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Potbelly Sandwich Works (Cranbrook Village)

February 19, 2023

  • 980 W. Eisenhower Parkway
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48103
  • (734) 913-2499
  • Website
  • Menu

Neither of our kids have every really been “brand” people.  We’ve always bought their clothes and there’s never really been any asking for certain brands.  That’s starting to change.  

L is almost in middle school now and she hangs out with a lot of older girls at figure skating.  Leggings are popular amongst figure skaters and when it comes to leggings, you probably know which brand I’m talking about.  

We were in Detroit last weekend to see Beetlejuice: The Musical at the Detroit Opera House.  We, of course, had to find something for lunch before the show so we walked down to The Brass Rail Pizza Bar.  On our way to the restaurant from the parking garage, we passed a Lululemon store on Woodward Avenue.  We had some time after lunch before the show so we told L we’d go back and look.  

We ended up letting her buy a coat there with some of her Christmas money.  Of course, she wanted pretty much everything in the store.  J came up with a better idea than paying full price.

L is really tall for her age.  Most people peg her as a high schooler and not an elementary school student.  That works to our advantage with clothes.  She’s actually the same size as a lot of college women.  Ann Arbor was on our way home from Detroit so J came up with the idea to stop at Plato’s Closest in Ann Arbor to see what they had.  

Her idea worked.  L got a couple pairs of leggings and a couple shirts for less than what a pair of leggings cost new from the store.  

So, here we were, in Ann Arbor at about 7:00.  It was going to bed time by the time we got back to Kalamazoo so I suggested we should just eat in Ann Arbor before heading home.  

The Plato’s Closest in Ann Arbor is near the Briarwood Mall just off I-94 and Ann Arbor-Saline Road.  I know there would be some chains in the area that we could quickly grab something to eat and head home.  

One of those chains was Potbelly Sandwich Works.  The restaurant is actually in the Cranbrook Village shopping center where the Plato’s Closet is on the corner of Eisenhower Parkway and Ann Arbor-Saline Road  just to the northeast of the I-94 interchange.  We don’t have Potbelly locations in Kalamazoo so I figured we were still doing something we couldn’t get back home even though it’s a chain restaurant. 

It’s been quite a while since J or I have eaten at a Potbelly. The chain is based in Chicago so we both know it from our college days but there aren’t a lot in Michigan. There are a couple in the Grand Rapids area and Holland and one in East Lansing but nothing in the southwest corner of the state.

The set up to Potbelly is pretty similar to Penn Station East Coast Subs. There’s a long order counter where the sandwiches are made but you make your selection at one end, add your toppings after the sub is toasted, then pay at the other end. The menu is high on the wall above a drink cooler so you have to strain your neck a little bit to decide on your sandwich.

We ordered one Big sandwich for me, a skinny sandwich for J, two kids sandwiches and two milkshakes. The cost for the meal was right around $45.

The restaurant has a pretty large dine-in space as well but we wanted to get back on the road so we didn’t stick around.

I opened the kids sandwiches first when we got back to the car. They wanted the PB&J sandwich minus the J. That was a good thing because they were actually out of jelly. The kids are like me though and just like peanut butter sandwiches. This peanut butter sandwich is toasted so you get the nice crispy bread and peanut butter melts a little bit. B made a little bit of a mess but he licked his fingers clean after he was finished with the sandwich.

The kids meals come with applesauce and a cookie. We didn’t give them either right away because we didn’t want an applesauce mess in the car…and, honestly, I ate the tiny cookies later. They didn’t even miss them.

I didn’t feel bad about taking the cookies because both kids got a milkshake. They each got an Oreo Cookie Shake. The hand dipped vanilla shake is mixed with Oreo cookies. It even comes with a vanilla wafer cookie over the straw. B didn’t like the extra cookie but L did so she took his cookie before J or I could claim it.

J got a Slim Smoked Ham sandwich. The slim is their smallest size. This sandwich comes with hickory smoked ham and swiss. You can add veggies to it after it comes out of the oven which J did. I didn’t grab a picture of this one because B was kind of being a pain in the store and we were both kind of stressed as we got back in the car. I didn’t want to ask and she just wanted to eat so this one will go pictureless.

My pick was the Italian. I got it as a “Big” sandwich which is the biggest size. This one comes with salami, old world capicola, pepperoni, mortadella, and provolone cheese. Being a Chicago based chain, Potbelly offers “Hot Peppers” as one of their veggies. This is a giardiniera mix and you know I added it to my sandwich. The hot peppers aren’t all that hot but they add enough of a spicy kick to make the sandwich delicious.

Potbelly is one of those chains I wish we had in Kalamazoo. They do their sandwich just different enough from the competition and they have that Chicago “flare” that reminds me of home. This was a good stop after a long day on the east side of the state. It’s always tempting to go for one of Ann Arbor’s many fantastic local restaurants but we needed to grab something quick and this hit the spot.

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