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Great American Sandwich Company on Soi Buakhao (Sept. 13, 2017)


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#1 Evil Penevil

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 10:23 AM

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Last night I dropped into the Great American Sandwich Company to sample their fare. One sandwich does not a review make, but I was certainly happy with with my pork rib sandwich (170 baht) and will be back to sample a few more of the 10 hoagie-style John Montagu's on their menu. 

 

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Some preliminary observations before I get down to the meat of the matter.  It's located on Soi Buakhao, a few "blocks" north of LK Metro and across the street from Jolly's. GASCO is clean, cheerful, comfortable and well-lit, all of which are positive factors in my eyes.

 

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It's a small restaurant  with three booths for four on one side and three tables for three on the other in the enclosed area, plus two tables outside. The staff was friendly, efficient and full of smiles.  The pretty girl who served me read back my order to me,  always a good idea even when language comprehension is a potential issue. The gentleman who I took to be the  farang manager welcomed me, asked if everything was OK after my food arrived and thanked me for coming as I departed.  Those are all nice touches which encourage customers to return and are unfortunately absent from many restaurants in Pattaya.

 

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As the name would indicate, it's U.S. themed with  movie posters and iconic photos decorating the walls. There's a giant wall-mounted TV that seemed to be showing music videos at a blissfully subtle volume.

 

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One of my all-time favorite photos was on prominent display. I ate there at 8 p.m. and all the booths and tables were taken at one point, although it was mostly single diners, about eight people in total. That's eight more than several larger and better-known restaurants in the LK Metro area had at that hour.

 

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The menu was also wall-mounted.

 

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The menu was limited to ten sandwiches of the hoagie, sub, grinder, hero variety. They all trace back to the  sandwiches carried by Italian immigrants to factory jobs on the U.S east coast in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Meat and vegetables were piled into a small loaves of Italian bread, with numerous local variations (and names) developing over the years.

 

While the origin of the word "hoagie" is obscure, several food historians believe they were originally called Hoggies after Philadelphia's Hog Island, which at one point boasted the world's largest shipyard and employed thousands of newly-arrived Italians. The creek that separated Hog Island from the mainland was filled in during the 1930's and the former Hog Island is now the site of Philadelphia International Airport.

 

The sandwiches feature pork, chicken or beef as the main act.  It's a fairly standard line-up with chicken parm, meatball. sausage, etc. as well as the love-it-or-hate-it Philly cheese steak. Three sides are are on offer: French fries; potato salad and coleslaw. You  can have water. soft drinks or draft Chang along with your sandwich.

 

Last night I went with the pork rib sandwich and a small side of coleslaw and wasn't disappointed.

 

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It consisted of 10 inches of pork ribs that had been smoked and slow-cooked, then de-boned, sauced and grilled. The ribs rested on a bed of lettuce and sliced onion in a fresh hoagie roll.

 

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 The ribs tasted good and hadn't been drowned in sauce, which is exactly the way I like smoked ribs, especially in a sandwich.

 

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I was less impressed with the coleslaw.  It was standard school-cafeteria coleslaw, but a bit too heavily dressed and watery for my* taste. Next time I'll try the potato salad.

 

The meal set me back 250 baht (sandwich 170, coleslaw 45, Coke Zero 35). I am well aware there are places in Pattaya where you can get much bigger meals for 250 baht, but that's irrelevant to me.  If I have a hankering for a pork rib or meatball sandwich, it doesn't matter that pad thai can be had for 100 baht or a daily special Hunter's Chicken for 150 baht. GASCO offers reasonably priced American-style sandwiches and that's what I want to eat some nights. And for the budget conscious, there are sandwiches on the menu for as little as 75 baht.

 

We have to be realistic.  GASCO is a small sandwich place that doesn't purport to be anything else. It's not the restaurant to visit if you want to stuff yourself on anything but sandwiches.  I'd much rather choose from 10 well-prepared and tasty sandwiches  than 20 mediocre ones. The only problem I can see with such a limited menu is that there's not much which would appeal to Thai females and that's sometimes a factor in choosing a place to eat. 

