As someone who likes bread, I often feel that the sandwich is under-appreciated. I guess it makes sense in this predominantly rice-eating country. But let me tell you a little secret: a meal here at Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop will change your perspective. You can ask my brother Jason too and he would agree wholeheartedly.
It’s not hard to find Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop in Scout Rallos. Normally navigating through the Scouts confuse me without a GPS, but thankfully this is just the next street over from Timog Avenue. It stands right beside Mrs. Graham’s Macaron Shop– more on that soon!– and you just have to watch out for this sign:
Upon entering, you are immediately met with the smiling face of whoever stands behind the counter. The staff makes this place feel like your friendly neighbourhood sandwich shop, and they are very accommodating to every little request you may have.
You’d think that the limited number of things on the menu would help you decided more easily than if you’re faced with a lot of choices, but all those names sound tasty enough that you’d be tempted to try them all out!
It gets a little more difficult to pick when you see the visual menu. Just look at those fat marshmallows on the ‘Elvis Pressme’ picture, practically inviting you to literally press them!
I definitely have to order that one and take loads of pics on my next visit.
The ground floor seats about 4 or 5 people, with one table and a space at the counter for bar-type seating. But fret not, they do have a second floor that reminds me a little bit of being inside a boat.
The interiors are simple enough but inviting, with a lot of wooden elements. It makes the place picture-perfect and Instagram-worthy actually. No wonder they encourage diners to take Instagram photos with their #iShotTheSandwich, even going so far as providing props!
Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop sits in a small space, but they’ve maximized it to seat as many people as possible. There’s one long table at the center of the room perfect for barkada hang-out’s or school cramming sessions. (Or playing board games, which they have.) If only this place existed when I was still a college student many years ago!
To me, sandwich-making is definitely an art form just like all things involving food. You have to figure out which ingredients go together to create maximum dining experience, and even which bread goes better with which filling.
You can take it a step further by figuring out your side dishes too, because everybody likes to munch on something else with their sandwich. It’s not just experimentation with flavours but with texture as well.
The Graham brothers, Chris and Carl, probably know this all too well, and it’s clear they don’t take something as “simple” as a sandwich for granted. Just read their many shining reviews online and you’ll know. Everything they make in the shop is painstakingly thought out and worked on, from their homemade chips to their aioli.
Chris (on the right) told me that their inspiration for the sandwich shop stems from their childhood, during those times when their mom had to come home late from work and they needed to make themselves some dinner. They’d take out stuff from the fridge and started mixing and matching until a sandwich was born. That’s a pretty good way to flex your culinary brain!
This was the complete spread of what we ate this day, taking into consideration the recommendations made by Chris. I know what you’re thinking: The food plus the place make a perfect picture, but how good are the sandwiches really?
Short answer: Freaking good.
The Salmwich (Php 300) 🌟
A generous layer of lemon-buttered salmon sits on cream cheese and Mr. Graham’s signature aioli. Sprinkled on top we’ve got some fresh tomatoes, capers, and alfalfa sprouts, which is something that I thoroughly enjoy in my sandwich.
This sandwich is fresh and light, but not short on flavour. I love how many textures I got in every bite, thanks to those alfalfa sprouts. This is a less guilt-inducing sandwich than the one I’m about to mention below, and any salmon-lover like myself wouldn’t go wrong with getting this option.
I love how the cream cheese and aioli work well with the salmon without overpowering it, allowing you to still get a hint of that lemon-butter. Every bite is a burst of flavours and fresh veggies. A great filling sandwich for those more conscious about their food intake!
The Cebuano (Php 210 for Small, Php 380 for Medium) 🌟
The pride of Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop. This sandwich was inspired by The Cubano, which is something I’ve been meaning to try after watching the ‘Chef’ movie. I love the Filipino twist to this version, but more than that this sandwich deserves to be their star sandwich because of how legitimately good it is. Highly recommended!
Inside the crisp Pan Cubano are thin slices of juicy lechon, ham, and cheddar cheese. My favourite part was the tangy onions, but this sandwich could have been on the overly salty side had it not been for the sweet pickled green and yellow mangoes that balanced things out with their tartness and sweetness.
Served with chicharon and a dipping sauce made from the lechon drippings, this is one caloric feast. Dipping your sandwich into the sauce is optional since this is flavourful enough on its own, but according to my brother the dip takes it up a notch. It’s a good thing we saved this for last, otherwise the rich flavours of this one would’ve eclipsed the other sandwich!
This order is their Small size, and to me it’s big enough for one person. The medium size is basically two pieces of a Small order, and for those with big appetites you can probably go for that.
