Secret Sandwich Society (Fayetteville)

Shhhhh.

That seems to be the motto of this place, as it is printed on the shirts worn by the staff and on those ubiquitous ovals that serve as travel stickers.  Nonetheless, someone has broken the code of silence because the place was packed on the Saturday afternoon we visited.

The menu at SSS is, go figure, mainly sandwiches, with a few salads and burgers thrown in.  But these aren’t your run-of-the-mill cold cuts on Wonder bread sandwiches.  No, these folks take their craft very seriously.  I would call them sandwich artists, but I think a national chain has trademarked and sullied that term.

The Society is the most recent restaurant to open in a location over-looking Corridor L (Rte. 19) just off downtown Fayetteville (though in fairness they’ve been there a few years).  It is where both Pies and Pints and DiOGi’s started, so this spot must be special to the food gods.

One thing to keep in mind about SSS is that they make virtually everything in house.  The soups (naturally).  The chips (not that unusual anymore).  The pickles (okay, I don’t see that very often outside of a deli and these were pretty good pickles). Oh, and the ketchup (wha-wha-whaaa?).  The ketchup is really more a sweet salsa, but seriously, who makes their own ketchup?

The sandwiches, served on hoagie buns, are named after presidents from the famous (Washington, Lincoln) to the obscure (Polk, Fillmore).  I’ve been there several times and I think several presidents have been retired, because I have this vague memory of a Jefferson.  The full menu is on their very nice looking website:  http://secretsandwichsociety.com/

We started with a basket of the homemade chips and a very nice french onion dip.

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The server was kind enough to leave the dip so we could dunk our fries and bread during the meal.

The Lafayette is fried chicken, ham, swiss, blue cheese spread & honey mustard.

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Yes, that is basically a cordon bleu and, no, I don’t think the name is a coincidence.  If you doubt me, the Kennedy is a very good take on a Cubano.  I ordered the soup of the day as my side for $2 more; it was a very tasty southwestern-style chicken, lime and avacado that was broth and not cream based.  Not too heavy and packed with flavor.  My sandwich was fantastic; the chicken was still tender and the blue cheese spread added flavor but did not overwhelm the other flavors.

Missy and our friend Jill both got the Truman:  turkey, peach jam, blue cheese spread & crispy onions.

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Again, this was a fantastic sandwich.  The turkey wasn’t turkey loaf, the peach was sweet, the onions crunchy and the blue cheese offered just enough tang to remind you it was there.  Missy got the fries (they were good, but the only thing I had that was just fine) and Jill a nice fresh-looking salad.  No room for dessert (cheesecake and key lime pie), but we did polish off a few Bridge Brew Works Octoberfests.

Sandwiches are going to run you about $10, but these are pretty big sandwiches and we all left full.  I’d get the chips, and not pay extra for fries, as I thought the homemade chips were better (Missy agrees).  Even though we were litterally looking down the hill at DiOGi’s — one of Missy’s top 3 restaurants in the state — she enjoyed her meal enough to want to come back.  That, my friends, is high praise.  I know Fayetteville is well-represented on the 101 list, but leaving this place off to make room for Dirty Ernie’s boiled ribs is criminal.

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