 

Was it the best rib sandwich I've ever had?  No, it wasn't, but in Pattaya, we're half-way around the globe from the US of A.  Will I be eating there three or four times a week?  No, I won't, although I could be grabbing sandwiches for take-away on a regular basis.  I see GASCO more of a place for a snack than a full meal.

 

I hope in time GASCO will expand its menu to include a Reuben sandwich and my comfort food favorite, grilled cheese. But the Reuben is as much an American specialty sandwich as the Philly cheese steak and not easy or cheap to make abroad.  Corned beef, rye bread, sauerkraut and Swiss cheese are expensive ingredients in Thailand and a Reuben without a kosher-style dill pickle isn't really a Reuben.  Like the little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead, when a Reuben is good, it's very, very good, but when it is bad, it is horrid.  Many small restaurants in Pattaya have come a cropper by trying to overreach themselves.

 

Bottom line:  Try it!  

 

Evil

:devil


Edited by Evil Penevil, 13 September 2017 - 02:27 AM.

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#2 MM

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Posted 11 April 2017 - 05:45 PM

Been three times now and it's great. I had the rib sandwich the first visit, the meatball sandwich, and finally the pulled pork sandwich.
Service is excellent and two of the servers are quite cute to boot.
My appetite is satisfied with their small sandwiches which run about 80 baht. My bills have been ludicrously low, especially considering the very high prices at Pastrami on Rye back in the day.


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#3 The_Fat_Controller

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Posted 12 April 2017 - 05:06 PM

Agree with the above posts, excellent sandwiches, attentive staff and good decor.

 

Pricing is spot-on, a snack for under 100 Baht and a meal for under 200.


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#4 Evil Penevil

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 03:18 AM

Agree with the above posts, excellent sandwiches, attentive staff and good decor.

 

Pricing is spot-on, a snack for under 100 Baht and a meal for under 200.

 

And yet on another board I read a comment that claimed GASCO is "doomed to fail."  I think it has a better chance than most, but massive over-establishment  has made it difficult for any new restaurant in Pattaya.

 

Evil

:devil


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#5 MM

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Posted 13 April 2017 - 07:30 AM

 

And yet on another board I read a comment that claimed GASCO is "doomed to fail."  I think it has a better chance than most, but massive over-establishment  has made it difficult for any new restaurant in Pattaya.

 

Evil

:devil

They may have a low income period during Songkran. I know I'm not going to brave the water tossing on Soi Buakhao to get there. I really would like to have one of their sandwiches right now.

 

As for failing, it's got everything going for it except parking and location...well, even the location might work for them with the adjacent bars and local delivery orders.

 

Good VFM, service, consistent preparation, good ingredients, and knowledgeable owner on site. Oh, and the cheerleader :P


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#6 Goldpanner

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 09:26 AM

They arent sandwiches.

Sandwiches are made from flat bread.

Those are bread rolls or baps.

Sandwiches, they aint.

 

This has been another education lesson from Goldpanner.

Thank You


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#7 Evil Penevil

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:04 AM

They arent sandwiches.

Sandwiches are made from flat bread.

Those are bread rolls or baps.

Sandwiches, they aint.

 

 

 

The definition of sandwich in U.S. English is broader than in British English and some of its offshoots. In the U.S.,  it's a sandwich if the filling rests between two pieces of bread or on top of one piece (open-faced sandwich).  The bread component doesn't have to be sliced from a loaf.

 

Evil

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#8 MM

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:23 AM

They arent sandwiches.

Sandwiches are made from flat bread.

Those are bread rolls or baps.

Sandwiches, they aint.

 

This has been another education lesson from Goldpanner.

Thank You

How silly. And you have your puddings and pies that aren't :P


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#9 Evil Penevil

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:38 AM

And then we have "chips" and "biscuits" with different meanings for the same words.  English is a flexible language because there's no academy or equivalent body to rule on the spelling or definition of words.

 

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#10 Bullfrog

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 01:42 PM

And then we have "chips" and "biscuits" with different meanings for the same words.  English is a flexible language because there's no academy or equivalent body to rule on the spelling or definition of words.

