Sandwich Express

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)
503-371-1883
Website

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

It took them 20 minutes to get me my food that was to-go. Not impressed. The sandwich was alright. I did like their fries.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the space in this restaurant is much more comfortable and inviting than Subway or Quiznos, but the sandwiches aren't really that much better. I'm assuming the ingredients are of better quality. Two Doors Down on State near Willamette U., and to a lesser extent, Doliaz? next to the fish market on 12th st have tastier sandwiches. If we go again, maybe I'll ask them to toast the bun. I'm not too fond of their frozen fries, and their potato salad is not made on site. It comes from a big bucket. That's a shame. Why not make fresh potato salad? They're basically following the subway model of making sandwiches. I appreciate a small local chain setting up shop in that location on Mission but this eatery is not particularly interesting. Another disappointment is another Muchas Gracias popping up in that same location. That's even more boring than Sandwich Express.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I like sandwich express. I've only ever ordered one sandwich--the pepperjack chicken. It's delicious and the fries are nice and seasoned.

I'd take Sandwich express over Subway or Quiznos anyday.

oh- and as far as the length of the wait, I found that the drive-thru is super fast. I don't know why the inside moves so slow.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Sandwich express! The food is awesome. The wait is a little longer than a fast food place, but it really is a cross between fast food and a sit down restraunt, so I think it is worth the wait. The girls that work in there are so nice and helpful too.

Anonymous said...

great fast service inside, with awesome sandwiches!!

Anonymous said...

The sandwiches are the best I have ever had and you can tell that the bread is made from scratch and not frozen.

Anonymous said...

I really like Sandwich Express. My 3 year old loves to eat there to watch the train. There is lots of seating. It's usually busy when we go in for lunch, but with 2 small kids I think the food comes pretty fast. The bread is the BEST!!!

Anonymous said...

meat is absolutely horrible in every sandwich i've ever had there fries are good tho

Anonymous said...

we used to have a few sandwich expresses in town years ago. not many people remember them, but i did. i am so glad we have one in salem again. their quality of food and menu choices have only expanded. i enjoy their bread and their meats. and the garlic and the beer battered fries are to die for!

Anonymous said...

I'm reading these comments, and wondering if we're talking about the same place! I go there at least twice a week, and have nothing to complain about. The food is awesome, the service is great, and I love the atmosphere!

Anonymous said...

I love this place and I used to drive to McMinnville after the first one closed. I cannot believe these bad comments....I think it is great!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

For me, Sandwich Express is sort of "hit or miss". Sometimes everything is great but other times the service is slow and the sandwich meat is dry. Though, as others have stated, their fries are delicious!

Anonymous said...

I love love love sandwich express!!!! The service is great, and the food is oh, so delicious...including the meat, bread, adn fries. I don't know what all these bad posts are about...they're amazing sandwiches.

Anonymous said...

I dont usually eat at sandwich express because it is not all that it is cracked up to be. The sandwiches are not that great and expensive. But I thought i would give it another try. I ordered a 6" roast beef and soup to go. I did not get the sandwich that I ordered I got something totally different. Dont even know what it was. got the right soup though. I did not find this out until I got back to my job and opened it up. Then when I tried to call and let them know. They did not answer the phone!! I tried calling several times. at least 5 times. still no answer!! I was stuck with the sandwich because I used my all my lunch hour to go get it. needless to say I will never go back to sandwich express because the customer service there is not up to par and they apparently cannot gat a simple sandwich order correct. I will be telling everyone I know about the excellent customer service that they DONT have there!! Subway...you win again!!!

Anonymous said...

I would to add to the comment that was made yesterday concerning the bad customer service. I am the original writer of the previous email dated Feb. 11th. After work I did visit the store that I purchased from and explained the situation to the the assistant manager on duty. The asst. manager was very helpful. She listened and asked questions with sincerity. She explained to me the possible things that may have happened and offered to replace my sandwich for free, which I accepted. She also explained to me that the phone is located in the back and can be hard to hear when they are busy and working up front during thier peak lunch times of 11-2 pm. I thought that was odd. In my opinion, I think they need to move the phone up front or put some kind of a loud ringer or bell on it so that they can at least hear it up front for these types of things or just for the sole purpose of customer service, emergencies, phone orders, etc.. I have to say that the assistant manager on duty handled this situation with great customer service and appeal and may have convinced me to give them another chance at another time.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Salem about 10 years ago and I remember the yellow and white buildings. Is this the same place? If it is I am so driving to Salem tomorrow to get a sandwich.

Can anyone tell me if it is?

Anonymous said...

Yes this is the same "chain" with a location in a strip mall now. The Keizer location was converted to a coffee house, but went out of business earlier this year.

Anonymous said...

I ate at sandwich Express in Salem for the first time this last weekend. Man, I can't believe I have missed out all this time. it was so good, and I loved the atmosphere. The girls were helpful and friendly. I had the chicken cordon bleu, fries, adn drink for $4.99. It was a great deal for great food.

Anonymous said...

Those girls that work there are so friendly and sweet! I go out to lunch with a friend once a week, and this is definitely our new favorite place to go! I can't wait to take my grandchildren there to see the cute little train and try their yummy food.

Anonymous said...

Honestly they're too expensive and you can make the same thing at home cheaper.

Anonymous said...

I have been going to sandwich express in McMinnville for as long as I can remember and my experience with them has always been amazing. The atmosphere is comfortable and welcoming, the employees are so fun and helpful and seem to really enjoy the work they do, though the food is not prepared as quickly as at a typical fast food restaurant, it only takes one bite to know it is because real time and care goes into making each item separately and with fresh, healthy, delicious ingredients. The owner and his family are fabulous people who love and support their community and I personally respect them and the wonderful job they are doing running their business. Way to go Sandwich Express, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I am the owner of the McMinnville and Newberg locations and part owner of the Salem location. I was a franchisee of a 10 location chain between 1995 and 1998. When the franchise went out of business in 1998 my wife and I opened the Newberg location to add to our McMinnville store, and in 2008 we opened the Salem location along with a partner owner/operator. Since the franchise went out of business we have added Garlic and Beer Battered fries, S.Dough, Rye and Cheddar Jalapeno breads and now toast our sandwiches. We have also expanded our salad menu a great deal. We make our bread from scratch every day and work hard to provide the best service possible. Thanks for all of the positive comments.