After snapping photos of a construction site across the street from Jackalope Jack’s in Elizabeth, I realized that it was old man lunchtime, 11:30 a.m.
I saw a sign for a place called Sandwich Max. Looked interesting. Even though I’ve been in the Elizabeth neighborhood countless times, I’ve never noticed this sandwich shop in the Dollar General strip mall.
I walked in and immediately loved the vibe. Laid back, in a cool way.
I walked past five people eating delicious looking sandwiches on my way to the register.
After ordering the roast beef and cheese, I said, “I’ve never seen you here, you guys must be new. How long have you been selling sandwiches here?”
Guy behind the counter, “About 27 years.”
I’m a sandwich freak. I like them. A lot. It’s actually one of my largest marital issues – my wife doesn’t like to eat sandwiches for dinner. Ridiculous.
A gorgeous sandwich is comparable to a gorgeous work of art – it’s not overdone. Places with no sandwich skills always try to make sandwiches larger (thus sloppier) to compensate for their lack of sandwich artistry. Sandwich management matters.
The roast beef and cheese rocked my world.
Who is Max? And why does he make such delicious sandwiches?
This is Max Nicholson aka Sandwich Max aka father of two boys aka owner of Charlotte Pedicabs aka motorcyclist aka golf cart owner aka Selwyn Pub regular. Renaissance man.
It’s in Max’s blood to make tasty sandwiches. “It’s a family business. My parents were in the sandwich business. All of my brothers had stores too. Well, I guess now everybody else has got out of it. Except for Sam in South End. He owns the Sub Station II.”
I’ve been ordering the roast beef and cheese. But, I’m one of those crazy people that locks into a single item and repeat orders it instead of trying something new.
What should I be ordering from Sandwich Max?
Max told me, “Our #1 sandwich is the Pressed TCB which stands for ‘Taking care of business’ – just messing, it stands for Turkey Cordon Blue. #2 is the Italian. #3 is the Maxed Out (Bologna, Cappicola, Ham, Pepperoni, Salami, Turkey Breast and Cheese).”
What’s up with the interior walls?
Max explained, “I love street art. I’ve found most of these on the telephone poles around this neighborhood. Look at this one that it just found earlier today…”
“Oh, and this wall art by my two boys, Max and Jack.”
Beyond the sandwiches, there’s something magnetic about Sandwich Max.
You walk into a simple sandwich shop, decorated with local art, where the owner knows your name, slices the meat and makes your sandwich. Maybe it’s the simplicity that tastes so damn good.