Potbelly Sandwich Shop
The historical building itself was Toronto Star's original print shop back in mid to late 19th century and there was an effort made here to preserve some of the rich heritage. The art-deco inspired logo added to the theme, backlit in a bright yellow. The oven logo illustration added that modern edge to their identity. Even before we fully got in, a Potbelly stove at the entrance as well as a live guitar performance greeted us. A tiny storefront unexpectedly opened up to a cavernous elongated dining area with a massive lineup.
NOSE & SWIRL
The warm interior included plenty of geometric colorful patterns all around which were complimented by the authentic brick walls adorned with historic photos and some fun 3D signs. Some custom illustrated signs made a worthwhile addition to the ambiance as well.
The space lead us further and further back to the main counter and long line. The best part of waiting in line was the quirky vent pipe detail creating an airplane near the ceiling. If you need to have these giant ducts in the space anyways, why not have fun with at the same time?
Plenty of seating everywhere, and even some random branded tables adding an eclectic feel. The service was fast and friendly - active staff was very efficient with their crowd management skills too.
We noticed that the line was mainly filled with men. After choosing the bread (white or whole wheat) and turning the corner we were directed to one of three ladies dressing our sandwiches. Nothing can be seen from the tall countertop, except for yellow and green glass lights hanging over - the food magic was kept a mystery. We both didn't mind and while we felt excited to be kept on suspense, being used to Subways' transparency, we felt that something is being hidden from us. Be nice to the sandwich dresser ladies, you never know!
Looking for an authentic taste, we both went for all dressed subs which turned out to be quite spicy. There was plenty of food to go around though. We really enjoyed The Wreck with numerous deli red meats - salami, beef, ham and turkey topped with the hard to pick out Swiss cheese. Our second choice was Buffalo Chicken which was a popular choice here. The grilled chicken test was topped with crumbly blue cheese and ranch dressing. It was a very salty and saucy option. Our favourite part to this meal was the choice of beers and cider. Our pilsners really completed this meal.
Potbelly Sandwich restaurant is a curious substitute for a traditional sandwich shop for not that much of a premium price. Adding alcoholic bevs, live music and a hip vibe to the mix is an awesome bonus to an already compelling option.