You won’t find 5th Avenue Sandwich Shop on 5th Avenue, but rather on Legion. Go figure, but the new location does, if nothing else, present the potential for an eventual re-branding to Legion Avenue Sandwich Shop, which would be kind of bad-ass. It’s probably a better name-street combination for marketing purposes, too, but I digress.
The shop is anonymously located in what looks like a vintage brick apartment building, and only an unassuming awning alerts you of 5th’s existence. Enter through an eerily empty hallway, and you’ll eventually find what is a classy looking joint. The age of the building does indeed give the interiors a distinct vibe.
While it won’t set the world on fire, the food holds its own. Granted, waiting fifteen minutes for a sandwich is a tad excessive, and a $12 price point for a meal (fries, but no drink, included) is beyond the high end of reasonable.
I gave the
Hot Oly a shot, a sandwich I assume 5th’s attempt at creating an Olympia signature. I’m not sure the result is entirely successful, and the shaved beef, cheese, and pepper sandwich seems decidedly more Philadelphia to me. Still, the meat is decently seasoned, and it’s hard to argue against the jalapeño, pepperoncini, and onion trifecta. It adds a kick when combined with a zesty, Whiz-y cheese. (If that’s a good thing or not is entirely subjective.)
The bread, meanwhile, does not do it for me. It is possibly baked in-house, and if that is the case, the aspirations seem to not amount to much more than the Subway standard. Bread without flavor is not something that makes me happy, and you’re on pretty thin ice if you get that basic wrong.
On the flip side, props to the fries, which are tasty and have a good bite to them.
5th isn’t all bad. It’s certainly better than Meconi’s, though that isn’t necessarily a high bar. I don’t think the spot should be entirely out of anyone’s sandwich-shop-rotation, deep as it may sit. The sandwich is decent, but the price and bread hold it back from the quality we feel we deserve.