Sisters Sandwich Shoppe is the lunch counter you need in Southampton | Coffee | Saint-Louis | Saint-Louis News and Events


Since opening their café, Espresso Yourself Coffee & Café, Tracy Calabro and Jules Karagiannis have heard the same refrain from their neighbors in Southampton: This neighborhood needs a delicatessen. For three years, guests not only lamented the lack of a neighborhood sandwich shop, but also explained to Calabro and Karagiannis why they were so adamant. Just months before Espresso Yourself moved to the storefront on Macklind and Devonshire avenues in 2018, the neighborhood had a sandwich counter, Macklind Avenue Deli, but it burned down and never reopened. It was an obvious void in an otherwise vibrant commercial district, and one that made Calabro and Karagiannis question whether they might be the right people to restore the sandwich to glory in the area.

Initially, Calabro and Karagiannis figured they couldn’t undertake such a project. Espresso Yourself was already a full time job for Karagiannis; for Calabro, it was an almost full-time concert in addition to his already 40-hour day job. However, the more they told themselves they couldn’t do it, the more they wondered, deep down, if they could. Eventually those thoughts got the better of them, and when the storefront adjacent to their cafe became available in early 2020, they decided it was the sign they needed that was what they were meant to be. to do.

Calabro and Karagiannis certainly had the food background to lean on. Having married a family of Greek restaurateurs, Karagiannis spent years in the business as a co-owner of the Tenderloin Room at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel. While she brought significant hospitality experience with her, she and Calabro made it clear that they wanted their new business to be a low-key neighborhood spot with interesting sandwiches, soups and salads. After brainstorming ideas with their kids, they set a menu, knocked down the wall between Espresso Yourself and the adjacent storefront, and named their deli Sisters Sandwich Shoppe.

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  • Tracy Calabro and Jules Karagiannis have teamed up to create the perfect lunch counter.

When Sisters Sandwich Shoppe opened in April this year, the Southampton neighborhood came out in force to support the deli they were waiting for. However, it’s not just the demand for a sandwich counter that is fueling the restaurant’s success. Sisters is a delight the moment you walk through the door and experience its charming ambience. Calabro and Karagiannis describe the aesthetic as retro vintage, using the 1965-1985 period as inspiration. Formica tables with ’70s-style flowery leather chairs, a turquoise leather sofa, and cool vintage knickknacks salvaged from their childhood home (think ET’s and the Smurfs’ lunch boxes and a statue of Alf) give the place the kind of nostalgic thrill you get from going through your old things in the basement of your childhood home.

However, you might eat your sandwiches inside a windowless beige room and still find the Sisters’ experience thrilling. Calabro and Karagiannis put their heart and soul into making the food they offer the kind of accessible dishes you would expect from a deli, but with special touches that make their offerings unique. You get what they want when you bite into the aptly named Don’t Be Basic, a stuffed turkey and provolone sandwich dressed in leafy pesto and juicy tomatoes on toasted sourdough bread. Like a combination of turkey and melted cheese with a caprese salad, this sandwich is easy and hot, but has enough interest to stick with you.

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The retro-themed dining room is just a thoughtful touch more than Sisters.  - MABEL SUEN

  • The retro-themed dining room is just a thoughtful touch more than Sisters.

Céline Dijon is another example of Calabro and Karagiannis adding a little extra to a classic dish. In this case, a chicken salad with chunky white meat is mixed with Dijon mustard and a touch of hot sauce to give it a tangy punch. Nestled in a crispy sandwich bread, it’s the only chicken salad that gets you tingling in your mouth.

The Gabagool, the sisters’ version of an Italian submarine, is shocking in its weight. Roast beef, salami and capicola are stacked on a hoagie with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pepperoncini and pickles, then drizzled with Italian dressing. Trying to get people talking about this huge juggernaut is a worthwhile feat.

The Bacon Me Crazy is equally impressive in its size. While it doesn’t break the mold of the classic BLT, the mix of perfectly cooked bacon, thick sliced ​​tomatoes, crunchy lettuce, a generous pile of rich mayonnaise, and toasted sourdough bread to a crisp golden hue you makes it clear why you don’t. spoil perfection.

You might think Au Jus Shouldn’t Have is a quintessential French dip – and in many ways, it’s with its heaps of roast beef, crusty bread and gravy. However, there is something about the way the melted cheese mixes with a garlic and red pepper vinaigrette that makes it a gooey, cheesy wonder. Once dipped in the mushroom-infused juice, it becomes clear that this is not a simple copy of a classic, but something extraordinary.

The same can be said for the Cheez Louise. Calabro and Karagiannis take a regular grilled cheese – American and provolone cheeses, white bread – as a starting point, then fill it with bacon and garlic butter to whip it up to eleven. Their sisters Sammie, too, start out as fried bologna and cheese, but the addition of Red Hot Riplets not only makes for spice and crunch, but makes it the most St. Louis of sandwiches you can find.

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The casual restaurant offers sandwiches and soups for lunch.  - MABEL SUEN

  • The casual restaurant offers sandwiches and soups for lunch.

As wonderful as all of Sisters’ offerings are, You Don’t Eat No Meat is the shop’s must-have offer. Calabro and Karagiannis start with a glorious Bridge Bread bagel (seriously, this is a real bagel and not the airy, circular-shaped garbage that is so often touted as such outside of NYC), then top it with tomatoes, red onions, yellow peppers, cucumber, lettuce, feta cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. The component that makes it absolutely transcendent, however, is a sundried tomato and feta cheese spread; it mixes with a balsamic vinaigrette to form that funky, earthy and tangy orange sauce that you want to order as a side and eat with a spoon. It will wow even the most ruthless meat eater.

This vegetarian sandwich alone is reason enough for Sisters Sandwich Shoppe to be in the world; If Southampton’s neighbors had known that Calabro and Karagiannis were capable of such majesty in making sandwiches, they might have held a vigil outside their storefront when they first arrived in the area there. three years ago. Fortunately, these sisters came to this realization without such drastic measures – and we are all the better for it.

Sisters Sandwich Place
5353 Devonshire Avenue, 314-405-8011.
Thu-Sun 11 am-3pm (Closed Monday to Wednesday.)
Sisters Sammie $ 9.50.
Au jus shouldn’t have $ 10.50.
You don’t eat meat $ 10.95

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