^
Keep Houston Press Free
4

Houston's Best Sandwiches: Smoked Turkey at Hobo's Sandwich Shop

For the Smoked Turkey at Hobo's Sandwich shop, the bread's the thing.EXPAND
For the Smoked Turkey at Hobo's Sandwich shop, the bread's the thing.
Photo by Jeff Balke

We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

Sandwich shops, as a general rule, aren't exactly fancy. They aren't meant to be. They are mostly lunch places where people want to get in and out quickly. But they also want good food. The average sandwich spot probably has fairly decent sandwiches. There are a handful near me that are good, but they wouldn't really make this list because, to be on a Best Sandwiches list, you better do something unique.

Hobo's Sandwich Shop (13431 East Freeway) is a no-frills lunch spot with checkerboard tablecloths and a regular midday crowd of mostly workers from nearby businesses. The strip center near Beltway 8 on the east side is underserved by places like Hobo's in that there are plenty of chain places but not nearly enough good, local joints with great grub.

By some accounts, Hobo's is just a standard sandwich shop. That's until you eat the bread. Before I get into that, let's dissect a couple interesting things about what's inside the bread on the Smoked Turkey sandwich. The smoked turkey is fairly standard fare: smokey, sliced deli turkey, choice of condiments, lettuce and tomato. It's good, but unremarkable. But when I looked inside mine, I also found diced black olives. That was my first clue this place was different.

Some may not care for the brine-y zing of olives, but they were a bit like a more subtle substitute for sandwich stalwarts pickles. Really, they just provided a bit of salt and a twinge of acid to break up what could otherwise be a rather standard filling.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

But, when you try the bread, you get at least a hint of why the choice of olives makes sense. Hobo's boast fresh, in-house, baked daily bread. That, in and of itself, warrants kudos. It's rare, even for nice restaurants, to do their own baking. Most would rather pick it up from a reputable distributor. Some of my favorite sandwich breads, in fact, are not made by the restaurant who sells them (see: Roostar). There are even a few who have their bread flown in (see: Papa Geno's) because they feel they can't get the bread right here thanks to Houston's high mineral concentrations in the water.

So, it's also a testament to Hobo's that they even make the attempt to bake their own bread in the first place, but when you taste how spectacular it is, you understand why. It's light and airy, almost like a cross between a ciabatta roll and the typical bread used for a muffuletta, which is why, after one bite, the olive suddenly made sense. It's crisp on the outside with loads of nooks and crannies on the interior. I found myself wondering just how great this would be sliced and toasted with butter by itself.

The ingredients inside the sandwich were solid and the use of the olive unique, but the bread made this a sandwich I'll go back for repeatedly. Honestly, I'd love to just order a dozen rolls to have near my bed for late night snacking, living like a freaking king.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.