It turns out the French Pantry isn’t the only place with amazing food nestled away from the main roads on Powers Avenue. In a tiny nondescript shopping center on the west side of Powers is a restaurant called Sandwich Depot that a friend referred me to recently. My friend bragged for months about how amazing their food was before (finally) offering to go with me for lunch last week. One step into Sandwich Depot and it distinguishes itself from the shopping center in which it is located. It is bright, clean, and the owner immediately greets each customer by name. I loved how welcomed we felt and you can tell the owner truly appreciates having every customer in the door. Sandwich Depot is open Monday-Friday from 7am – 3pm.
Address: 6120 Powers Ave # 4
Phone: (904) 730-0007
After perusing the menu for a few seconds I saw that each sandwich is made with Boar’s Head meats and cheeses and the prices are pretty much unbeatable for lunch. My friend and I opted to share the falafel platter ($7.50), the turkey pita “all the way: lettuce, tomato, mayo” with added pickles, red onions, and tabouli ($5.19 plus $1 extra for tabouli), and the reuben sandwich ($5.49) with a side of potato salad ($1.59). With a fully open kitchen, we could see that our food was prepped fresh immediately after we ordered. Our falafel platter arrived first with five falafel, a hearty helping of tabouli, and hummus covered in olive oil and paprika. It also included a few banana peppers and savory greek yogurt. For those unfamiliar with falafel, the ingredients are ground chick peas, onion, parsley, garlic, and a few other spices mixed together and fried. For those familiar with falafel, Sandwich Depot makes it exactly right. The outside is perfectly browned and crispy with a soft, mildly spicy inside that is well complemented by the tangy greek yogurt. The tabouli at Sandwich Depot is fairly unique because it is loaded with thinly chopped cucumber. This added a distinct coolness to the lemony tabouli. I like to mix my tabouli and hummus, and the cucumber added made it even better. Sandwich Depot uses a creamier hummus recipe with lots and lots of olive oil that makes it perfect for dipping.
Our sandwiches arrived when we were about a third of the way through our falafel platter. The potato salad visually reminded me so much of what I grew up eating in Mississippi that I got excited before I even took a bite. It met my expectations. As traditional southern potato salad should be, it was heavy on the mayo and light on the mustard. It was creamy and sweet and the potatoes were so soft you barely needed a fork. After finishing my potato salad (read: after I scraped every ounce from the container) I tackled the reuben. I love a good reuben, and there are plenty of places that create decent ones. It’s a pretty basic sandwich as far as prep goes, so it relies strictly on quality of ingredients. Sandwich Depot’s reuben has that perfected with the Boar’s Head corned beef. This sandwich literally melts in your mouth. They are heavy on the thousand island dressing so the whole sandwich is sweet and tangy. The rye bread was clearly fresh, as was the crispy sauerkraut. This sandwich was a winner across the board.
After that, it was onto our turkey pita sandwich. This sandwich is worth driving from anywhere in Jacksonville to eat. First thing, I may never eat a sandwich without tabouli on it again. Forget lettuce, tabouli only. The pita bread itself was thin and absolutely stuffed with ingredients. We got a generous amount of the Boar’s Head turkey, probably equivalent to our side serving of tabouli, and tons of pickles and onions. This was a light and fresh sandwich, perfect for a healthy lunch.
I couldn’t believe the portion sizes throughout our meal, especially considering the prices. Everything we ate was definitely a shareable portion for lunch. I was also struck by the freshness of every single ingredient. No wilted lettuce to be seen, the tabouli was clearly fresh made, and the breads had not even a touch of staleness. Coupled with the stellar customer service, this hidden gem is worth a visit multiple times a week. The menu boasts about 20 types of sandwiches and several salads for lunch options and equally as many breakfast options. Next time you’re in the area and looking for outstanding food, do yourself a favor and try Sandwich Depot. The no frills, simple, and excellently prepared breakfast and lunch options will have you a raving fan after one visit.