As I’m sure you all know by now, I love a good sandwich! So when I learned about a new sandwich establishment opening up in Westfield Stratford, I was obviously looking forward to trying it out. The establishment in question is called Potbelly and was originally founded in downtown Chicago in 1977.
Potbelly stoves were originally gathering places in homes shops where people would get together for a warm meal and a chat. Potbelly started out as a small antique shop with its own potbelly stove and soon became so renowned for its sandwichy goodness that the food business soon overtook the antique business, with queues around the block. The Westfield Stratford store is the first branch in the UK and Europe, but they are located right across the US.
I visited the Stratford branch with my good friend Kelly and we were excited to tuck into some Potbelly goodness! It’s more of a cafe than a restaurant, but it’s pretty big, with lots of cool tables and photos on the walls depicting the company’s history and ethos. There was even an actually Potbelly stove!
We chose a sandwich each – I went for the Roast Beef and Kelly went for the Italian. It’s at this point that you can choose your type of bread and what other salad items you’d like to go into your sandwich. For anyone who’s been to Subway before, this may be ringing a bell. And I’m sure this is something Potbelly have to battle against all the time, but I have to assure you, the quality and taste of the food and the overall experience goes above and beyond anything you would get at Subway. The ordering process is the same, but the similarities end there. I added all sorts to mine, including onions and pickles, and it was delicious. It was packed full of meat and it was the kind of sandwich I would expect from an expensive deli.
We also got to try out some of their milkshakes, including the Oreo flavour, and Peanut Butter and Jelly. I’ve always been intrigued by the latter, ever since there was an American boy in my class at primary school and he always used to bring PB&J sandwiches into school for lunch. We all thought it was rather strange as we tucked into our ham and cheese, and tuna sandwiches, but it’s all about what you’re used to. I’m sure that many countries would cringe at the thought of putting fish in a sandwich! Both milkshakes were very nice, thick and creamy.
And then as if we hadn’t been given enough grub, some scrummy cookies landed on our table – oatmeal chocolate chip and chocolate brownie. These were fab and just what I want from a cookie – soft and slightly gooey, just how they should be.
I’m really pleased that I’ve found out about Potbelly, I’m just gutted that I live the other side of London to Stratford now. Tim and I would regularly go to there at the weekends, for shopping or the cinema, and would usually eat at one of the restaurants there. Without meaning to sound like a snob, we didn’t really want to go to somewhere like MacDonalds or KFC, but there wasn’t really anywhere ‘mid-ranged’ like Potbelly, so this is the perfect solution. Although it’s probably a good job I’ve moved away, as I don’t think my waistline would appreciate my frequent trips to Potbelly. If you’re calorie counting it’s probably not the best option, although they do salads too! Either way, if you’re at Westfield Stratford, pop in and take a look. It’s on the main shopping street outside (another plus point – it’s away from the crowd chaos inside!). Escape the shopping madness in a little bready, meaty haven!
I was invited to review Potbelly by Roche Communications and Potbelly but did not receive any payment. All views are my own.