So the family and I got a late start heading out from the Westside to the SGV for some Chinese culinary immersion and in doing so, we got shut out at every locale that we tried. I think maybe many folks were getting an early jump on Mom's Day or maybe it was just the perfect weather. However, The Stuffed Sandwich has always sat on the back burner of my mind. I've been enjoying more focused beers for a while now, and I've perused their website from time to time just wondering out of curiosity what the latest beer happenings were going on there. Well, this was a perfect opportunity to try something off the beaten path in the SGV, and I didn't have to twist my wife's arm to do so since she enjoys a great beer as well. I also sold the kids on the idea: "Big sloppy sandwiches, curly fries, and cool sodas that only a few places carry..." Slam Dunk.
Indulge me as this was my first visit - just as I explained to the nice lady Marlene (?) behind the counter that I was a long-time lurker and first-time caller. The place itself is very casual almost to a fault, but like many places that Hounds appreciate, it's not so much about focusing on the tables, but what motivates you there to sit at the table in the first place. It's all about beer appreciation. There's both indoor and outdoor seating, and the patio area is surrounded by a fence. With perfect spring weather that day, the patio was full - we were lucky to grab a table.
If you think about a place like Father's Office, you know that it's a restaurant disguised as a bar. The Stuffed Sandwich is a beer-heads beer repository disguised as a sandwich shop. They have so many bottled beers (something like 700?)- mostly craft brews, European and hard-to-get stuff that has been aging for years if not decades. They also do beer/brew themes on a monthly basis. You can order smaller sampler-sized cups, or get a standard (I'm guessing) pint-brews. They encourage you to bring your own glass, as they only offer basic waxed paper cups. From seeing so many guests with their own cups, The Stuffed Sandwich obviously has a very loyal customer base.
The pulls are expert and very generous - first-timers like me are told to take a long sip before attempting to lift the cup or glass from the bar, as they fill your glass 110%. Belgian Beers are featured this month, and the taps were lined up with nothing but Belgian brews hand-selected by Sam and Marlene - nine in all. You can try all nine in sampler-sized cups for (I think) $25, but that's a lot of brew.
This is no gastropub - the food is good for what it is - basic but good sandwich shop fare with some pasta, bbq and salad items as well. The portions are generous - between the brews and the food, no one will go home hungry - guaranteed. If you're a beer-head, The Stuffed Sandwich is beer heaven and Sam and Marlene are the gatekeepers to the pearly gates.
1145 E Las Tunas Dr, San Gabriel, CA
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