Bread Basket - Tustin
If you live or work where you can see the Tustin blimp hangars from your window, you've probably passed by Bread Basket and thought nothing of it. Like most work-a-day mom-n-pop sandwich shops you've patronized before, this one is in an industrial/office complex. As such you might already have a preconceived notion of what it looks like inside and you don't expect this one to be any different.
But you'd be wrong.
In there, as I found out, is enough space to accomodate a Trader Joe's, except the whole room is hardly lit by a few flickering fluorescents. Buried in the back is an honest-to-goodness pool table, a hanging light fixture dangling above it. There are a few framed pictures, but they're all on the floor, propped up against the far wall behind the pool table. It's as though they painted the walls but never bothered to rehang the artwork. And there's Bread Basket's most defining feature: a long bar that has its regulars saddled up to it, nursing beer bottles at noon on a weekday while they bite into egg salad sandwiches served on foam plates
On the menu, a big thing behind the cashier that looks like it was printed in the era of disco, there are about what looks like over a hundred variations of sandiwiches with turkey, tuna, ham, pastrami, and roast beef. My favorite so far: a Philly cheesesteak made with not a drop of Cheez Wiz but a slathering of marinara and hot melted Provolone--two things that might disqualify it that Philly part of the name. But the results are glorious--a cheesy sauce combo that scalded my tongue on that first steaming bite. Every bite thereafter is full of beefy meat shreds, punctuated by tang and held together by a pillowy hoagie roll.
I don't know how old Bread Basket is, but looking at it, I'd guess it's been around since at least the Carter administration but certainly well before the Tustin Marine Corps Air Station across the street was decommissioned. Ah, if only those bare walls could talk.
15471 Red Hill Ave, #D
Tustin, CA 92780
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