Pizza and Sandwich House
2245 140th Ave. N.E.
Bellevue WA 98005
Pizza, Grinders and Chinese Food, Oh My?
By: Steve G
Located on the outskirts of Bellevue, Pizza and Sandwich House is an off-beat restaurant with an odd mix of foods. As the name implies, the place serves up a variety of pizzas and sandwiches. The business is a family-run operation, although the family might not be one you'd expect -- when you peek into window and see the place's unassuming decor and sense of style, you can't help but notice the glowing neon sign advertising an unexpected item at this joint: Chinese Food. After perusing the first two pages of the menu, the last page has a small assortment of Chinese dishes. Soy Sauce Chicken? Green Onion Pancake? These are not things I expected to find at a place called Pizza and Sandwich House!
Walking through the doorway was like going through a time machine. Furnished with booths upholstered with something that looked like it came out of the 70's (we half expected Fez or Kelso to come out of the back door), the place had a dated yet casual, neighborhood-like feel. On the far wall hung three huge collages showcasing pictures of the owner's family and restaurant regulars with their families. It's a nice and surprisingly personal touch. Other posters highlighted the restaurant's support of Seahawk and Husky football, though many of the posters looked rather aged. How aged you ask? Well, let's just say I saw a poster of Steve Largent, who hasn't played since the 80's. In fact, the only thing that assured me that I hadn't just taken a magical ride in the good doctor's DeLorean was the firmly mounted Xbox on the TV hanging from the ceiling right above our heads.
At "The House", we ordered the Combo Pizza and the Special Chicken Pizza to test their pizza making skills. The combo pizza both looked and tasted very unappealing; made with a dry flat bread that tasted like straight flour, the ingredients seemed to be simply slapped on, covered with cheese and baked. Sadly, it was reminiscent of a plain old frozen pizza. The special chicken pizza unfortunately had the same unappetizing crust as the combo pizza. The toppings included green onions, tomatoes and garlic, which were satisfying, but still nothing to rave about.
Their Grinders are served on a soft toasted French roll with lettuce, tomato, mayo and turkey meat. Especially in light of the pizza, the grinder was remarkably tasty, but we also wondered how wrong you could go when making a grinder. For those of you who are curious about their Chinese Food, check out their Green Onion Pancake (here it's simply labeled "onion cake"). Surprisingly good, the pancake appeared to be handmade from scratch. The Soy Sauce Chicken was certainly edible but ultimately, it was none to impressive. Including a large portion of rice, a couple pieces of chicken, and a side of soy sauce, it was a little bit bland although the meat seemed to be slightly marinated... for what it's worth.
Reflecting on our epicurean adventure, we agreed that our entire experience at Pizza and Sandwich House was odd yet amusing. The staff was very friendly, the food came out quickly, and they separated the check for us, even though we didn't request it (which we greatly appreciated despite being totally unnecessary). The pizzas will run you about $11 which we found a little steep, however single topping pizzas are more economically priced around $7. The pizzas are a little small, probably good enough for one person or two people with small appetites. The Chinese food, while not stellar, did appear to be made with reasonable skill and care. The onion cake is highly recommended and we've heard that they also make a mean potsticker. The Chinese food was a better value than the pizza and should be filling for most people even when on a small budget. And perhaps most tellingly, so odd was the experience that we eventually decided to try the Chinese food a second time around. But while we hoped to find somehting more in our second trip, In the words of Marvel Comics' Stan Lee, "Nuff Said."