Sunday May 23: 1208 W 9th St, Upland, CA
The Sand Witch is—wait for it!—a witch-themed sandwich shop. Is this an imaginative leap? No! Do they at least lean into the theme? They do. The interior has a variety of witchy tchotchkes, and the menu boils and bubbles (sorry) with sandwich names like the Black Cat, the Coven, and the Crystal Meatball. They even offer a Cobb Webb salad. Funny?
After asking for recommendations, we ordered the Coven ($9.75), a panini with peppered turkey, bacon, pepperjack, shredded lettuce, tomato, avocado & ranch on sourdough, and the Warlock ($9.75), a roast beef, bacon, cheddar, tomato, and horseradish mayo on a French roll. The Coven was a mess (-1) which we half-expected: the lettuce, ranch, and avocado became a bit of a miasma that thoroughly sogged the bread. Did it taste good? It tasted fine (0 points). The Warlock was a bit better: full integrity, and the roast beef was on point, the tomatoes and cheese slices were fine, and the horseradish mayo was good if inconsistently applied. The bread for each sandwich, supplied by neighboring Queen’s Baking Company, was solid (no points gained, no points lost; we suspect Queen’s other breads, such as the jalapeno cheddar, bring bigger game).
Let’s talk about the bacon. Here is our first Summer of Sandwich observation: bacon doesn’t belong on sandwiches. (Come at us.) Here, the bacon—by itself fine—totally killed its Warlock master, and it didn’t help the Coven cast much of a spell on us, either. A simple question to ask of any sandwich: would this be better with less ingredients? With these two sandwiches, the answer is a bewitching absolutely. If we return to The Sand Witch, we’d probably just go the build-our-own route—the ingredients are good, but the sandwiches up and down the menu are far too busy. One less eye of newt, friends, and your spells might just entrance us.
- Overall Balance/Taste: -1
- Quality of Ingredients: +1
- Bread: +1
- Integrity: -1
- X-factor: Witchiness!: 0
Overall: 0 points, or your standard PB&J