Svelte Roast Beef for Lunch at Potbelly

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My favorite lunch is a soup and sandwich. The idea of soup and salad confuses me -- why order a bowl of soup along with something you can't even dip into it? Who are you soup and salad people, anyway!? I mean, I'll do it, but only if I have a dress I really want to fit into in the immediate future.

So I was happy to see a new sandwich on the "Skinny" sandwiches menu at Potbelly: the Skinny Beef, with thin-sliced Angus beef and Provolone cheese begged me for a chance. I paired it (adding hot peppers and 28 calories) with a side of soup (Spicy Southwest Veggie, 160 calories) and hoped for the best. The bridesmaid dress I have to wear in two months fits, but I still want to eat my sandwich and to dip it, too.

First let me compliment myself on the addition of hot peppers to this sandwich -- if it was still cool to say "winning" (was it ever cool?), I would be winning. It's perfect against the juicy Angus beef and the cheese, especially since I opted for the very, very hearty multi-grain roll. Potbelly achieves lower-cal status in their Skinny sandwiches by using less meat and reducing the amount of bread in the roll, but I didn't feel deprived at all -- and the sandwich is substantial.

While filling, the sandwich did feel a little unbalanced. Normally I prefer a lot less meat on a deli sandwich than a shop piles on, but in this case I could have used a little more roast beef, perhaps because the multi-grain bread was so dense and chewy. Not a fatal flaw, but definitely an argument against perfection.

The soup was a great surprise, and perfect for dunking my sandwich. Very zesty and with a much thicker broth than I expected, which stuck nicely to the sandwich -- nary a dribble down the front of my shirt. The flavor of the soup was far above what I expected from a sandwich shop, and I was very pleased to find that a soup with "spicy" in the name actually delivered spice.

Another win? This particular Potbelly shop is right next door to the Gulf Coast Veterinary Hospital, where my Sandy, The Most Expensive Dog in the World™, is a regular patient. Assuming I can afford lunch the next time she needs an MRI, I think I found my new favorite working lunch spot.

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