There’s a sandwich shop in Manoa called Andy’s. It’s tiny, it’s good, and just walking into the shop makes you happy. While Andy’s closes before dinner time, it’s a dandy breakfast/lunch go-to spot, and always the ideal place to pick up a meal before hiking up the nearby Manoa Falls. During weekday lunch hours you’re bound to run into Punahou students and teachers alike, along with residents in the neighborhood. Andy’s has that feel of utter and complete comfort. For previous posts on Andy’s click here and here.
The best sandwich here is doubtlessly the Mushroom Medley, which is more of a mushroom melt than anything else. House-baked bread (whole wheat), mushrooms, melted American cheese, sunflower seeds, tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce and alfalfa. Papaya seed dressing on the side. And a sprinkle of the ever elusive mix. The mix. No one knows exactly what goes into the mix – a powdery blend of this, that, and many more, all stored in a big plastic Costco container. The kind with a shaky top. There’s definitely paprika, pepper, and steak seasoning. But that’s all I can pick out. Better we never know. To know the secret would take out all the fun.
On another occasion, Marie and I split an acai bowl and the turkey-avocado sandwich. Smashed avocados slathered over the slices of turkey, then piled with carrots, tomatoes, cheese, and a sprinkle of the mix. Like most great sandwiches, it’s a very simple creation that owes it’s deliciousness to the quality of individual components. Daily baked bread, the turkey, local avocados, and of course, that mix.
Acai bowls are quite the trend in Hawai’i, though I’m not sure where I stand on the hate-to-love scale of this local obsession. My only complaint about Andy’s version is that the overly sweetened granola is bit overkill. I’d personally prefer a big bowl of shave ice with azuki beans and condensed milk, but that strikes lower on the health factor scale – a solid component in fueling Hawai’i love for acai. Darien swears after the one at Lanikai Juice, while Justin is a fan of Jewel or Juice.
On that same occasion, Kelly had the avocado veggie sandwich with a guava smoothie. I’ll never understand why people patronize Jamba Juice here when there’s Andy’s – better smoothies at a lower price. And the flavours! Guava! Mango! Papaya! (Nothing however, tops Thang’s Avocado Smoothie in my books ;)
Come in the mornings for a pancake and french toast fix. Or omelets and home fries if you prefer. I tend to eat a lot of breakfast in Hawai’i. Mornings on the island are absolutely beautiful, especially in Manoa where one often wakes to slight drizzles of rain. Or maybe it’s the fact that when I visit home, it’s vacation time, and all those unnecessary worries of work and life are put on hold back in NYC. Whatever the case, island mornings start with proper meal and not the coffee and run affair I’ve taken to habit.
Are you a french toast or pancake person? Mom and dad are of the pancake breed while dear sister always opts for french toast. I’m a 70/30, french toast/pancake person, though would gladly eat both in one sitting. Andy’s heavily cinnamon dusted version comes three to an order, made with local sweetbread. The search for the best french toast on the island is a perpetual one, though the version from Cafe Kaila in Market City rank highest at the moment.
Hope you had a great new years! I have a window seat in the office today and it is snowing all flurry-kine stuff. Apartment-mates are doing well: one at the gym, another doing laundry, and the third seeing a visitor off. Okee dokes, am leaving to dessert-for-lunch with Robyn now, dinner with friends tonight, and dim sum tomorrow. Back into the city swing of things :)
Andy’s Sandwiches & Smoothies
2904 East Manoa Road
Honolulu, Hawai’i 96822