We had driven past this little hole in the wall at least 100 times before we finally decided to try a sandwich. I’m talking about Paul’s Place in Pleasant Grove, located near Macey’s grocery store on 981 W. State Street.
Once you enter, you’re greeted by the friendly wait staff in what feels a little like a sports bar or nightclub. The walls are lined with booths, and the music is a steady stream of 1970s hits. The décor is a little dark, and the air conditioning is cranking. It feels really good, especially since the thermometer on my car registered 104 degrees today.
I don’t know who “Paul” of Paul’s Place is, but I ordered his namesake sandwich called “Paul’s Italian.” I haven’t had a good Italian sandwich since I left the Bay Area. The ingredients are Capicola, salami, pepperoni, smoked ham, provolone cheese, sweet peppers, onions, lettuce, and tomato, topped with oil and vinegar, deli mustard and mayo on a hoagie bun. All the sandwich “insides” are placed on a grill, then lifted hot into the bun, which is grilled for a minute or two, then served hot, juicy and dripping with flavor. You’re welcome. Juicy, delicious and oh-so-tasty.
I know many of you have never had an authentic Italian sandwich, so here’s your chance. And you don’t even have to leave Happy Valley. All of Paul’s Place sandwiches are served with a dill pickle spear, but if you want to kick it up a notch, and trust me, you do, order sidewinders on the side, served with a squirt of good ‘ole pink fry sauce. Sidewinders are crispy french fry-like potatoes but thicker, wavier and crispier.
My dining companion, Kevie, ordered the breakfast sandwich for lunch. Egg, bacon, sausage, and cheese, grilled on thick toast. “Delicious,” he reported. He doesn’t lather on the compliments, so you know it was good.
The day we went to lunch, the place was filled, and we waited for a booth. A lunch special is available for $7.50 and includes a half sandwich, soup or sidewinders. I have tasted the grilled ham and cheese and the club sandwiches. All were delicious, but Paul’s Italian and the Italian Sausage are at the top of the sandwich heap. Another customer favorite is the Prime Rib Philly with au jus. I haven’t tried it; that’s my next adventure at Paul’s Place.
According to their website, the sandwiches are “Heaven Between Bread.” I haven’t been to heaven and don’t have plans to visit soon, so I’ll just have to agree that this must be what heaven is like—at least for lunch. Hours are Monday through Friday, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed on weekends and holidays.