Sandwiches

Houston's Best Sandwiches: Unstoppable Force at Grindbreak eSports Cafe

At Grindbreak eSports Cafe, the bread's the thing, especially on the Unstoppable Force.
At Grindbreak eSports Cafe, the bread's the thing, especially on the Unstoppable Force. Photo by Jeff Balke
We are in search of Houston's best sandwiches because we love sandwiches and we love Houston!

"If you like weird but good sandwiches..." These were the first words I read about Grindbreak eSports Cafe (114 1st Street East, Humble) in a review while sitting in the parking lot of Deerbrook Mall after a doctor's appointment in Humble. I had heard about an interesting little sandwich shop on this side of town and that review was all I needed.

Grindbreak is in a little strip center right off the highway, one exit south of FM 1960 and next door to a Subway, which seems odd now thinking about it. It's a coffee shop-slash-juice bar-slash-sandwich shop-slash-esports gathering spot. A little weird, sure, but also really interesting. The interior looks like a cross between a coffee shop and lounge. It's comfortable and modern.

The food is meant to be healthy with all kinds of healthy juice options, "clean" turkey and ancient grain breads for some sandwiches. My options was the Unstoppable Force, their take on a traditional club sandwich including the aforementioned "clean" turkey, extra lean ham, cheddar, tomato, spinach and house-made aioli.

My sandwich emerged toasted in a panini press, but only slightly. The interior was warm and the cheese slightly melted. The exterior was hot enough I had to wait a minute or so to pick it up.

The aioli was bright and tangy and the spinach added an interesting twist. It certainly felt healthier than iceberg lettuce. The turkey and ham were both moist despite being lean. There was nothing lost in flavor either. The cheddar was a clever twist over American and added some depth to the flavor. But, if I'm being honest, this sandwich made it on the list because of the bread.

I don't know where they get it — they don't make it in-house and they were coy when asked — but whoever made it deserves a bread medal. The oblong roll looked a bit like talera you'd see used for a torta, but the texture was quite different. It was like a cross between ciabatta and a French roll. The exterior was slightly chewy and the interior was like a cloud, so light and delicate.

And despite rather fulsome ingredients inside, it held together like a champ. I'm not sure if they use this bread on all the sandwiches, but I'd consider putting a piece of shoe leather inside it and taking a bite.

Ultimately, that first review I read on my phone in my car was spot on. Grindbreak is weird, but good. Even better, it's healthy as well. And if you find out where they get their bread, let me know so I can eat every loaf they can produce.

If you have a sandwich you think is one of the best in town, hit us up. We're always looking for new options.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke