“Oh great, another downtown sandwich shop,” I thought when Sarnie Shoppe announced it was opening in the renovated Knapp’s Centre.

Located just off Washington Square, the downtown Lansing deli, the second location for the aspiring Ohio-based sandwich chain, joined a cold cuts corridor that already features three national sandwich chains and a local sandwich chain, not to mention a number of bakeries, bars and bagel shops who are happy to meet your meat-and-bread needs.

But then I started hearing good things about the hoagie district’s newest addition, so I decided to check it out for myself. And I was not disappointed.

As you enter the shop, you are greeted by a case displaying Boar’s Head meats — we’re already on the right track. I ordered the Crispy Cool Dre sandwich, which features bacon and Boar’s Head’s amazing Cracked Pepper Mill Turkey. The sandwich is dressed up with pepper jack cheese, sprouts, cucumber, avocado and spinach and served up on ciabatta bread. But the real kicker here are the housemade sauces — pesto mayonnaise and garlic aioli — that really tie everything together.

I ordered the sandwich grilled, and the Panini-style press turns the whole thing into a crispy, gooey, pesto-y delight. Even better, the shop adds the veggies after grilling, which means you get the cool crunch of fresh cucumber in contrast to the hot ingredients. It’s a small thing, but it makes a big difference.

I don’t know if Lansing’s submarine stretch can support another sandwich joint, but Sarnie Shoppe is a worthy addition. I’ll choose this place over the subterranean sandwich chain across the street every time.

Sarnie Shoppe

8 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday
300 S. Washington Square (entrance is on Washtenaw Street), Lansing
(517) 657-3603, jbsarnieshoppe.com

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