Grand Central Bakery and Cafe
2230 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Date of visit: November 6, 2009
Price for 2: $18.65
Before we started this blog project, we hit up Grand Central almost every week. The funny thing is, my only real issue with it was I thought it was a little on the spendy side. Now that I’ve tried tons of different places and seen what’s out there, I’m pretty sure that Grand Central Bakery is actually one of the best lunch options on Hawthorne, in terms of price and quality.
As the name implies, the star of the sandwiches here is the fresh-baked bread. Different sandwiches come on different breads, everything from baguettes to como bread to calamata olive bread. From reading this blog you might notice that I am partial to tuna melts, and honestly, I usually get a tuna tosti, which is “Herb and caper tuna salad and sharp white cheddar cheese served hot on Sourdough.” But I stared feeling self concious that people might think I was some weird George Costanza-type, and today I got a special, the pulled pork sandwich. Unlike most things on the menu it came with a side of coleslaw in addition to the usual pickle and at $6.25 was definitely a good deal. The sandwich was awesome, super soft bread, tender pork and flavorful BBQ sauce. Super simple and on par with “authentic” pulled pork I’ve had in the south. It wasn’t particularly messy either, which was nice. As for the coleslaw, it wasn’t the best I’ve had in Portland (that is a tie between the Delta Cafe and Clay’s Smokehouse) but it did have a nice texture and decent flavor (I would have preferred it a little sweeter.)
The coleslaw was a definitely bonus. Usually, sandwiches don’t come with a side (just a pickle) and you have to opt for the “sack lunch” that adds $1.80 to the price. Jared always goes for this option, which includes chips and a cookie, and I usually just steal a few chips from him. (He’ll tell you, I always steal his food.) I guess this would be another gripe with this place though, I would way rather get a drink than a cookie with my meal deal. But that’s just me, I don’t really care for sweets.
Speed: Pretty average for fresh made sandwiches
Veggie options: Several sandwiches and usually at least one special