Does your Big Mac look like this?
Does your Subway sandwich look like this?
or more like this?
How about your Whopper? This?
Forget it, I know the answers. Yep, the fast food joints really know their plating and presentations, don't they?
And then there is Schlotzky's, the Austin original sandwich based fast food joint which I often overlook, lumping it into the vast world of fast food, though I like it (and McDonalds for that matter). Anyway, I had a chance last Friday to stop into the flagship store on south Lamar to check it out. While it had the mechanics of fast food, this particular restaurant is much larger and must nicer than most fast food joints and actually much more restaurant-like than your typical Schlotzkys.
I'd heard that this Schlotzky's has more than just the normal Schlotzky's sandwiches, so I wanted to give one that I hadn't seen before a go.
They had a couple of new chicken sandwiches, and one called the Windy City Pastrami, which from the picture looked a bit ho-hum, and despite my expectations of run of the mill manufactured pastrami without that real New York taste and texture to it, as I gathered from the picture, I went ahead and ordered it.
This is the only fast food I've had where what is served looks better than the picture. Now, my picture won't do it much justice here, but what I got was a perfectly toasted rye bun, with fantastic pastrami and swiss cheese filling it up. The pastrami was warm and tender, with fat on it, which it should have, and a great peppery crust on the outside of that beautiful fat. The flavor was even better, with the cheese giving it a nice gooey texture and the dijon a little bite to it, without being overpowering, which I feared.
No processed taste or feel with this sandwich. It's like something a really good deli in the Northeast might put together, with quality ingredients and no skimping on the ingredients nor the preparation. They've won me back with this, and I'd urge you all to consider it, not as fast food, but a great place to stop in for a sandwich.
Atmosphere: fast food meets real restaurant, good for lunch, good for groups, good for carry out
Food: sandwiches, pizza and salads
Dog Friendly: don't think so but maybe outside
Time to Go: lunch
Crowd: everyone from families to business lunchers to newspaper readers
What to Order for the First Timer: Schlotzky's Original