Ike's Love & Sandwiches - Newport Beach
I don't think I'm alone when I say that the prices at Banh Mi Che Cali have spoiled me for life. Now, if I see a sandwich that costs more than $5, I'm immediately skeptical. Will it be worth it? Will it be better than one of BMCC's banh mis that costs half that much?
Usually, the answer is no.
Walking into the new Ike's Love & Sandwiches in Newport Beach, my skepticism was again tested.
The cost of an average sandwich here, at this San Francisco-based sandwich chain that's currently taking over spots that a retreating Capriotti's has abandoned, is $10.
Also, the Ike's in Newport Beach (and presumably all the other OC locations of Ike's current and forthcoming) will automatically tack on a 50-cent "healthcare surcharge" onto your bill.
But not only that: If you ask for the secret menu, you'll discover that there's a sandwich that tops out at $26.
Yes. You read that right. Twenty. Six. Dollars.
Do you know how many sandwiches $26 buys at Banh Mi Che Cali? A DOZEN (as of this writing), which means you could feed an entire football team and still be left with an extra one for the water boy.
But all of this seemed moot when I bit into my enormous $10 "Paul Reubens" Sandwich at Ike's. For the half hour I spent eating it, I kind of forgot about the price or the fact that--if I'm correct on my sandwich taxonomy--it should've been called a "Rachel McAdams" as it contained pastrami instead of corned beef, and coleslaw instead of sauerkraut.
What mattered at the time was that it weighed as heavy as a shotput despite being named after the actor who played Pee Wee, and it used Dutch Crunch bread--loaves that have crusts with the cracked pattern of a parched desert floor.
And when I ate the thing, it dripped, crunched, and satisfied me as a sandwich like this should.
Yes, I could've netted three banh mis and three che's (those Vietnamese desserts BMCC sells at $3.50 for 3) for the price I paid here, but what's this? Ike's has included a free apple-caramel sucker with my order...wait, are they telling me something?
Ike's Love & Sandwiches
4221 MacArthur Blvd.
Newport Beach, CA 92660
THIS WEEK ON OC WEEKLY:
Ironwood - Laguna Hills