This is a brief survey of Truckee sandwiches. [I tried to tag this with an appropriate location tag ("Truckee") but there is no "Truckee" tag, so I went with "Lake Tahoe" which, though not entirely accurate, is hopefully close enough.]
I’ve just finished eating a very mediocre sandwich from Marty’s Café on Donner Pass Road and I was inspired to share some of our recent Truckee sandwich experiences with you. During the last 6 months or so we have eaten lunch sandwiches from Marty’s Café, Wild Cherries, New Moon’s Crescent Café, Morgan’s Lobster Shack, Jax, and Full Belly Deli.
Having just eaten Marty’s Café chicken breast and brie sandwich with caramelized onion and basil honey mustard I’ll start here. For comparison/contrast my husband ate the Katie’s sandwich (mortadella bolgna, Genoa Salami, peperoni, fresh mozzarella & sun dried tomato spread). My chicken sandwich was dry and disappointing. The sandwich roll was nice and soft, but doughy and lacking in any flavor. The chicken breast was poached some time ago and it was cold and hard. The brie helped a little but overall, I would not eat this sandwich again. My sandwich had a total of 4 caramelized onions and I never found any honey mustard on my roll. My husband liked his Katie’s sandwich “okay” but I thought it was pepperoni-heavy, way salty and so very oily. His sandwich was supposed to have some sun dried tomato spread but I could not find it on his roll. He says that, with other sandwich options in town, he would not eat this sandwich again. Incidentally, the folks working here today seemed tired and kind of angry. We were greeted with frowns or they just ignored us until we asked to order our sandwiches to go. We were there a full two hours before closing but they must have had a rough morning to be so tired by 1pm.
Wild Cherries is a coffee house on Donner Pass Road and we have eaten a variety of foods here (custom breakfast sandwiches, breakfast bagel sandwiches, breakfast burritos, panini sandwiches, deli sandwiches – well, I suppose could just retype the menu here, but that would be a boring read). In our experience, Wild Cherries is a solid place for sandwiches, bagels, coffee, pastries, snacks etc. Prices are very reasonable and they offer free refills on lemonade! Plus, the folks that work here are always so friendly, even when they’re at their peak, busiest times.
New Moon is the local health food store on Donner Pass Road and inside is the Crescent Café where you get sandwiches, salads, etc. At first, I was intimidated about how to order my sandwiches and peruse the salad bar and then shop for groceries?? It seems simple but I felt awkward and unsure of how to do it. People here are very friendly and fortunately, I was able to catch on quickly – order your sandwiches and go shop and pay. While they offer custom sandwiches and a variety of other specialty sandwiches and soups and salads, we can’t seem to stop ordering their Yellow Submarine (tuna salad melt) and the Dixie Chicken (chicken curry with mango chutney). These two are very good, made on our favorite Truckee Sourdough bread and much more reasonably priced (at $9.99) than Marty’s ($14.00). I also like their pasta salads but we stop here primarily for their sandwiches.
Morgan’s Lobster Shack on W. River Road can be pricey but it is very good. After a couple of months up here in Truckee, I was literally dying for some good fresh fish. So, we went to Morgan’s and after a fresh scallop (grilled with Asian ponzu) wrap ($18) I felt much better. My husband had the king salmon burger ($16) and it was enormous and quite delicious. (Yes, I stole a couple of bites from his burger). I have also had their blackened halibut sandwich (which was great) and more scallops (always fresh, perfectly cooked). I would eat here again, but I’m not sure how they do winter seating. Spring/summer/fall are so nice for outdoor eating (you order inside and sit inside at a narrow bar/table or outside along the side or in the back of the little place) but they may become more of a take-out type of place during the cold winter months.
Jax at the Tracks is on W. River Road at Bridge Street. We have had good experiences here with really good food but, I think that we have also had the good sense or good fortune to stop by Jax when it is not crowded. We have eaten breakfasts and lunches and all have been good, “I would eat here again” choices. The Huevos California isn’t a sandwich but I’m going to tell you about it anyway because I liked it a lot. It’s like huevos rancheros but instead of being on soft corn tortillas they build the huevos rancheros on a crispy tostada. What a great idea! As a huevos rancheros fan, I thought that this was a nice twist on an old standby. Sandwiches we have eaten are: veggie burger (very good), dill crumbled fish sandwich (very good but, I am always so thirsty after eating this sandwich), crab cake sandwich (my mom loved this), Jax triple decker club on sourdough (one of my husband’s favorites) and his other favorite, the tuna melt (his usual choice, actually). Prices are really reasonable and we have had consistently great sandwich experiences here. (I recommend eating here when you don’t have to stand around outside in the cold for 45++ minutes).
I saved Fully Belly Deli for last because they are possibly my favorite (well, they are currently tied with the Crescent Café for my favorite sandwich in Truckee). FBD is at 10825 Pioneer Trail Rd Ste 103 – it’s sort of industrial over there, by the Rock store and the Paint Store and the Bike Store and the new CHP building-in-progress at the corner but, FBD is worth the brief excursion away from Donner Pass Road.
Their sandwiches are enormous and affordably priced made by happy people (they always seem to be smiling when we go in). We have had their pressed sandwiches: turkey melt and tuna melt (both excellent, and more than I can eat in one sandwich-sitting); the tuna salad sub sandwich (very good) and the falafel wrap (order this bad boy with jalapenos – this is my favorite FBD “sandwich”). My husband reports that while the Cuban sandwich was very good his favorite is the tuna melt here (he likes tuna melts). I have also had the breakfast sandwich and the GNAR burrito (breakfast burrito). I enjoyed the GNAR burrito more than the breakfast sandwich but when your breakfast burrito features dry rubbed tri-tip, pepperjack cheese, green chilies, hash browns, southwest sauce and a fried egg – it’s hard to compare it to a regular ol’ breakfast sandwich. They get busy so be prepared to wait or call in your order.
Cheers to sandwich eating from Truckee!
(p.s. I’m sorry that I don’t have pictures to share… I’ll try to get better at taking pics of my food before I demolish it.)