Salmon Chips 2.0 (Php 190)
Funny story about this: When it first came out to the table, I thought it was too much for Jason and I to finish on our own. I thought, ‘Wow, this is perfect for a barkada hangout chips party.’ Well, soon enough the plate was clean without a crumb in sight! Definitely addictive, so proceed with caution. 😀
This is a play on their classic T.C.P. (Taro, Camote, Potato Chips), which are deep-fried in coconut oil to a crisp. The salmon version has the addition of cubed salmon and calamansi butter. The chips are then topped with garlic and parmesan cheese, plus a drizzling of aioli. Crowned with a poached egg, this shareable side dish is a real head-turner.
The salmon bits are a little too small to be appreciated, but I like that there’s a sunny-side up that acts like a dipping sauce alongside the aioli. (On that note, they could probably serve this with a little aioli on the side.) These chips are good enough to eat without a sauce, but I wish I could taste the salmon a little more. Might be better if the salmon was flaked. I think I’ll try the Chorizo one next time. I like a good smoky flavour with my chips.
Grandpa’s Coleslaw, Sweet or Spicy (Php 75) 🌟
This coleslaw comes in a sweet or spicy blend, but since I like anything spicy obviously you know what I picked. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten coleslaw because I got so tired of the watery fastfood joint version that seems to be so rampant these days, but this one is thankfully different in terms of quality and taste. As you can see:
You’ve got slices of lettuce, carrots, red onions, and apples in a spicy mayo dressing, served generously in a bowl. I loved pairing this with my chips, or eating between bites of any of the sandwiches. It gives that spicy kick I always crave in my food, so I was really pleased. Maybe I’ll try the sweet version next time, but I’ll likely end up ordering this spicy one anyway!
Apple Pie Soda (Php 100) 🌟
What do you imagine when you hear the words Apple Pie Soda? Honestly at first I thought it was going to be a soda float type of drink, because how else would you make the apple pie aspect of it show through? I’m clueless about brewing drinks, but I can’t help but marvel at the genius way they infused the apple pie flavour into this soda.
I don’t drink sodas at all but I’d drink this every chance I get. People who know me well also know that I can’t possibly pay this a better compliment. Do. Not. Miss. This! This drink is yet another specialty of Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop, and a must-order with The Cebuano or any other savoury Mr. Graham sandwich really. And guess what, they brew this on their own! To me, this is 10 times better than Butterbeer, which I find to be sweetness overload.
This handcrafted soda is like a spiced bubbly apple juice. The blend of spices is predominantly cinnamon with a hint of nutmeg, flavouring the soda just right to make it delightful and not at all overwhelming to the senses. The spices give so much dimension to this drink and helps it take a leap from being JUST a soda to THE soda you NEED to have, only at Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop. 😉
PS. Because of the bottle, taking out this drink will cost you an additional 20 pesos. It’s like a deposit they return to you when you bring back the bottle, so keep that in mind.
I don’t know if it’s my love towards sandwiches talking, or maybe the food is just really good, but man, I’m already looking forward to my next visit here. Chris told me they’re coming up with new things for the menu, but I’m not sure if I can wait until then. I’m coming back to order the other sandwiches I haven’t tried. Should I come at Happy Hour?
Or maybe Sandwich Sabado? Though that Spiked Apple Soda during Happy Hour is real tempting.
Eating sandwiches like these remind me of the ones I had in New York– the sort that uses good bread and is packed with a ton of good things between. And that says a lot considering I had some of the best sandwiches of my life in NYC.
Also, I don’t usually take stuff home from the restaurants I get invited to, but I felt so compelled to do it on my visit to Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop. I needed to share my delight in these sandwiches, starting with my family, and now with all of you!
And because the Graham Brothers are very gracious, they’re giving you guys FREE CHIPS to go along with whatever sandwich you order when you visit the shop! As in that big plate of homemade chips I was talking about up there. Fair warning: You might end up wanting another bowl.
Just click this link for instructions and be on your way!!! (You basically just need to order something- ANYTHING- and show the picture to get the chips, how simple is that?!)
Well, I know this post has been full of gushing but to make a long story short, this place quickly made its mark on my favourites list sheerly because of the good and ingenious food offerings. (I’m so hungry after writing all this stuff down. I need a sandwich.)
I’ll be talking about the other much sweeter half of the Mr. & Mrs. Graham duo really soon, so look out for that! Just a hint: It’ll be a macaron and dessert bonanza!
Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop
Full disclosure: I was invited to dine at Mr. Graham’s Sandwich Shop but opinions are 100% mine alone. Like seriously you guys, these are some awesome sandwiches.
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