ales (Dale's Pale Ale, Bells Two Hearted) that I knew the husband would like when we returned together.
Service was attentive, even more attentive than I'm used to for a counter service setup.
On my way to the restroom, I saw they have a ping pong table tucked away back there. Random, but cool.
I'll be back, or we'll be back*. I could see grabbing some lunch here or maybe coming for just a beer and a snack before mozying on to another nearby restaurant for dinner.
Victory Sandwich Bar
340 Church Street
Decatur, GA 30030
(Check out even more Victory Decatur info on their Facebook page.)
*Update: I did go back, on Monday, with Dan. He had a half Hambo and half Mile High Club. He thought both were pretty good, but that the "winner" of his meal was his "Fancy Nuts" appetizer (warm, spiced, mixed nuts with manchego cheese and dark chocolate for $5). After a bowl of the market soup of the day (creamy leek with veggies — creamy but not too heavy… I think I tasted parsnips), I had a half Mile High Club and the Beet and Goat Cheese Salad – mmmmmm. Salad was the standout with lots of fresh, cubed beets in a tangy dressing. Dan reminded me that while this was good, the best panini-style sandwiches in a mile-plus radius are probably still those at Java Monkey (which also serves beer and wine!). See my previous post about Java Monkey and it's delicious $7.50 sandwiches (with a side!) here. He has a great point… I'm hungry just thinking about that Java Monkey "Bella Prosciutto" sandwich.
Total Monday night Victory bill including Dan's two beers was $44.