By Samantha Wickramasinghe
Ceylon Today Features
What welcomes you to the The Sandwich Factory (TSF) is a 1950, Volkswagen mini-bus. It is carefully crafted as a podium to welcome customers. There are many other striking artefacts such as the vehicle plates from various states and cities of America and a picture of Marilyn Monroe adding more glamour to the 1950s American diner atmosphere. Indeed, these striking artefacts, tell me that authenticity matters when it comes to recreating a culture that is far away from its birthplace. Thus after being relocated to Palm Grove, Colombo 3, TSF has added more space and culture to provide its customers the American diner experience.
However, fine looks alone cannot get people to come to a restaurant; good food has to be served too. TSF offers a variety of melts, wraps, sandwiches, burgers and subs which are inspired by a fusion of many cultures, textures and colours. For example, take TSF's Philly Cheese Steak which can be purchased as a half or a full sandwich. Philly Cheese Steaks are quite popular in America and are by no means distant from Sri Lankans.
The sandwich includes onions, green peppers, mushrooms and cheese which create a delightfully hot combination of flavours – the kind Sri Lankans are used to. I'm told that instead of the original steak I could pick chicken if I want to. I prefer steak. If you decide to buy a hot sandwich like a Philly, it is better to order a float or a shake that goes along. My personal favourite was the Milo Chocolate Milk Shake although it was difficult to drink without stirring. On top of the shake Milo powder is added as a decoration. But do not be fooled by this decoration. Once you stir it up, it becomes yummy and delicious.
The Island Chilli Fries portion is a good option if you want something extra. It is up for a reasonable price; however I feel that this addition could be too much if you already had a burger or a sandwich. If you want to feel fuller, then go for the Beef Island Chilli Fries. I was given a plastic fork to eat the fries but I thought the fork was useless. You need to use your hands to eat it. In fact many of the food items at the TSF need you to eat with your hands. There are so many other options available such as chicken wings and burritos as you might not totally like the items I picked.
TSF has space to accommodate families in the large outdoor play area apart from the main dining area. In the play area, families can hang out and spend some great time together. TSF also has special room for toddlers to play around. Hisham Cader is the founder, CEO and Managing Director of TSF.
"By creating an outdoor play area, we wanted to make a family-friendly atmosphere. We want families to come here and spend a good time." Cader said.
TSF has a special health range for those who are concerned about eating low cal food. However the amount of calories is not included in any of the menu items. Cader said that he was willing to indicate the calories on the menu if only requested by the customers.
"If customers request we will put the number of calories in the health range. Eating healthy, living healthy should be a part of a person's life style. You have to balance things out. I eat from my restaurant but I do not always eat high calorie food. I try to maintain my health in a good condition all the time." Cader said.
TSF provides you with a space to get away from. Therefore if you are planning to spend an evening with your family, TSF offers you a place to relax and have some good food. Food could be ordered online through www.thesandwichfactory.lk as well although if you're going out with your friends I would highly recommend you to go to the restaurant.
(Pix by Gemunu Wellage and