Newk’s Express Cafe
Social media is a powerful advertiser when it comes to reaching me. Last week, I noticed a follow from a restaurant in Grand Rapids. I had never heard of it, so I clipped on the website to see what it was all about.
Turns out, Newk’s Express Cafe on the East Beltline is right up my alley. The restaurant shares a building with Smashburger in front of Centerpointe Mall.
Newk’s is a fairly new concept chain from the people that brought you McAlister’s Deli. Headquartered in Jackson, MI, Grand Rapids is the only city in Michigan to have a Newk’s.
The concept is quick sandwiches and pizzas. They kind of walk a line between fast and casual…or fast casual 🙂 If you have time, they have a menu of hot sandwiches, salads, and pizzas available for dine in or take out. If you really just want to get on your way, there are some ready made cold sandwiches and salads to grab-n-g0.
The restaurant layout is a little odd. There’s a large dining room when you walk in and an order counter directly to the left. The odd thing is there’s more seating behind that.
As with most dinner breaks, I was looking for something to take with me. Since I had some time, I went for one of the hot sandwiches.
I chose to go with The Italian. Like most Italian sandwiches, this one came loaded with meats including capicola, mortadella, pepperoni, and salami. It’s topped with provolone cheese, mayo (I left off), spicy Creole mustard, lettuce, tomato, yellow onions, hot cherry peppers, and Italian sauce. The sandwich came on a toasted crusty roll. The spicy Creole mustard made this sandwich really hot. The mustard combined with the peppers dominated the taste buds. For what is essentially a cold meat sandwich, Newk’s Italian packed a lot of flavor. The crusty bread really sets this sandwich apart from the competition.
The sandwich, with a bag of chips, set me back a little under eight bucks. In a market being overrun with sandwich shops, Newk’s is something just enough different.