We have been fortunate enough to receive lots of praise for our sandwiches! Check it out!
The 38 Essential Seattle Restaurants, Fall 2019
EATER - 2019
After buying the business this past spring, new owner Dan Crookston (star chef Renee Erickson’s husband) took a very good Ballard sandwich counter and, with a few minor changes, made it excellent. He’s retained the flagship favorites, like the steak tartare club and the vegetarian masterpiece, Midnight at the Oasis (with falafel, hummus, beets, Persian pickles, and white sauce), and added a couple of his personal touches, including a smash burger and oyster po’ boy.
A bare-bones counter in Ballard delivers something rare: sandwich combinations that feel truly new or unexpected, not just an ever-more-outrageous pileup of various meats. New owner Dan Crookston (yes, he’s Renee Erickson’s husband) has mercifully kept all the favorites, like the signature Mean Sandwich (fat hunks of corned beef, mustard, pickled red cabbage—an unexpected gust of mint), a steak tartare club, and the “skins and ins”—fried chunks of baked potato instead of fries. In case you still aren’t convinced: The kitchen takes its day-old sandwich buns and turns them into bread pudding.
Dan Crookston had dreams of opening a burger shop until he took over Ballard’s bare-bones house of original sandwiches. He recently added the smash burger that launched his restaurant ownership dreams; it’s available in limited quantities from 4 to 8pm each day. A pair of quarter-pound dry-aged patties get smashed alongside onions, mayo, housemade pickles and mustard, and “government cheese,” aka the defiantly melty processed stuff. While it’s hard to bypass house classics like the steak tartare club or signature Mean Sandwich (fat hunks of corned beef, mustard, pickled red cabbage, an unexpected gust of mint), a burger does go awfully well with Mean’s mighty “skins and ins” side dish—fried chunks of baked potato instead of fries.
A burger’s a sandwich, right? The meat (dry-aged) on this one must be good, as it comes from Bateau’s conscientiously raised cows. Choose one or two quarter-pound patties and this Ballard-based shop fills in the rest: government cheese, onions, mayonnaise, house-made pickles and house-made mustard on a Tribeca Oven bun. Add “Skins & Ins” for an unforgettable feast.
Neither Popeyes nor Chick-fil-A: Here’s where you can find the best fried-chicken sandwich in Seattle
The Seattle Times - 2019
This is the only variation with cheese that made our top 10 — that’s because other takes were just the lazy kitchen swapping in a poultry piece in what otherwise would have been called a bacon cheeseburger. This Ballard sandwich shop constructed a variation where all the parts complement the poultry better. The melted provolone just molds onto the breaded cutlet; the salty cheese is balanced by creamy-tart zings of a red-bell-pepper relish, Hellmann’s mayo and Frank’s hot sauce and served on a Macrina bun. It’s a ginormous sandwich ($12) that’s conveniently cut in half, ideal for leftovers.
Since opening its doors on Leary Way in 2016, Mean Sandwich has proved itself one of the most intriguing sandwich shops in the city. Its latest turn of events is pretty intriguing as well—owners Kevin and Alex Pemoulie have sold the business to Dan Crookston, an erstwhile tech guy and former oyster salesman for Hama Hama, though he should also be familiar to anybody who follows chef Renee Erickson’s Instagram; Crookston is her husband. (Click GO to read more...)
Two Seattle Hotspots Named Among America's 50 Best New Restaurants
Seattle Magazine - 2017
National foodie mag Bon Appetit just released their list of the 50 best new restaurants in America, and guess what? Seattle made the cut. French showstopper Marmite and lunchtime game-changer Mean Sandwich, both spots we reviewed and loved in the last year, are representing our fair city on the list. (Click GO to read more...)
What’s the real-real on why we’re coming here? Seattle sandwiches tend towards lackluster. This place, however, can compete with almost any deli or sub shop in the 'wich-rich Northeast. If you love hoagies and Reubens and falafel and pork patties, beeline it to Mean.
Plot twists catch you off-guard for a reason - they’re engineered that way. They’re not meant to conjure a subtle “huh, how about that.” They’re also not meant for you to be that person in the movie theater who whispers too loudly to your friend, “CALLED IT.” They’re meant for you to audibly gasp in a cold sweat along with everyone else as your popcorn bucket flips over the back of your seat. Just ask M. Night Shyamalan. That’s exactly how we felt when we walked into a seemingly traditional sandwich shop, ordered the corned beef sandwich, and discovered a fistful of fresh mint and maple syrup in between the buns. Except, instead of the anxiety and panic of needing to know the whereabouts of those car keys in Get Out, we were extremely excited. Welcome to Mean Sandwich, the plot twist of delis. (Click GO to read more...)
Mean Sandwich may be just a humble counter but its menu is inspired, with options like the steak tartare club or the shop’s eponymous option, featuring thick-cut corned beef, pickled red cabbage, yellow mustard, mint, and maple syrup. A vegetarian-friendly mash-up includes eggplant, hummus, harissa beets, Persian pickles, and white sauce, while bread pudding allows the place to revitalize day-old bread. The Ballard space is small, but customers can also order from Peddler Brewing next door, which has more seating.
Mean Sandwich draws a great cross-section of people throughout the day. The generously-sized sandwiches are all served on Macrina’s Seeded Buns, and everything else is made in-house. The bun absorbs the juiciness of the fillings and keeps the generous pile of inners together. Kevin and Alex are usually there, and you’ll occasionally find their adorable three-year-old daughter holding court with the customers. If you love a delicious sandwich get on over there!
ORDER THE: Skins & Ins, for starters, basically fried baked potato chunks; they are the crispiest, crunchiest home fries we have ever tasted. Sandwiches are like The Beatles—everyone has a favorite. But at Mean, you can’t choose poorly: whether it’s the classic Italian sub, Buon Appetito (think chicken Parm), or corned beef with pickled red cabbage. And if you still have room, yesterday’s bun bread pudding (“Exactly What It Sounds Like,” according to the menu description) will take care of that.
This Ballard sandwich shop with a backyard patio may look simple, yet it’s anything but. Owned by Kevin and Alex Pemoulie, a couple of NYC Momofuku vets (one of whom is an original Seattleite) who moved west for a change of pace to accommodate their growing family, the restaurant serves just a half dozen sandwiches. Each ingredient, however, is there with a purpose, from the fried lemons on the sardine sandwich to the yuzu kosho mayo on the steak tartare club. Also, the skins & ins—baked, frozen, then fried bits of potato—may just be the city’s best treatment of a tuber.
Don't Call It a Deli. Mean Sandwich is a Lunchtime Revelation.
Seattle Magazine - 2017
“Too few people understand a really good sandwich.” The legendary chef James Beard was not wrong when he wrote those words—we’ve certainly all eaten a lot of mediocre sandwiches. But stop by Mean Sandwich on an average weekday at noon and you’ll get a pretty good idea of just how many people here do understand a really good sandwich. (Click GO to read more...)
Seattle’s new Mean Sandwich achieves sandwich genius
The Seattle Times - 2017
It’s beautiful: a glossy dome of a Macrina sesame-seed bun, promising pink corned beef, bright magenta cabbage, delicate green mint leaves, a smear of sunshiny mustard showing here and there. (Click GO to read more...)
On a Saturday, mid-afternoon, all seats were full, and a line at the counter to order was well on its way. It’s not easy to do something as basic as a handful of sandwiches really well, but the Pemoulies have figured out the calculus to downright mean ones. (Click GO to read more...)