I’ve mentioned before that DawgMan has never given a bad food recommendation in his life. Gerd told me, after the first could successes of DawgMan’s recommendations, “Just go wherever he tells you to. He only eats good food!” So now, when DawgMan suggests something, I try to get there as soon as possible. He had mentioned a sandwich shop off the beaten path last week, and with the boss being out, we thought we’d have time to make it there (just in case we went over our allotted but vague lunch time).
It’s called Ham’s Sandwich Shop and it’s in Minnetonka, over by the Carlson towers off I-494. DawgMan said it had the best sandwiches ever. I’m fine with sandwiches, but I’m kind of from the camp where a sandwich is a sandwich. Yeah, Jimmy Johns and Quizno’s and Schlotzkys and Subway are all slightly different, but they’re all just sandwiches. This place had a pretty high bar set, yet still, I wasn’t expecting much more than just another sandwich.
It’s a bright happy place in a strip mall (a good sign) with 6 tables and 6 booths. You order at the counter from the menu boards on the wall. They had the “Top 10 Sandwiches” listed and a smaller board with classic sandwiches and truly, I’m guessing I changed my mind at least 10 times. Each sandwich had some pretty unique ingredients. Yes, there was standard stuff, but the differentiator was the stuff they add to it, like avacadoes, jalapeno bacon, chipotle mayo, garlic spread, habanero bbq sauce, etc. Honestly, this place has some serious sandwich wizards working in back.
I had finally decided on the El Diablo, which was a smoked turkey, jalapeno bacon, pepperjack cheese sandwich with lettuce tomato and chipotle mayo. Sounded amazing. But when I stepped up to order, there was another sign with the specials on it. And I changed my mind for the 11th time. I was intrigued by the Spicy BBQ Meatloaf sandwich on the list of specials. So I decided to go with that.
While we were waiting for our food, the owner, Joe, came out and talked to us. DawgMan and he have sons that played hockey together so they go way back. I asked a couple of questions and he gave me the scoop about his sandwiches. He pushes his head cook to come up with new and “out there” sandwich combinations and then HE gets to approve them. They go on the “specials” board and if the end of month sales are in the top 10, they move to the top 10 board. If tey fall off the top 10, they get rotated into the specials. The guy actually checks his sales figures!!! A TRUE business man and one of the smarter ones, I might add. He joked and chatted with us for a while, and then went back to the back. Really, Joe is a good guy with a head for business – that’s nice to see.
My sandwich came out and it was glorious. It was a thick slice of really tasty meatloaf covered in habanero BBQ sauce. It had a slice of provolone, lettuce, tomato, chipotle mayo (just a little, so it was awesome), and also some garlic spread all on multigrain bread. I pounced on this thing. In fact, I was through the first half before I remembered to take a photo.
Seriously, I would put this in the top 5 sandwiches I’ve ever had. Super top notch, and I don’t EVER say that about sandwiches. Based on this one sandwich, I’m guessing the other sandwiches are equally good. But this meatloaf one was fantastic. The Habanero BBQ sauce had some zing, but was really palette-friendly. Yes, I’m actually raving (without glowsticks, thankfully) about a sandwich.
And a little bonus was a little peppermint patty thing for desert in your basket. Excellent finishing move, like the Lion-Tamer.
I’ll note that I’m looking out the front store windows where there are words. I’m reading the words backwards since they’re facing out and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what squirrel-sliced ham was. It took me maybe 5 minutes to figure out it was spiral-sliced ham. If it WERE squirrel-sliced, I totally would have gotten some. It’s about time those free-loading bastards did something for a living, even if it’s cutting ham!
I don’t get up on my pulpit about much, but this place is one of those places. I grabbed a menu, so DawgMan and I can come here for lunch VERY soon. We made it there in under 15 minutes from Eden Prairie, so it’s definitely do-able for lunch.
Go to Ham’s Sandwich Shop.
Top 5 things about Ham’s Sandwich Shop
1. Spicy BBQ Meatloaf sandwich
2. Waaaaay too many awesome things to choose from
3. The whole family (who run the place) were super friendly and talkative
4. DawgMan paid for lunch – Cha-ching!
5. DawgMan’s perfect streak of restaurant recommendations continues
Bottom 5 things
1. Gerd would have loved this place and spit on Roly Poly after this, and she LOVED Roly Poly
2. I now have to say a sandwich place is just a sandwich place – totally ruins my complaining game
3. It’s kind of off the beaten path in the Northwest Minneapolis area
4. No Dew
5. I’m almost positive the name on the door doesn’t match the name on the sign, just weird (and confusing)