Restaurant Spotlight - Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop
Article by Shannon McGraw
Photography by Justin Fox
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop has become not only a Cedar Rapids favorite since they opened a location here in July 2012, but one of our family favorites. Their originality coupled with fresh, quality ingredients has lent to their success here and across the country.
Each day Capriotti’s prepares three succulent 25-pound butterball turkeys to juicy perfection and hand shreds them to fill their various sandwiches throughout the day. They also prepare a 22-pound choice, top-round roast each day that literally falls apart to fill more of Capriotti’s favorite combinations.
I stopped in recently for a nice lunch with my family. Too often we can never agree on where to go to eat. But if I suggest Capriotti’s, there is no argument. We each have our favorite; though everything is so tasty that it can still be a real dilemma when ordering.
Today I stuck with my favorite, the Cole Turkey, and decided to try one of their new soup and salad combos. The Cole Turkey consists of chilled shredded turkey, topped with their fresh homemade slaw, provolone cheese, Russian dressing and mayo. The thick and creamy coleslaw is what really makes the sandwich for me, chunky pieces of chopped cabbage adds a great crunch and the tangy Russian dressing with mayo brings it all together. To go with it, I tried the new Tomato Bisque soup and the BBQ Turkey salad. The Tomato Bisque is a luscious, thick tomato soup, rich in flavor. You could really taste that fresh ingredients were used. The BBQ Turkey salad was also delicious. A unique blend of fresh mixed greens, topped with cold shredded turkey, diced tomatoes, a corn and black bean mix, crispy cheddar onions, chipotle ranch dressing and a drizzle of BBQ sauce. Definitely not a salad you will find anywhere else. The combination of chipotle ranch and BBQ sauce is a perfect blend of sweet and spicy that makes you wonder why you have never thought of it before.
The Slaw B Jo is another fantastic sub that grabbed my attention long ago when the manager said, “You got to try this one.” This time, my husband tried it out and tasted what I had been raving about. Chilled shredded roast beef and provolone cheese topped with their incredible coleslaw and Russian dressing is the ultimate in roast beef sandwiches. With a light swipe of Mayo on the bread to help keep the juice from absorbing to quickly, all the flavors hold together for a magnificent bite each time. To go with it he indulged in a bowl of their Minestrone soup and a Black and Blue salad. The minestrone was a fragrant soup of fresh vegetables in a thick vegetable stock with bite-size pieces of pasta to be filling on its own. The Black and Blue salad brings together their homemade roast beef on a bed of mixed greens topped with gorgonzola cheese crumbles, diced tomatoes, sweet peppers, and crispy cheddar onions with a light drizzle of gorgonzola vinaigrette. It is a bold combination of strong flavors that meld together perfectly.
My oldest daughter always likes to get a little taste of Italy when we stop into Capriott’s. Their Italian Sub is not your typical find. On a 9-12 inch roll of thick soft bread with a sturdy crust, Capacolla ham, Genoa Salami and provolone cheese are layered and topped with black pepper and hot crushed cherry pepper relish. The relish brings together the flavors of Italy and adds a smack of heat that lingers on the tongue.
My youngest is a cheese steak lover and Capriotti’s is her favorite place to appease her craving. Their cheese steak doesn’t have a load of toppings, but is rather simple done right. Using their tender choice top round beef with added sautéd onions and sweet green peppers, topped with American cheese to melt it all together; the Capriotti Cheese Steak will capture your taste buds for a return visit.
That beautiful golden turkey draws many to Capriotti’s. Their famous founding sandwich, the Bobbie, is Thanksgiving wrapped up anytime of the year you want it. The Bobbie boasts a heaping pile of turkey, topped with homemade stuffing and a tangy cranberry sauce. The zip of the cranberry sauce really fuses it all together and brings a Thanksgiving celebration to your pallet, for those times you just can’t wait until Thanksgiving.
This is also the time of year that Capriotti’s catering bails me out. I seem to always have guests over, whether it is for a game-day party, the kids have friends over, or family is in town, I call Capriotti’s to put together a winning meal for us. It is a huge time saver when preparing for company, and they always come thru with fantastic subs that everyone enjoys. The new addition of soups and salads will really bring it all together this year.
The food is excellent, original and over-the-top-delicious; but even more, each time I come to Capriotti’s I feel like I am coming into a family and helping to continue their story.