There are a lot of upper-crust sandwich joints in Phoenix and they're usually well worth the near $10 price tag. When we found out DJ Fernandes of Tuck Shop had a lunch joint called Astor House, we had to see if we could get fed for under $10.
The adorable little converted home in the Coronado district off 12th Street between McDowell and Thomas roads has a great patio with a great vibe. Closed for lunch Monday, Astor House is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. with some late night weekend hours and early weekend brunch hours as well.
Astor's two most popular sandwiches are their Cubano and Mexican Gyro, both $8.74 with tax. While that means you're likely drinking water if you're trying to stay under $10, the sandwiches themselves are totally worth it.
We tried out the Cubano, a classic in Miami but more difficult to find in the Valley. On the outside, it's a pretty basic looking sandwich: meat, melted cheese, baguette. However, once you bite into one of these bad boys you'll know what all the fuss is about.
The combination of regular sliced ham, crispy pork confit, melted swiss, pickles, mustard and mayo is completely crave worthy. It has a little sweet, a little salty, a little creamy, some bitter and sour. It does tend to get messy, as ham and melted cheese are probably some of the most naturally greasy foodstuffs known to man, so grab a few napkins.
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Since we could only finish half of our Cubano, our real recommendation is to split th
e sandwich with a friend and then you can each get a bag of New Orlean's Zapp's chips and a fresh-squeezed-to-order lemonade squeaking by our budget requirements at $9.84. This will definitely be enough to fill you up and that elderflower lemonade is one of the most bafflingly refreshing lemonades ever made. It basically made us regret ever drinking any other lemonade.
Another great thing about Astor House is the service. Jessica was polite, informative and eager to give suggestions. She checked in more than one would expect at a counter service joint, and it's that sort of attitude, in addition to the phenomenal food, that makes us liable to become regulars.