Serious Eats

A Sandwich A Day: Cali Mist from Cheba Hut in San Diego

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: Erin Jackson]

Ever thought about starting a chain of sandwich shops targeted to stoners? As a target market, they're pretty appealing: perpetually hungry, generally affable, and easy to please. Well, too bad—somebody already beat you to it. Scott Jennings opened the first Cheba Hut near Arizona State University in 1998, after realizing that many of his late night pizza delivery customers were under the influence of the same hunger intensifying herb. There are now 14 locations in 6 states, all with the same M.O.: serving up "toasted" subs, with a side of stoner culture.

The San Diego location has beer and Kool-Aid on tap, an ocean mural, and tunes befitting the relaxed atmosphere.

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The sandwiches are solid. I hit pay dirt on my first visit and can't stop ordering the same thing: the Cali Mist ($4.50-$8.75), available in three sizes: "nugs" (4 inches), "pinners" (8 inches), and "blunts" (footlong). Tender slices of turkey are topped with pepperjack cheese, bacon, avocado, fresh jalapeƱos, and creamy house-made chipotle dressing, on white, wheat, or garlic and herb bread. After toasting, you can top it off with lettuce, tomato, and onion, plus a few optional extras. Say yes to pickles, oil and vinegar dressing, parmesan cheese, and oregano, but skip the mustard—there's already plenty going on without it.

The bread gets good and crunchy after being toasted, giving the sandwich a tasty texture that's complimented by the pickle spears and fresh veggies, while the spicy chipotle sauce is awakened by the splash of oil and vinegar dressing on top. The end result is a sandwich so good that the more I ate, the hungrier I got. Or, put another way: it was dope, pun intended.

Cheba Hut

6364 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA (map)
619-269-1111; chebahut.com

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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