Restaurant Spotlight - Capriotti's Sandwich Shop

Article by Jane Claspy Nesmith
Photography by Justin Fox

As I walked in the door of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop in Cedar Rapids, Area Manager Marc Kustner was carrying a platter with a freshly-roasted turkey out of the kitchen. It smelled like Thanksgiving.

Why a roasted turkey at a sandwich shop? At Capriotti’s, hand-pulled, in-house roasted turkey is used in sandwiches like the Bobbie, the Cole Turkey, and the Cran Slam.

“When we say homemade, it isn’t just a marketing phrase,” explains Kustner. “We really do roast our meats right here, overnight. We cook both turkey and roast beef.”

The extra effort is evident in the delicious sandwiches offered at Capriotti’s, some of which we tried one chilly afternoon.

After smelling that turkey, of course we needed to try The Bobbie, Capriotti’s acclaimed best-selling sandwich. “The Bobbie is like the day after Thanksgiving on a bun,” said Kustner, as he brought out the neatly-wrapped sandwiches. Slow-roasted, hand-pulled turkey was piled high on the hoagie roll, topped with cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo. It made for quite the mouthful, and was delicious and nostalgic.

We also wanted to try Capriotti’s signature cheese steak. The recipe originates in Wilmington, Delaware’s Little Italy neighborhood, where the original Capriotti’s shop was founded by an Italian-American family. It’s pretty common to hear about Philadelphia cheese steak; the Delaware version is just a little different--and delicious.

As we bit into the hoagie bun filled with premium grilled steak topped with melty white American cheese, grilled onions, and sweet peppers, we thought there couldn’t be a more delicious version of the steak and cheese sandwich.

Capriotti’s also features sandwiches made with traditional deli meats. We tried the flavorful Italian, made with genoa salami, capicola, prosciuttini, and provolone, and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and seasoning: delicious. The Capastrami is another specialty. It featured hot pastrami, swiss cheese, Russian dressing, and coleslaw on a roll. We definitely used napkins for that one.

I have many vegetarian friends, and was pleased to find out that Capriotti’s has a wide selection of vegetarian. Of course vegetarians can get a cheese sub with all the veggie toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, peppers, and pickles. But there are also soy-based versions of the cheese steak, Cole Turkey, and cheeseburger.

For those looking for something beyond sandwiches, Capriotti’s has specialty salads. There’s the chopped Italian, featuring capicola, pepper ham, and provolone atop a salad of chopped greens, garbanzo beans, olives, tomatoes and cukes. The Black and Bleu salad features chopped greens topped with homemade roast beef, tomatoes,cucumbers, sweet peppers and bleu cheese crumbles. Or make your own specialty salad with mixed greens and your choice of toppings.

One nice thing to know during this busy holiday season is that Capriotti’s caters. Get that homemade flavor in an assortment of sandwiches on a party tray, or have them make up some box lunches--each with a 9” cold sub, chips or cole slaw, and a cookie.

A catering favorite is Cap’s Meatball Bar with homemade meatballs, made from scratch daily in the shop and simmered in a classic marinara sauce. The meatball bar comes with sliced provolone, Romano cheese and baked rolls for make-it-yourself meatball sandwiches.

Located next to Best Buy at the corner of Collins Road and First Avenue, Capriotti’s will be the perfect place to stop for a break when doing holiday shopping this year. While you’re there, why not pick up some gift cards for stockings and get that holiday catering ordered? You can’t go wrong with that home-made flavor of Little Italy.

Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
4640 1st Ave NE, Cedar Rapids
319.393.2900 •

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