Home at last

Fast Eddie’s makes a move

Fast Eddie’s G-CHEEZY Burger, a monster cheeseburger artfully stuffed between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Fast Eddie’s G-CHEEZY Burger, a monster cheeseburger artfully stuffed between two grilled cheese sandwiches.

Photo by Ken Smith

Fast Eddie’s Sandwich Shop
1175 East Ave.
Open for lunch daily, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., with expanded hours to come.

I first fell in love with Fast Eddie’s Sandwich Shop five years ago, and found myself in full-blown panic mode when I called to place an order in January to find the east-side eatery’s number permanently disconnected. Thankfully, further research revealed it was just moving to a new location. The deli reopened in early March with limited, lunchtime-only hours as Fast Eddie (he’s a real guy) and crew settle into their new digs.

The restaurant’s first location was downtown, but in 2011 it moved into one of those converted home-to-commercial spots on East Avenue, near Tinseltown. Its new location is another conversion job on the same street, this one closer to Pleasant Valley High School and across the street from a palm reader.

It seems, at long last, that the restaurant has finally found a fitting home. The new location has more interior space and more of the things that make Fast Eddie’s a special place. The sports theme remains intact and unique—fun and oddly retro, more like an ideal place for a post-Little League game celebration than a bro-tastic sports bar. This atmosphere is enhanced by a slightly separated arcade room featuring an obligatory, sit-down-style racing game. The newfangled thrill ride might not complete the halcyon atmosphere as well as a vintage Pole Position machine might, but no worries, grandpa … they do have Galaga. The new space also includes a beer bar with several taps and outdoor seating in the front yard, which is still being landscaped.

Part of Eddie’s appeal has always been its massive, offbeat sandwich menu (now with 70 sammies to choose from), which ranges from simple (a classic blank-and-blank from the basics menu runs $6.99 on average) to stupendous (a Hawaiian Cowboy with hot ham, bacon, pineapple, honey mustard, barbecue and Fast Eddie’s signature sauce). With the new home’s larger, better-outfitted kitchen, the menu has expanded to include burgers and deep-fried delights.

Since the reopening, I’ve been to Fast Eddie’s twice. The first time, I had to order my usual, the High Tower—Eddie’s aptly named take on a classic, triple-decker club sandwich (ham, turkey, bacon, cheddar, $8.49).

I wanted to try one of the burgers on my second visit, but still found myself craving a sandwich, so I ordered a G-CHEEZY Burger ($9.49)—a dressed-up muenster cheeseburger tucked between two complete grilled cheese sandwiches. It kicked as much ass as its description suggests.

I also tested several sides—onion rings, mozzarella sticks, jalapeño poppers and fries, listed here in order of relative tastiness. I sampled some of my dining companions’ orders as well and was most impressed by the sandwiches centered around a tender piece of fried chicken.

The service at Fast Eddie’s old location was, ironically, a bit on the slow side. This wasn’t the case during recent visits, even though the restaurant was packed both times.

We did encounter a few kinks easily chalked up to growing pains. For one, part of Eddie’s charm is that some dishes are on the down-and-dirty side (pub food meets snack bar meets deli-style), but a few of my companions’ meals were a little too much so, and could use a little less grease and sauce. Sandwich combos formerly came stock with a serving of some of the most excellent macaroni salad I’ve ever had—it’s got a spicy bite to it and includes delectable little cubes of cheddar cheese. It’s still on the menu, but lost among the deli’s expanded options.

Altogether, it was a satisfying return to an old favorite, and I look forward to Fast Eddie’s delivering bigger and better meals than ever once the proverbial dust from the move has settled.