While some people aren’t much into sandwiches, call me a fan! Whether you’re talking about a hoagie, poboy, banh mi, or sub, squeezing sliced meat or any protein between two slices of bread or in a roll and adding some toppings and sauce can make for a GREAT meal. But you have to get the little things right: great bread, fresh meats, crisp veggies, along with a nice spread for flavor and creaminess, makes for a special sandwich. Eastcut Sandwich shop has been open out in Durham for years so it was interesting to hear that they would be coming to Raleigh. But like many successful restaurants in the Triangle, its just makes a lot of business sense to open up a second outpost in a neighboring city. What to expect if you visit the new Eastcut Sandwich Bar in Raleigh? Read on, my friend!
Eastcut Sandwich Bar, Raleigh – Location, Interior
Located in the new Raleigh Iron Works development off of Atlantic Avenue, Eastcut Sandwich Bar has a premium corner spot with wrap-around patio and across from Andia’s Ice Cream and the future Brodeto Restaurant. Inside, Eastcut Sandwich Bar has a bit of a utilatarian feel with polished concrete floors, an order counter and then a small bar with stools. The dining room opens up to the right with some larger tables (4-tops and up) but seating for singles and pairs is a bit limited. If you don’t want to order at the counter, scan the QR code at each table and order online. And don’t miss the specials board behind the counter with white press-on letters!
Overall the space here is light, bright and comfortable without a lot of pretension. Splashes of color in cool bar stools and murals add some excitement. There’s a condiment and napkin bar in back where you can also grab sauces, utensils, and more. If you order at the counter, you’ll get a number for your table so your server can find you. The fast-casual service makes Eastcut a great space for a quick lunch or group meal.
Eastcut Sandwich Bar, Raleigh – Menu, Food
But let’s face it, it’s going to be all about the food here! And Eastcut does a fine job offering a large variety of sandwich types with the ability to customize as needed. The menu covers salads, appetizers (2), along with 20+ sandwiches ranging from cold cuts to cutlet sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, and steak. Sandwiches are offered on a 5″ round or 10″ hoagie roll topped with sesame seeds. Don’t miss the specials chalk board behind the counter that usually has a couple of interesting sandwich choices, I’ve found these offerings to be quite good. A handful of sides (fries, tater tots), kids menu, and sauces round out the food menu. Eastcut also offers beer and wine if you’re in the mood for an adult beverage.
Over the course of two visits I’ve had a chance to try a variety of sandwich options here at Eastcut Sandwich Bar. I lean towards the hot sandwiches since it seems too basic to do cold sandwiches when dining out. The standouts I’ve tried are the chicken parm sandwich which has two breaded, fried chicken cutlets with a light tomato sauce and cheese, delish! And the orange chicken sandwich was nicely done on a round roll. Take a citrus-swabbed crunchy chicken patty stacked with lettuce and a sauce for a perfect bite.
On the specials side, I’ve done a delicious carnitas (pork) sandwich on a hoagie roll paired with crema and red onions. The Balboa Beefsteak is Eastcut’s answer to a cheesesteak but I don’t belief the beef is chopped and griddled (for caramelization) so it doesn’t hit you as strongly as a traditional philly cheesesteak. But a good option if you like lean, sliced steak. After your meal, you can bus your tray and utensils to a waste area to help out with clean-up.
Eastcut Sandwich Bar, Raleigh – Service, Conclusion
Service here at Eastcut Sandwich Bar is solid but expect to wait 10 to 15 minutes for your meal, they are still working on their service delivery and I suspect they get a lot of call-in and delivery orders. And if you need parking for a pick-up, there are a handful of 15 minute parking spaces out front, down the main corridor of Raleigh Iron Works if you need to hop in and out.
My overall thoughts on Eastcut Sandwich Bar have been pretty consistent: they deliver a very good sandwich if not a hugely memorable one. The options for bread are nice along with their array of sandwich choices but the sandwich scene in the Triangle has really picked up. Eastcut Sandwich Bar is good enough but when I’m craving a great sandwich, I’d probably go to Ideal’s, PrimoHoagies or even, Bonjour Banh Mi & Tea for a Vietnamese banh mi. But the scene here at Raleigh Iron Works is interesting with more restaurants coming online and Ponysaurus Brewing being built out around the corner. I suspect I’ll be back here from time to time given the other options in this quickly growing and popular corridor off Wake Forest Road in Raleigh!