Serious Eats

A Sandwich a Day: Hot Turkey & Mushroom at Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies in Honolulu

In this great nation of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.

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[Photograph: Chris Hansen]

Is it fair to judge a sandwich by its looks? Yes, but it's not what you think. I like to postulate an "inverse aesthetics" theory that the more humble and unkempt the aesthetics of a sandwich shop and its progeny are, the better the chances of finding sandwich greatness. Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies certainly isn't a looker—the menu is a clutter of handwritten placards, the walls shelve a mess of inventory, and the dining room a huddle of 6 tables and 12 chairs.

Never mind the mess. You'll walk in and stare at the hodgepodge menu, and the staff behind the sandwich counter will greet you warmly and call you "dear." They'll help you find a sandwich that suits your mood, and they'll beam with such conviviality and charm that you can't help but smile right back. And you can't help but enjoy a sandwich this healthy and honest.

The menu at Andy's is primarily devoted to vegetarian fare but that doesn't mean meat eaters are put out entirely. Freshly shredded turkey breast in the Hot Turkey Mushroom sandwich ($6.85) is treated with respect, but it's not the star of the show. Instead, that honor is reserved for Andy's squishy homemade whole wheat bread, which is baked daily, as well as the fresh vegetables that are piled high—warmed mushrooms, crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and a tangle of sprouts. The spike and zest of a papaya seed dressing does well to bring everything together into a satisfying, albeit messy sandwich. To wit, a little mess just means the restaurant might be putting their effort where it counts.

Andy's Sandwiches and Smoothies

2904 East Manoa Rd, Honolulu HI 96822 (map)
808-988-1769; andyssandwiches.com

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