Forget to pack your lunch? Craving a sandwich, soup, salad, or cookie? Well, grab a cute, dog-breed-named variation of the same ol' sandwich every other sandwich shop is making at the local Delaware chain, PureBread.
This location (one of four) is in downtown Wilmington, and, not counting the large floor-to-ceiling windows (great for people watching), the interior has all the charm of Starbucks, Panera, Atlanta Bread Company, and other such chains shilling sandwiches, salads, and soups, but with typical wacky downtown Wilmington business hours - closed after 4pm, and closed on the weekend.
Sure, they've got all kinds of meat sandwiches mixed and matched any which way, and the requisite vegetarian avocado sandwich and portobello sandwich (you can also make your own), but the only sandwich that piqued my interest was the Hound Dog, a grilled sourdough sandwich of chunky peanut butter, bananas, cinnamon, and honey.
I grabbed the Breeder's Combo (they really need to rethink that name, as dogs are not the first thing to come to mind) of two of either a soup, half salad, or half sandwich. The four salads are truly uninspired, although their site says they have a couple coming soon that will add a little more interest. Soups are a little more interesting. Six soups are offered each day, rotating daily, with every day but Monday (why?) offering at least one vegetarian option.The cream of mushroom soup is a couple steps up from canned, with the occasional whole slice of mushroom, mustier flavor, and even a hint of black pepper. Not bad, actually.
The Hound Dog is fancier than the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches I pack in my own lunch bag. Lots of cinnamon and not enough honey, but the warm, gooey crunchy peanut butter and banana is a classic after school special.I also got a few free bacon crumbles with my sandwich. This happens frequently at assembly line lunch counters when the workers and the counters get sloppy.
I snagged an oversized pistachio muffin, and it was baaaad! The fumes from the flavoring extract (smelled like almond, could have been pistachio) nearly knocked me out. And those nuts? They ain't pistachios. I tenderly sucked the crumbs off a few (mmm) to reveal...walnuts! I didn't finish this muffin, and that's not good; I'll eat most anything that's sweet. I hope their other muffins, cookies, scones and other treats are much better.If fact, the muffin was so bad, I had to go back and try something else (I make return visits occasionally when things are astoundingly bad - which makes no sense). This time I got a butterscotch scone. I know, I'm trying the weirder stuff instead of a chocolate chip cookie or a brownie, but it all should be good. And it is not! Those hollowed-out orange spots where whatever butterscotch-like substance melted, do not taste like butterscotch. The sugar crystals on top have more flavor than the orange blobs. And the whole thing is a little dense. I also didn't finish this. I could have, unlike the muffin, but decided it wasn't worth the calories. And while I was there again, I tested out how easy it was to get the cashier to sub portobello for meat on one of their signature sandwiches. No problem at all! So swap out that meat all you want.
This time I got the Irish Setter with portobello (subbed for corned beef), Swiss cheese, coleslaw, and thousand island dressing on grilled rye. It's a sandwich, but nothing special. While the outside was crispy and grilled, the inside never really warmed up. The portobello was sliced thinly so a couple slices came on the sandwich. The coleslaw tasted like Sysco.
PureBread will do in a pinch, or if you forgot your lunch. You'd do better packing your own, though. But I'll let it slide if I see you in there as an excuse to get out of the office. The windows are fab! And, commendably, PureBread claims to donate unused bakery products to the Delaware Food Bank.
And did you see this on their website? Gah! I almost want a puppy. Do they make them potty trained, yet?
500 Delaware Ave., Wilmington, DE, 19806
check website for other locations