Located at 320 S. Tryon Street boasting colorful tables and an industrial kitchen look, Potbelly Sandwich Shop is the place to go if you’re in search of the perfectly warmed sandwich. On the busy street of S. Tryon one would think Potbelly is the grab and go type of shop, but in actuality, the sounds only add to its charm, and it’s relatively easy to find a spot to sit and enjoy. While the shop isn’t very large, it’s not so small that there isn’t room to move around or enjoy a pleasant conversation with a pal. The restaurant is airy, and ordering works like a conveyor belt starting with deciding what sandwich and sides you’d like and choosing your bread. You then work your way down the line choosing your meats, passing through the toaster, and adding your fresh ingredients until your masterpiece is complete. The sandwiches my lovely friend Hannah and I decided to go with were the Chicken Salad and the Wreck, which by the way was not a wreck it was delicious! We paired both sandwiches with cups of chili and chicken noodle soup. If you’re a fan of spicy the chili is for you, and if you love chunky classic soups, the chicken noodle is sure to make your belly sing.
We finished off our meal with a cream soda and the tastiest Oreo milkshake we have ever had in our lives. It was smooth, it was chunky, it was creamy, it was absolutely perfect, and it was topped off with two butter cookies on the straw. It almost tasted like an Oreo ice cream cake that had been freshly made and lightly tossed in a blender prior to being served. The prices were fair, and our six item meal came out to be $26.40 including our drinks our sides and the sandwiches. I customized my chicken salad sandwich so what was once around five bucks turned into eight, but it was well worth it. My sandwich came on multigrain bread with provolone, tomato, and lettuce. I added avocado and bacon to make it the ultimate chicken salad. The Wreck was $5.70 and was left as is with salami, Angus roast beef; oven roasted turkey, hickory smoked ham with melted Swiss cheese topped off with lettuce, tomato, and mayo on multigrain bread. The beef chili consisted of kidney beans, bell peppers, and onions it was $3.70 for a cup and $5.00 for a bowl, it was delicious and hearty but too spicy for my delicate taste buds but perfection for someone looking for an extra kick with their sandwich. The chicken noodle was cheaper coming in at $3.50, and the chicken was thick as were the noodles, both sides were served with oyster crackers. The cream soda was IBC, and $2.25 and the heavenly Oreo Shake was $3.25 and worth every cent.
Besides the food being fantastic the service was even more delightful the sandwich makers at the front of the line were friendly and patient, and when I asked for a picture, they were more than happy to comply and even invited other workers to be part of the photograph. They all tried to accommodate to any bidding I had and even though it was fast paced they never made you feel rushed or unimportant, even the cashier was friendly. She asked me how my day was going and genuinely seemed interested, she got my order right at first try and handed over my goodies. To make the experience even better, one of the employees walked around the shop halfway through lunch time and gave out samples of cookies to every customer. Potbelly promises its customers Fresh, Fast, and Friendly service and that is exactly what you will receive. I assure you, you will leave full, happy, and warm.
All in all this shop is a truly a hidden gem in the heart of uptown and is one out of 400 Potbelly’s in the world. Each shop houses a vintage potbelly stove, paying homage to their founder Peter Hastings who owned an antique shop in Lincoln Park Chicago with his wife when they decided to start serving sandwiches to their curious customers. The store eventually became a lunchtime staple and was purchased by Bryant Keil who was intent on expanding and growing the Potbelly Company that is known and loved today.