As a vegetarian, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that most sandwich shops only have a few meatless offerings on the menu. Many of them read like this: a slab of cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and some grilled vegetable.
Ike’s Lair, which across the street from De Anza College, breaks the mold, providing a menu that’s bountiful for both carnivorous and vegetarian palettes.
The new location boasts specials specific to the South Bay such as the Steve Jobs sandwich, whose namesake was a longtime vegetarian himself. The breaded creation is bursting with strong flavors and textures: crunchy lettuce, sharp Dutch crust, ranch dressing, perfectly cooked and breaded eggplant, pesto, ranch dressing and Provolone cheese.
Consisting of notoriously fat-laden ingredients, it may not win the approval of Dr. McDougall, but it sure is tasty! And half of a sandwich is filling enough to satisfy most lunchtime appetites.
I also sampled the “Captain Kirk”, which was stuffed with tender breaded “chicken”, a piquant orange glaze, and slices of fresh avocado. It didn’t skimp on ingredients, barely squeezing everything into a plump sandwich. Other vegetarian offerings include the aptly titled Pilgrim (vegan turkey, cranberry, and Sriracha and Havard cheeses) and Meatless Mike, which is more or less a vegetarian Sloppy Joe: “meatballs”, marinara and pepper jack.
Meat-lovers, you also have a slew in store, with choices such as Matt Cain (roast beef, turkey, salami, an enigmatic “Godfather sauce” and Provolone cheese), and Elvis Keith (Halal chicken, Teriyaki, Wasabi mayo, and Swiss cheese).
The prices may be steep for your average student budget, with a whole sandwich (especially those with meat) priced up to $13.31. Every sandwich has a half offering, usually for around $5 or $6. There are over 30 choices on the visible menu (10 of them vegetarian), but customers can dip into Ike’s complete selection, which boasts 200 scrumptious sandwiches.
A week after the new location, customers have been taking note: at 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, there was only one spare table in the spacious shop.