Lunch with 'Lainie
Try panini sandwiches at Upland's Sand Witch
Elaine Lehman, Staff Writer
Created: 06/18/2009 04:41:18 PM PDT
With the economy in meltdown, starting a new sandwich shop is an ambitious thing to do.
The Sand Witch in the Ninth Street Center in Upland, just west of Mountain Avenue, opened on May 13 and by the
looks and taste of things, it will weather the economic storm.
A reader sent me an e-mail, suggesting I give The Sand Witch a try, mentioning that it serves grilled panini and other
The restaurant is small, located between a gas station and auto repair shop. The restaurant sign is right near the
street, but can be easily missed. Parking is limited, competing with the auto shop and a carpet store. The dining room
is not very large, with five stylish, wooden tables, and a few witch-themed decorations.
The Sand Witch serves breakfast from 6 to 11 a.m., limited to the basics: muffins, danishes, doughnuts, croissants,
coffee cake with coffee, juice or milk to choose from. Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The menu features subs, sandwiches, soups and two sides, Italian pasta salad or loaded red potato salad.
Customers can order subs or sandwiches on a sliced French white roll, wheat roll or whole wheat and honey bread.
Panini sandwiches are grilled on fresh sourdough bread, baked fresh daily by local bakeries.
The sub and sandwich menu features turkey, grilled chicken, tuna salad, roast beef, Italian dry salami and capicola,
ranging from $5.50 to $6.50, made right before your eyes. There are seven panini choices from $5.25 for a tuna melt
or ham, cheese, green chile; turkey and bacon for $5.50; chicken pesto, roast beef dip for $6.50; or spicy chicken for
$5.75. Depending on the sandwich, a variety of cheeses, spreads and vegetables are offered, such as sun dried
tomato, garlic or chipotle pesto, pepperoncini, mushrooms - to name a few.
I ordered the chicken cordon bleu for $5.50 which featured grilled chicken breast, Black Forest ham, Havarti cheese
and honey dijon mustard. A sourdough bread bowl (soup) is also available for $5.25.
The very friendly staff assembles your sandwich (sub or panini) before your eyes. So if you want to add or delete
items, it's easy to do.
The large sourdough bread slices are lightly buttered, filled, and placed on a panini grill (the size of a small waffle iron)
and heated on both sides. The server brought my order to my table in a small basket. It looked great, about 8 inches in
length, a toasty, golden brown with plenty of melted cheese and meat. The buttery bread made it necessary to use at
least four napkins to get through my lunch. Just an FYI: a soda and side can be added for $1.50 more. I tried the pasta
salad, and it came in a small styrofoam cup - just the right size.
My lunch at The Sand Witch was my first panini experience, and it was really, really good. The panini "bar" has been
set very high in my book.
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|Let's Dine Out Show Review
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Allan is a well-respected restaurant critic for the past 23 years. He hosted, produced, and wrote the “Lets Dine
Out” television show that aired for 18 years on PBS.
Borgen is also a member of the Southern California Restaurant Writers as well as the International Food, Wine
and Travel Writers Association. He also has 10 years of restaurant experience, co-owned a very successful
catering company, has taken numerous restaurant management and chef’s’ training classes.
Allan is the restaurant critic for the San Bernardino County Sun and the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Newspapers. In addition to his sense of humor and spontaneity, Allan has a passion for helping people as well
as for the culinary profession and is an avid cook.
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