A Sandwich on Solano

Location: Eunice Gourmet Cafe

Sandwich: Falafel Hummus & Tahini Sauce

Some of the most excellent eating in the East Bay happens on about a mile-long stretch of Solano Avenue where Berkeley joins Albany. There is legendary pizza from Zachary’s AND Little Star, at least 4 sushi options (AKEMI being a personal favorite), and curry for days. But there is also a tiny cafe, maybe 10 seats, between a copy shop and flower store that had a sign for sandwiches on the window. After hiding indoors for 5 straight days to avoid the smoke of the Camp Fire, it should be no surprise which option I picked.

Eunice Gourmet Cafe has a full coffee bar menu, breakfasts until 11, and tons of sandwiches. Underneath a hanging sign pointing to an ordering station, there were sandwich order forms. It was at this moment that I knew I had made the right call for my lunch. Sandwich order forms may be the one thing that separates the amateurs from the real deal in the sandwich world. A sandwich order form is the best way to make sure that what you’re ordering is perfectly to your liking. You see all the options at once. No need for a negotiation between possibilities for you sandwich; just check the good stuff and pass it off to the fine people that can make it happen.

I, however, balked and panic ordered one of their “Hot Pressed Sandwiches” off the pre-set sandwich menu instead of customizing my own. This was probably due to the smell of falafel that I thought I had whiffed upon entering. The subliminal advertisement worked, whether intentional or not. I sat at one of the two-seat tables and waited for my sandwich. I regretted not ordering a coffee when I saw two drinks come out for a couple of other customers, their faces brightening on the first sips. Before I could change my mind, my sandwich arrived and I was entranced.

The pita was thin and crisp, as was the falafel. I have never before had a pita with sprouts inside, but they were the ingredient that made the bridge to a sandwich that I don’t always get from a pita. This sandwich felt at the same time healthy and delectable, a very delicate balancing act that few are able to pull off well. Though the sandwich was not large, it was satisfying as a meal on its own. Stop by Eunice Gourmet if you are ever strolling down Solano and need a sandwich fix. They will not disappoint.

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