The word “munchies” implies marijuana-induced hunger, so I half expected this café and deli to serve the sort of grotesqueries commonly associated with the pothead diet: corndogs, cookies, fudgesicles and Cheetos dipped in mayonnaise. Though Munchies doesn’t actually appeal directly to drug users, they do offer “Blue Plate Special: Heat and Serve”—take-home dinners marketed towards diners not inclined toward cooking for themselves. I didn’t sample the dinners, so I don’t know how good they are, but they might be a good option for substance abusers. Just don’t forget to turn the oven off.
I did sample the sandwiches, and they are worth a try no matter the state of your consciousness. They aren’t mind-blowing, acid-flashback awesome. But they are good, solid, moderately-priced subs with fresh veggies and full-flavored meats and cheeses. Sandwiches are like snowflakes—no two are ever exactly the same. At Munchies, they claim to have at least 235,872 possible variations based on the number of ingredients.
I had the Italian Stallion ($5.95), which is their “Number One” signature sandwich. The sandwich doesn’t actually contain any horsemeat, but after consuming it, I did feel like a stud. It comes loaded with Italian deli meats: mortadella, capicolla, salami and pepperoni, as well as provolone, parmesan and whatever vegetables and condiments your heart desires. They have a good selection of bread, but I went with a standby: sourdough. The secret ingredient for the sandwich, which sets the tongue a-tingling long after it has been consumed, is a roasted red pepper aioli.
I was lunching with my friend Paul, who had just returned from a vacation that found him visiting, among other places, Jamaica. Throughout our meal, he regaled me with tales of madness and mayhem from his hippie odyssey. Speaking of which, he had the Greek Myth ($5.95), the “Number Two” signature sandwich, which comes with ham, capicolla, salami, bell peppers and the three ingredients that turn any normal food “Greek”: kalamata olives, oregano and feta cheese.
In addition to the subs, Munchies has panini grill hot sandwiches, as well as soups and salads. The restaurant also offers catering services and the aforementioned take-home dinners. On the exterior window, they advertise their “triple thick” milkshakes, but when I inquired, I was disappointed to learn they don’t make them this late in the season. I didn’t realize that milkshakes were seasonal. I love them all year round, but most people apparently don’t like cold drinks in the middle of winter. Strange.
Another oddity of Munchies is a horrendously rendered painting of the Statue of Liberty on the wall behind the counter. I don’t know who painted it, but it’s pretty damn funny looking.
The service is friendly, and the atmosphere’s exceedingly casual. We arrived fairly early for lunch, close to 11 a.m., and there weren’t many diners. But by the time noon rolled around, I was surprised at how long the line had gotten.
As we were leaving, I asked Paul what he thought.
“Well, it’s nice and laid-back, and my ‘sam’ich’ was totally rad,” he said.