Gooey cheeses and savory meats nestled between two slices of toasty bread is more than just a casual handheld meal: It's a feeling. A hearty sandwich can transport us to a simpler time, whether it be tableside memories at Grandma's house or a favorite ham and cheese on the first day of school. And for Elliot Wolf, that nostalgia and comfort inspired Lunchroom.
With two Fort Lauderdale locations, the retro-style concept offers sandwiches that are delicious and whimsical. Unique specials include the brisket poutine ($11) — an outrageous pairing of house-made brisket, brown gravy, cheese curds, and fries plunked onto a fresh roll — and the spaghetti grilled cheese ($9), where a bundle of chopped spaghetti and marinara is stuffed between slices of toast and topped with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan. According to Wolf, the house favorite is the Rooster: a fried chicken sandwich paired with banana pepper slaw ($10).
"I can remember getting steak sandwiches from the bus station as a kid. I'll always remember the way they steamed the bun," Wolf says. After traveling to cities such as New York and Portland and discovering their niche sandwich shops, he noticed that's exactly what South Florida was missing. In early 2018, he debuted the first Lunchroom and earlier this year opened a second location.
On a recent Saturday afternoon, brunch is in full effect at the quaint shop with a blue-green motif. The eatery serves items such as peaches and cream French toast and sticky buns in addition to its all-day breakfast sandwiches like the ramen burrito: a breakfast burrito stuffed with noodles, scrambled eggs, Proper maple sausage, scallions, and siracha ($7).
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For dessert, order from the list of rotating pop tarts. These aren't the brittle toaster pastries that come in a box. House-made, they're baked with fresh fruit. Flavors have included chocolate and peanut butter and a classic strawberry glazed with lemon-strawberry icing and festooned with rainbow sprinkles.
Today, almost two years after opening Lunchroom, Wolf credits the concept's success to the food. "A good sandwich with good ingredients is a way to enjoy a meal without formality, and people love them."
Lunchroom. 4520 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; 954-870-7197; lunchroomsandwiches.com. Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
1824 Cordova Rd., Fort Lauderdale; 954-530-5124. Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.