Matt Bonner's Sandwich Hunter: March 9: Houston
Entry #19 - Zero's Sandwich Shop: Houston
by Matt Bonner
Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. It covers an area of over 596 square miles. It is also the second biggest port in the country (and 8th largest in the world), despite being located 50 miles inland from The Gulf of Mexico (thanks to an ambitious man made ship channel). You would think a city so grandiose would have a ton of sandwich options in the downtown core. However, this does not seem to be the case. I plugged "sandwich" into google maps and only a handful of options popped up.
I normally go to the Potbelly's located right across the street from our hotel. But having already reviewed Potbelly's in it's native city of Chicago, I had to try something new. I looked at the map of sandwich options and decided on "Zero's Sandwich Shop".
I made the two block walk and observed my destination. It was a bit rundown and quite plain. I was worried because there was nobody inside eating despite the fact it was lunchtime on a weekday right smack in the middle of downtown Houston. But the sign said "Since 1978" so I figured if it's been around for that long, it must be good.
I ordered a turkey avocado sandwich, exactly how it comes minus the onions. I waited almost 10 minutes for my sandwich and during that whole time only one other customer came in. My worry was growing…
I took my sandwich and started the walk back to the hotel. I was still skeptical, so I made a quick one block detour to Potbelly's for an "insurance sandwich". Just in case my Zero's sandwich turned out awful, I would have a backup.
I took my sandwiches back to my hotel room and opened up the turkey avocado from Zero's. The bread was round and the ingredients included turkey, avocado, lettuce, olives, cheese, and mayonnaise. It was warm (they advertised fresh baked bread daily) and the cheese was melted. The round bread and olives gave it a striking resemblance to a Schlotzky's sandwich.
I took my first bite and was pleasantly surprised. It was excellent. I wolfed it down and ended up not needing my Potbelly's sandwich after all.
This sandwich hunt was a lot like going to the movies on a whim. You go to the theater and none of the movies you want to see are playing at that time. So you end up seeing some movie you don't know much about and don't think will be any good. But it ends up being a good movie and you leave the theater with an inflated opinion of it because you had such low expectations going in. For example, I forget which city we were in… But I decided to walk to the theater and see a movie. The only one playing was "Son of Rambow". I had no idea how it would be, but I went anyways. It turned out to be really good and to this day it is still one of my favorites.
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