Why is it, that when we order sandwiches at Subway or Quizno's, the sandwich chef behind the counter has to walk us through the whole process of making our lunch? Usually during my midday break, I want to be relieved of having to make a few decisions and just relax. Instead, they send you through a line and bombard you with questions about your preference for bread, which condiments you like and how much. And no matter what kind of sandwich you order, they'll ask if you want it heated up. Well you won't have to go through that at Sandwich Express on 23rd Street just off Mission in the strip mall with the scooter store. Ordering is easy and the kitchen is in the back, walled off from the dining room. So you can relax in one of the many soft booths, free of those unsightly sandwich lines. The sights inside Sandwich Express are quite impressive, at each table, there's a historic photo from the early days of Salem's railroads. The table we sat at has a shot of a derailment in 1885 during a January snow storm. Up above, along the wall, a model electric train runs a route past paintings of historic buildings and landscapes and through a tunnel. It's enough to keep you amused while you wait for your meal. Sandwiches, of course, are the main item on the menu ranging in price from $4 to $7 and they do ask you what kind of bread you'd like. I ordered a half tuna sandwich with provolone cheese and white bread. I trusted that they could figure out the rest of the ingredients which included lettuce, tomato, and pickles. The sandwiches are a bit bready, but it's a nice quality soft loaf that doesn't get soggy under the moisture of the mayo. Overall, it wasn't a great sandwich but the relaxing atmosphere made it memorable. It's nice to have somewhere new to go that has an appreciation of our past.
1253 23rd St SE (off Mission)