There's nothing like a warm hello and a slap on the back to make a person feel welcome, and at the Lenny's outlet that just opened in the former home of Scooter Joe's , the staff goes even further: They rang a bell when I walked in and greeted me with a series of loud cheers. Thankfully, no one actually slapped me on the back -- that would be going a little far for a sandwich shop I'd never been in before.
Still, the enthusiastic welcome was a good beginning. I'm not sure if this is the M.O. at all 160-plus Lenny's outlets across the country (the rapidly expanding Memphis-based chain has two other Colorado locations and plans for many more) or if it's unique to this one spot. But it was pretty cool.
And the physical atmosphere made things even better. The day was warm, and Lenny's had raised the garage door on the building and set out a bunch of patio tables and chairs. Inside the airy establishment, the flat screen was tuned to a basketball game. All in all, the ambiance was a couple of nice steps up from your local Subway.
And that was the primary benefit to Lenny's, since the food here was about on par with that of a a Subway. Mostly fresh vegetables and medium-quality meats (at least Lenny's slices it right there and loads on about a half a pound) are stuffed inside a large, if forgettable, white-bread hoagie roll.
I was told that the store's most popular sammies are the #2 Italian Sub and the #11 Philly Cheesesteak. Since I've had plenty of awesome Italians in recent months and enough gross Philly Cheesesteaks for one lifetime, I went with the #6 Deluxe Club Sub.
Lenny's assembly-line process is similar to Subway's, so I added onion, lettuce, tomato, salt and pepper, oregano, pickles and hot pepper relish (in that order). So the sandwich was loaded, but still kind of bland. Fortunately, Lenny's signature Hot Pepper Relish (which the store also sells by the jar) added an excellent kick.
So did that friendly staff, when they asked if I wanted a refill on my root beer, made sure my sandwich was okay -- and then cleared the trash when I was done.
And that service is why I'll head back to Lenny's sometime soon. That, and the bell.
For previous sandwiches, log on to the Our Weekly Bread archive.