Good Eats: Grinder's

Saturday, March 26, 2011

By Sean Wheatley
One of the most popular and original places in Shoreline has to be Grinders. Serving up sandwiches which are well described on their website:

"The term "Grinder" can be traced back to the east coast, where, during WWII, Italian Immigrants set up sandwich shops close to the shipyards. These supersized sandwiches were a favorite of the hard working men who ground rivets off the warships. The friendly shop owners referred to these men as grinders and the ever-popular sandwiches also came to be known as Grinders. In addition to the tradition, true grinders must utilize fresh and bold ingredients like olive oil, garlic, marinated peppers and onions, basil, the finest salami, made fresh on the spot."

Featuring much more than specialty sub sandwiches, Grinders hosts live music, mostly blues bands, on Saturday nights as well as cooking classes every once in a while. Leslie and I stepped in one rainy early afternoon for a bite and some nice husband and wife time together - a rare occurrence these days with our business and eight-year-old keeping us swamped. When we walked in, the place looked really swanky for a sandwich joint, and was hopping from the lunch crowd, some tables set up community style. We weren't quite sure whether to be seated or go up at the counter, but quickly figured it out as regulars walked right up and ordered at the front which overlooks the prep area so you can see the master sandwich makers at work. We felt like a salad instead of two heavy sandwiches, so we ordered the Whack Whack Salad along with a Chicken Parmesan Grinder.

The salad came to us first and although filled with crisp lettuce, peppers, olives, croutons, cucumbers, cheese, tomatoes, and salami all chopped up into a mesh of Italian style salad goodness, there wasn't quite enough dressing on it to make it all work. The sandwich arrived halfway through the salad and although tasty and totally acceptable for Chicken Parmesan, it wasn't something we could really pick up and eat. The result was a nice Italian meal on toasted bread rather than a Grinder. We felt that maybe we ordered the wrong sandwich. With names like the Goomba, SauBall, Po'Boy and Dipper, on a fun to read menu with some nice sounding ingredients, there are many reasons to return to really appreciate what all the buzz is about.

Grinders   19811 Aurora Avenue North   Shoreline, WA 98133   206-542-0627

Sean Wheatley's entertainment services business Seattle Parties keeps him busy in the evenings. He and his wife Leslie and son Dylan eat out so much that he started writing restaurant reviews, which he now shares with us. 

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