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Food & Drink

Like Sandwiches? Hate Lines? You’re Going to Love the Sandwich Room at Sea Salt.

In a sandwich desert, there's a Sea Salt solution.

Em Cassel|

I’m on a Sea Salt sandwich diet… I see salt sandwiches and I eat them. Hm, no… that’s not right.

When the weather's good, the line at Sea Salt, Minnehaha Regional Park’s beloved creekside seafood eatery, is always long. But it has looked especially prodigious when I’ve biked by so far this year, stretching the length of the tan stucco building and sometimes wrapping around the corner toward the falls.

Here, you have to embrace the wait as part of the experience: You grab a beer, you catch up with your friends, you pet the dogs, you run into someone you haven’t seen in a while. You hope it’ll be less than an hour, and often it even is! 

There are occasions, though, when you don’t want to spend your time standing around on a beautiful Minneapolis afternoon. There are places to be, trails to ride, screaming children who lost interest in this po’ boy endeavor after the first 10 minutes. Approaching the building, your heart might sink. How much of your one wild and precious life are you meant to spend waiting to order a fried catfish basket?

On such an occasion you need only step inside the awning and make for The Sandwich Room at Sea Salt.

Neighborhood newsletter Longfellow Whatever had a great scoop ahead of Sea Salt's 2024 season: This year, the restaurant would add The Sandwich Room at Sea Salt in the adjacent pavilion. From co-owner Bill Blood, known to some, delightfully, as Sandwich Bill, The Sandwich Room would join a new tap beer station and serve a more land-based menu than its established counterpart. And, for a week or two now, it’s been quietly open.

On #4, Violet, a colorful cherry tomato slaw is the star.Em Cassel

Like any anxious person/food writer, I check the menu online before visiting a new restaurant, but that’s not an option with The Sandwich Room. In fact, you won’t find too much evidence of its existence on Sea Salt’s website or social media pages, which could help explain why there were just three or four people waiting to place an order as we approached the counter this past weekend.

At The Sandwich Room, a rotating selection of sandwiches are available each day until they sell out—picture the big board at classic Minnesota sandwicheries like Duluth’s Northern Waters and St. Paul’s Cecil's. By the time we made it on Sunday a little after 1 p.m. just six sandwiches remained, including the #2 Lil T (London broil roast beef, Mediterranean ranch cream, sharp white cheddar, pickled onion, arugula, balsamic) and #10 Panelli (Black Forest ham, pepperoni, salami, capocollo, etc.). 

With 33 sandwiches total—#33, the roasted turkey and goat cheese Caspersondwich, was just added, according to the friendly gal who took our order—you’ll have a lot of options from day to day, all more landlubbing than the seafaring selection next door. All are served on a Patisserie 46 baguette (unless otherwise noted) and cost $15 including tax and service fee (unless otherwise noted). 

One such departure is #4, Violet, a $13 riff on a caprese that’s served on fluffy focaccia. A refreshingly simple vegetarian sandwich perfect for a hot summer afternoon, Violet sports soft hunks of fresh mozzarella that are complemented by a grassy green pesto and sticky balsamic glaze. 

Many of The Sandwich Room at Sea Salt’s sammies have a little extra something for oomph—in this case, a snappy, vinegary slaw of red, white, and gold, and purple cherry tomatoes. It’s the slaw that takes the sandwich from “very good” to “very memorable” territory.

Em Cassel

Uncle Harry is #1 on the Sandwich Room’s board, and sinking your teeth into it you’ll quickly understand why. On this baguette, sliced brisket sausage is slotted in on a healthy spread of pimento cheese. It’s a little smoky, a little spicy, and surprisingly sweet, thanks to bacon habanero jam and Cry Baby Craig’s hot honey. And if that sounds like A Lot? There’s also a sweet pepper slaw, plus a layer of fresh arugula. The sausage is the star, but the jam gives it that bite-to-bite craveability. It’s complex, approximating either a barbecue platter or a charcuterie board depending on how everything hits your palate. This’ll be one to order again and again. 

The Sandwich Room at Sea Salt is a smart way for this landmark Minneapolis restaurant to round out its space. The sandwiches are clever and varied enough to rival the baskets of fried seafood served next door, and crucially, the shop brings classic butcher paper-wrapped sandwiches to a section of the city that’s really hurting for good sandwiches. 

This is where I think The Sandwich Room will thrive: less as something to enjoy alongside Minnehaha Falls, and more as Sea Salt’s grab-’n’-go deli counterpart. I imagine I’ll be back on other bike rides this summer, tossing a sandwich in my bag before continuing on up the creek or heading on to the bluffs in St. Paul. Whenever hunger strikes, I’ll have a backpack sandwich, waiting to be enjoyed. 

But if the Sea Salt line’s simply too long, it’ll be there for you, too.

The Sandwich Room at Sea Salt
Address: 4825 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis
Hours: Open daily 11 a.m. - sellout

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