Orders are placed at the deli counter where the sandwich options are gourmet and don’t cost extra. It can be a little bit confusing as there’s no official queue, so make sure you pay attention to your turn, in order to catch any potential “budgers” (it’s a good excuse to do a finger snap and be all “Nuh-uh, I was here FIRST, lady/man/senior citizen”).
Handcrafted European breads are baked fresh daily (choose from rye, sourdough, pita, buns etc.). Fresh-sliced deli meats include turkey, salami, smoked chicken and more. The cheese—havarti, provolone, gouda—is real and unprocessed.I chose sourdough bread, roast beef, and cheddar cheese, topped with tomato, cucumber, sauerkraut and black olives ($7) for my sandwich, which came with a pickle and two baby carrots. Roasted red peppers is a topping option, but apparently they run out of it quite frequently. I added a side of greek salad ($2) and a can of Coke ($1).
All sandwiches can be grilled, but the un-grilled version reminds me of the SAIT cafeteria which also made the best, cheap sandwiches, served with a handful of chips. I don’t know if this cafeteria still exists, or if the lapse in time has made them seem better than they were, so will have to revisit!
For a lighter lunch, Rustic Sourdough Bakery offers meat patties, veggie rolls and pre-made sandwiches, as well as house-made soups. One time, I bought a prepared sandwich for my friend Colleen that was labelled “cheese and avocado.” I think it came with a tiny sliver of meat and lettuce and no cheese or avocado to speak of. This was after my incessant ravings about how tasty their sandwiches are. Moral of the story? Go for the custom-sandwiches, even if they cost a bit more!
Seating is limited, so be prepared to take your meal to-go. For dessert, head next door and peruse the bakery’s many tempting options.
What you see is what you get: the Rustic Sourdough Bakery is unassuming, economical (tax is included in the posted prices!) and wholesome. Did I mention that tax is included?! (That makes my day, any day).
Rustic Sourdough Bakery, 1305 17 Avenue S.W., Calgary. 403-245-2113.
Hours of operation: Sunday & Monday: closed; Tuesday to Friday: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Price range: Low: ($1.50 veggie roll), High: ($7.00 custom sandwich)
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