I am ecstatic to announce that the doors have been opened and those lovely golden bricks have been flying through that little toasty oven faster than you can say “Holiday Turkey Sandwich, please!”
Located directly next to the AMC Theater Complex across from The Rainforest Cafe, the Earl of Sandwich has replaced the Compass Cafe and Bookstore.
And although the bookstore was fun to browse and the cafe sold Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, I’d much prefer a sandwich from Earl any day. Last week the doors soft opened with a 25% discount on all menu items, and then “officially” opened this past Friday. I snuck over Thursday to get my fix.
The soft opening was no secret, and with the entire menu being 25% off I expected there to be a pretty substantial line. And I was correct.
When my boys saw the line they about had a panic attack because A: It was already 1:00 and they were beyond ready to eat lunch and B: They had never been to an Earl of Sandwich, so they had no idea how quickly the line moves. After visiting the Orlando and Vegas locations, I was fully aware of how well-oiled this sandwich making machine was.
I assured them that we’d move quickly and that it would be well worth the wait. I also bribed them and told them they could pick whichever dessert they wanted…
Menus While You Wait
My guess is that there were approximately 100 people in front of us in line, but we managed to order and have our food on the table in about 25 minutes. The line was outside the building and wrapped back to the temporary ice skating rink, but there were friendly Earl helpers passing out menus to peruse while waiting.
I had just been to Orlando so I knew what I was in line for: the Holiday Turkey Sandwich. But then I saw this little billboard and realized that for “work” purposes I must also order the Turkey Chili AND the Peppermint Brownie.
So, when I got up to the counter, that’s just what I did. When you get to the first stop, you place your sandwich, salad & soup orders, and are handed a buzzer. You then make your way down the line while picking up sides and treats until you hit the cashier.
Going down the line you will be tempted with many fabulous side options. Get everything you want, because once you hit the cashier it’s not easy to go back without getting many dirty looks from people waiting for their turn to pay. I found this out the hard way when I wanted to add my Turkey Chili after the fact.
Available sides include Earl’s Potato Chips, Fruit Cups, Coleslaw, Potato Salad, Pasta Salad, and lots of baked treats such as Cookies, Brownies, Brownie Creme Sandwiches (!!!!!), Bread Pudding, and more. Make sure to pick yourself up a treat.
While you’re deciding on which sides to choose, you can watch the talented sandwich makers in action. Ingredients are placed on freshly baked bread, which is then sent slowly through the toaster ovens.
Check out these rows and rows of fresh bread waiting to be toasted to perfection!
After the salads and bottled drinks (fountain drinks can also be ordered), you hit the good stuff. Here’s where you’ll find cookies, brownies, bread pudding, etc.
Oh yeah. And if just before paying you decide you should add something healthy to your meal, they have fresh fruit too.
While waiting for our buzzer to buzz, we found a table outside in the communal table area. I do NOT recommend having someone save a table for you when you first get in line, because honestly it’s a waste. Let someone use it who already has their food. The turn-around time is so fast that you’re sure to find a place to sit.
There’s also a small dining room in the rotunda part of the building. This is where the “Cafe” part of the Compass Book Store used to be. It has been converted into a small dining room with tables and chairs — and coffee, tea, and fountain drink dispensers can also be found here.
After our buzzer buzzed, I nearly ran to grab our golden “bricks.” Bricks, you ask? Well each toasty sandwich from Earl of Sandwich comes perfectly wrapped in a piece of gold foil labeled with a sticker that marks the type of sandwich you ordered.
I love me a good sandwich and this is — no joke — one of my top two favorite sandwiches in the world (the other is non-Disney, shhhh!). A sucker for anything Thanksgiving-ish, the Holiday Turkey Sandwich is basically Thanksgiving dinner on a roll. Hot turkey, stuffing, cranberry, and a little mayo served toasted on a freshly baked roll. Seriously heaven.
My oldest son couldn’t resist trying one of the sandwiches from the “Just 4 Kids” menu; The Pizza Sandwich. Of course I had to try a bite, and let me tell you, YUM.
The bread was toasted to perfection and the mozzarella perfectly melted. The marinara was flavorful yet kid friendly. The portion is quite small for an 11 year old, but he was sold by the word pizza, so I think next time I will see if they can make it “adult” sized for him.
My other sandwich eater went with a plain turkey and mustard. But even for something so simple, it was actually quite delicious.
I accidentally ordered him the adult sized sandwich and he had no problem eating the whole thing. Only complaint? No pickles at Earl…
In order to save some room for the rest of the goodies, I ate half of my sandwich and wrapped up the other half for the next day’s lunch. I then dug into my delicious Turkey Chili, which also happens to be a “Holiday” special.
Even though it was 85 degrees out and not really “Chili” weather, it still hit the spot. Very flavorful with large chunks of turkey, beans, tomatoes, and onions, & peppers. I would not consider this spicy at all. Very mild in fact. I would definitely order it again and it would make a great dip for a sandwich. Maybe not the Holiday Turkey Sandwich, but for sure something a little more plain.
As for the desserts, my oldest went for the good ol’ Triple Chocolate Brownie made with Ghirardelli Chocolate.
He snatched that up as soon as he saw it when we were going through the line. He also devoured it, barely letting me have a taste. Extra large in size, the round brownie is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.
The Brownie Creme Sandwich consists of two triple chocolate brownies with a generous layer of creamy frosting between them. Take two amazing brownies and add frosting? Yes. Please.
Again, I was barely able to get a taste in, and I had to FORCE him to let his brother try it.
I had to grab the last peppermint brownie. I’m a sucker for anything peppermint and the fact that it was topped with candy cane crumbles sealed the deal.
The brownie was basically a Triple Chocolate Brownie, but it did have a peppermint taste to it that was more than just the crumbles on top. There are no visible peppermint pieces inside the actual brownie, but there is definitely a hint of peppermint in the mix.
After a bite, I passed it on to my “helpers” who again had no problem finishing it up.
AND because I was “working” I decided I’d better try the Bread Pudding. This one was mine all mine though, because my helpers were not only on chocolate overload at this point, but because it was called “bread” pudding, they had no interest. Fine by me!
The Bread Pudding was actually quite good. A few bites were a little dry but other than that, the combination of cinnamon, sugar, and raisins with their chunks of fresh bread was delish.
Overall, I know we will be frequenting The Earl of Sandwich. Not only is it a delicious crowd pleaser, but it’s also affordable and quick.
By the looks of the photo below, I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say that we will be back to Earl of Sandwich sooner than later. Welcome to the neighborhood Earl, we’re already in love.
In addition to sandwiches and baked goods, The Earl of Sandwich also serves Breakfast Sandwiches (served till 11:00am) as well as wraps, salads, and soups.
Have you been to the new Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney, Anaheim yet? Or have you visited another location? Favorite Sandwich? Favorite treat? Tell us in the comments below.