Psst! Secret Sandwich Society is back, baby!
Updated: Oct 5
Nearly three years after a devastating fire gutted the popular Fayetteville spot, Secret Sandwich Society rose from the ashes last week when it reopened in a new building constructed on the same ground where the original restaurant once stood.
The long-awaited reopening was welcome news of statewide interest, since the first Secret Sandwich had earned a passionate and far-reaching following thanks to a mouthwatering menu of creative salads, hearty apps, stacked sandwiches and towering burgers.
I had visited the old spot several times to devour gloriously messy stuffed sandwiches named after the Secret Service “code names” of former U.S. Presidents and First Ladies.
There’s the Roosevelt (roast beef, bacon, horseradish mayo, white cheddar, lettuce, tomato and red onions on a toasted baguette) and the Truman (turkey, peach jam, blue cheese spread and crispy onions on a toasted potato roll).
The Van Buren (pastrami, Swiss, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing on butter-toasted rye) and the Lady Bird (roasted chicken breast, bacon, chipotle mayo, housemade pickles, lettuce, tomato and red onions on a toasted potato roll).
There’s the Adams (slow-roasted pork shoulder, honey butter, pimento cheese, pickles and jalapeño on a toasted potato roll) and the Hoover (fried chicken breast, honey butter, Swiss, pickles and greens on a toasted potato roll). There’s the Washington (ham, white cheddar, apple, rosemary mayo and greens on a toasted baguette) and the Frances (fried fish, jalapeño slaw, pickled red onions and chipotle mayo on a toasted potato roll) among others, including some nice vegetarian sandwiches.
Burgers include the General (thousand island, pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onions and your choice of cheese), Venus (feta, marinated roasted red peppers, lettuce, red onions and housemade green goddess dressing) and Dynamo (bacon, blue cheese, marinated roasted red peppers and crispy onions).
Plus the Velvet (bacon, French onion dip, balsamic onions and Swiss), Timberwolf (American cheese, bacon, jalapeño, smoky BBQ sauce and crispy onions) and Renaissance (a Beyond burger with vegan cheese, roasted garlic mayo, jalapeno slaw and pickles on a vegan roll).
See what I mean about glorious?
And let’s not forget those famous pimento cheese fries, Parmesan-truffle fries, seasoned potato chips with housemade French onion dip, and crispy Brussels sprouts with either lemon and Parmesan or feta, balsamic reduction and hot honey.
Salads feature unique ingredients like bacon, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, spiced cashews, apples, roasted curry cauliflower, crispy chickpeas, buttered breadcrumbs and more, plus there are a couple of desserts to cap off your meal.
Although I’ll miss the melty meatloaf sandwich the original restaurant offered, it’s no Secret that I can’t wait to enjoy some of my other old favorites soon. Just now in the restaurant’s shiny new digs. Welcome back, SSS!
IF YOU GO: Secret Sandwich Society, 103 Keller Ave. in Fayetteville, is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. For more details, call 304-574-4777, visit www.secretsandwichsociety.com or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Jump into great food at Taste of Bridge Day
Speaking of Fayetteville, if you’re looking for a pretty drive that takes you through stunning fall foliage and ends with a smorgasbord of delicious food overlooking the New River Gorge, you should come join me for Taste of Bridge Day from 5-9 p.m. at Smokey’s On the Gorge in the Fayetteville area on Friday, Oct. 20.
At this annual food fest held the evening before West Virginia’s largest one-day festival – Bridge Day – guests sample menu items from some of Southern West Virginia’s top restaurants and caterers while also enjoying live music and local arts-and-crafts in a beautiful outdoor setting tucked behind Adventures On the Gorge.
Even better (for me, anyway) is that I’ve been asked to help judge the best food at this year’s event.
So while I’m gorging on all the things in a valiant effort to pick my favorite, others can purchase tickets to try any items from any vendor they’d like – similar to how the Taste of Charleston works – to settle on their own best bites for a People’s Choice Award.
Food vendors at this year’s event include Angelo’s Italian Sausage, Black Bear Bakery, Café 110, Chetty’s Pub, The Corner Gas & Grill, Craft Kings, Don Rizo Mexican Kitchen, The Handle Bar + Kitchen at Arrowhead Bike Farm, Kobe Asian Food Truck, Lost Paddle Bar & Grill, Smokey’s On the Gorge, Tamarack, Twisted Sisterz BBQ and WV Beef Jerky.
As for bragging rights last year, Craft Kings won for best appetizer, Mister Crab Catering & Boil Truck took best entrée, Smokey’s On the Gorge won best dessert, Corner Gas & Grill was the People’s Choice and Tamarack racked up the highest sales of the evening.
Proceeds from the event help benefit the Canyon Rim Rotary Club, which coordinates community service projects to benefit several local charities.
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Steven Keith is a food writer and restaurant critic known as “The Food Guy” who writes a weekly column for the Charleston Gazette-Mail and has appeared in several state, regional and national culinary publications. Follow him online at www.wvfoodguy.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. He can be reached at 304-380-6096 or at email@example.com.