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Svelte Roast Beef for Lunch at Potbelly

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.

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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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