|Big-Ass Sandwiches, Brief Review|
|Overall||Service||Food Quality||Atmosphere||Vegan Options|
|Location: SW 3rd and Ash, Portland, OR|
Friday and Saturday Late
|Times Visited: 3|
Big-Ass Sandwiches caused a lot of racket at the foodcart quad pod on SW 3rd and Ash last December. The food received rave reviews from local media and websites on the size and flavor of their sandwiches before they even opened and their name caused controversy among the City of Portland. Now that they’ve been open through the winter, the reviews remain the same – praise on all fronts – the bread, the meat, the fries, the cheese sauce, the specials, the lunch, late night hours, and the friendliness of the two owners, who happen to run the cart.
The menu is simple, 4 sandwiches, sides, and sodas made with real cane sugar. Weekly specials are posted on their Twitter, but none have been vegan yet. (Maybe they will make a Stumptown Vegans themed sandwich one day!) So with a small menu, you can guess there aren’t many vegan options: The Big-Ass Vegetarian, French Fries, Grilled Mushrooms, Onions, or Peppers are our only options.
The Big-Ass Vegetarian ($6) is vegan by default and starts with a wonderfully fresh ciabatta roll from Fleur De Lis Bakery, a few slices of thick Field Roast deli slices, and homemade French Fries. My first thought was that this was going to be too dry, but softness of the bread and the sogginess and grease of the French Fries showed me otherwise. The soggy French Fries outnumbered the Field Roast, in volume and taste 1 to 5, so it was much more like potato sandwich than anything else. I did enjoy the generous cut of the Field Roast, but I still couldn’t taste it much with the fries. On one visit I happened to get lucky and got to try it with the addition of Follow Your Heart Cheddar cheese slices on it. However, even with the generous amount of vegan cheese slices and the Field Roast, this sandwich didn’t hold up to the hype of the omni options.
The gut rot I experienced after eating my first Big-Ass Sandwich made me consider subbing the fries for some peppers, onions, and mushrooms for 50 cents each. So, for my third visit I opted to include grilled mushrooms and onions. This helped give the sandwich better flavor and texture to include more than two ingredients between the bread. However, for the 50 cent additional add-on for each, it made the sandwich more than I wanted to pay. And, I still got gut rot from the amount of oil.
So while I enjoy the idea and the passion behind the cart, I do not recommend vegans to visit Big-Ass Sandwiches for much more than their bread and soda pop made with cane sugar, unless you’re use to rich foods. For a better sandwich in the area, made specifically for vegans, check out The Peoples’ Sandwich of Portland.