 

Evil

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Yes, I think many English in America have succumbed to the free chips at the bar offer...or in my case a free Buffet night......which turned out to be a Jimmy Buffet night......


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#11 forcebwithu

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 03:13 PM

And here I thought a sandwich was made with two women.


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#12 Evil Penevil

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 04:44 PM

And here I thought a sandwich was made with two women.

 

As said. English is a very flexible language.  And I hope the girls are, too!

 

Evil

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#13 gs joe

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 06:02 PM

Well it says America sandwich , not to be confused with the great British butty ,

Joe

Edited by gs joe, 14 April 2017 - 06:04 PM.

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#14 jacko

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:39 PM

They arent sandwiches.

Sandwiches are made from flat bread.

Those are bread rolls or baps.

Sandwiches, they aint.

 

This has been another education lesson from Goldpanner.

Thank You

I suppose a pancake isn't that either. 

US sandwiches are more of a meal than a snack, whereas a UK sandwich can be quite pathetic... transparent slice of ham and a wipe of butter!

I used to work until late in the USA and grabbing a Reuben or Subway 12inch on the way back to the hotel with a 6 pack was a common evening.

PS, No man should EVER order a 6 inch sub !


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#15 nkped

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Posted 14 April 2017 - 11:40 PM

Well it says America sandwich , not to be confused with the great British butty ,
Joe

That sounds obscene.
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#16 parry

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 08:05 PM

Will definitely try this place on my next trip. I have enjoyed a Reuben from The Golf Club in the past, delivered to The Metro. I wonder how this compares with the genuine article...


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#17 jacko

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Posted 16 April 2017 - 10:01 PM

Will definitely try this place on my next trip. I have enjoyed a Reuben from The Golf Club in the past, delivered to The Metro. I wonder how this compares with the genuine article...

The Reuben I had at the Golf Club was  rather puny compared to what I used to get from a specialized Reuben place in the USA..I too was looking to see how this place compared.


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#18 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:03 PM

They arent sandwiches.

Sandwiches are made from flat bread.

Those are bread rolls or baps.

Sandwiches, they aint.

 

This has been another education lesson from Goldpanner.

Thank You

 

 

 

"Flatbread" means unleavened bread.

 

If the bread is unleavened it's called a taco, souvlaki,or (a term I hate for some reason) a wrap.

 

Sandwiches are typically made with leavened bread.


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#19 nkped

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Posted 19 April 2017 - 01:17 PM

The unleavened/flat bread itself is a tortilla.
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#20 Moza

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 03:48 PM

I went here a week or so ago and had the sausage hoagie or something like that with chips...surprisingly they did not have any vinegar, they gave me a wee bowl of like olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing sort of thing as the best they could do?! Strange

Sandwich was nice though, I enjoyed it! Filling and fresh

Will be back again and skips the chips if there is no vinegar 555

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#21 MeGoDanceNow

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 09:17 PM

Malt vinegar would be a good thing to have on hand.


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#22 Evil Penevil

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Posted 20 April 2017 - 10:16 PM

Malt vinegar isn't used much with French fries in the U.S. and only a few U.S. companies brew it, so it's not surprising The Great American Sandwich Co doesn't offer it.  However, considering the number of Brits and others in Pattaya who do sprinkle malt vinegar on fries, it would be good for business if it were part of the condiment basket.

 

Evil

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Edited by Evil Penevil, 22 April 2017 - 05:23 PM.

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#23 9cisco999

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 02:48 PM

Top shelf report Evil.     Thanks.

 

 

Does anyone happen to know the operating hours of the GASC?     Maybe at least when they open?


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#24 Evil Penevil

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 05:46 PM

Top shelf report Evil.     Thanks.

 

 

Does anyone happen to know the operating hours of the GASC?     Maybe at least when they open?

 

According to the GASCO FB page, it is open 11.00 a.m. to midnight.

 

Evil

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#25 cbrib

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 05:47 PM

I would think they would have malt vinegar. Despite the name the town is loaded with Brits, would just make sense. Anyway i will be in to try the philly cheese steak soon vinegar or not.


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