The Italian sandwich from Gretchen’s Place in Bothell comes with pepperoni, salami and Italian ham on a French roll with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, olives, pepperoncini and provolone cheese. (Evan Thompson / The Herald)

The Italian sandwich from Gretchen’s Place in Bothell comes with pepperoni, salami and Italian ham on a French roll with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, olives, pepperoncini and provolone cheese. (Evan Thompson / The Herald)

Humble Bothell deli perfects the art of sandwich-making

Gretchen’s Place offers hot and cold sandwiches at prices that won’t break the bank.

Never dismiss small, inconspicuous eateries — because they might just surprise you.

I recently stumbled onto Gretchen’s Place in the Canyon Park area of Bothell while looking for restaurants close to where an old friend lives.

It felt like the epitome of a hole-in-the-wall restaurant. The deli, which opened seven years ago, is sandwiched between a row of office buildings. There isn’t a big sign out front announcing its presence.

But when you step inside and smell what’s cooking, you know you’ve found the right place.

The deli offers hot and cold sandwiches, salads, soups and breakfast. It was a great place to grab a quick bite for lunch and catch up with Austin, a friend from high school and college, even if it was a little farther south than I usually venture.

I envy the people who work nearby.

We stuck with the hot sandwiches menu. There’s a good selection to choose from — caprese, French dip, Reuben, pulled pork barbecue and Italian. All hot sandwiches are just $6.59.

I ordered an Italian with pepperoni, salami and Italian ham on a French roll with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, olives, pepperoncini and provolone cheese. I also got one of the daily soup specials, basil tomato bisque, for $3.99.

Austin ordered a Reuben sandwich with pastrami, Swiss cheese, red cabbage sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on onion rye bread.

Patrons can choose between turkey and pastrami on their Reuben sandwiches at Gretchen’s Place, which also includes Swiss cheese, red cabbage sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on onion rye bread. (Evan Thompson / The Herald)

Patrons can choose between turkey and pastrami on their Reuben sandwiches at Gretchen’s Place, which also includes Swiss cheese, red cabbage sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on onion rye bread. (Evan Thompson / The Herald)

We were talking about strategies for our upcoming fantasy football season when I took my first bite. Austin, who had already taken a bite, noticed my facial expression.

“Pretty good, isn’t it?”

Indeed it was.

The Italian came with a subtle smoky taste — probably from the pepperoni and salami — which played off the acidity of the tomatoes and olives. The French bread, made by The Essential Baking Co. in Seattle, also was great. And the tomato bisque was rich, tangy and creamy.

Austin was also a fan of his Reuben.

“The overall flavor was good,” he said. “The meat was actually very delicious. It had the right texture. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. The spices they used really stood out.”

Next time, I’ll have to try one of their cold sandwiches, which include roast beef, ham, turkey, tuna salad, chicken salad, egg salad, pastrami and veggie, all for just $6.29.

I won’t say Gretchen’s Place is defying the boundaries of sandwich-making with its food. That would be difficult for any restaurant to accomplish.

But I know this much — their sandwiches are delicious.

Evan Thompson: 360-544-2999, ethompson@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @evanthompson_1.

Gretchen’s Place

Where: 22522 29th Drive SE, No. 106, Bothell

When: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday

More: 425-402-1786 or www.gretchensplace.com

Talk to us

More in Life

Josh Haazard Stands inside his workspace, the HaazLab, where he creates a variety of cosplay props and other creative gadgets, on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022, at his home in Monroe, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
This contraption crafter turns junk into sci-fi weaponry

Joshamee “The Chief” Haazard is a costume prop maker in Monroe. He transforms trash into treasure.

For your kids’ sake, stress less about their grades this school year

Don’t make a big deal over grades. Instead, encourage out-of-classroom activities and remember, learning is supposed to be fun.

At the prehistoric fortress of Dun Aengus, the dramatic west cliffs of Ireland meet the turbulent sea as Europe comes to an abrupt end. (Rick Steves' Europe)
Enjoy the simple life on Ireland’s starkly beautiful Aran Islands

Three limestone islands make up the Aran Islands: Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer.

American Queen changes COVID protocols; can I get a refund?

fter American Queen changes its COVID protocols, Patricia Voorhees Furlong and her husband want to skip their river cruise. Is that allowed? Or, will they lose out on $7,858?

Erika Weinert, an Everett-based mother, editor and now author, sits at her home workspace and holds her first published book, “Cursing with Style” on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
What the @#$%! Everett mom publishes a dictionary of curse words

Erika M. Weinert, 42, a copy editor who does business as The Werd Nerd, wrote “Cursing with Style.”

The 2022 Lexus GX has a 301-horsepower V8 engine, six-speed automatic transmission, and full time all-wheel drive. (Lexus)
Updated 2022 Lexus GX 460 expands list of standard features

Navigation and a 10.3-inch multimedia system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are included.

Bruce Johnson has an exhibit on the history of clowns at the Lynnwood Library in Lynnwood, Washington on August 11, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Clown historian takes the funny business very seriously

Bruce Johnson, a.k.a “Charlie the Juggling Clown,” wants to pass his craft down to future generations.

Ella Larson, left, and Simon Fuentes sort through blueberries at Hazel Blue Acres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Fruits, flowers and bees aplenty in Arlington farm fete

First-ever event highlights local growers’ bounty and contributions to local community

A bald eagle flys over Howarth Park back to it’s perch on Friday, April 22, 2022 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Learn how to photograph birds in three-part workshop

Participants will learn to make appealing, sharp bird photos even if they are new to photography.

The Snohomish County PUD recently installed two electric vehicle fast chargers adjacent to public parking stalls on the north side of the Electric Building.
PUD installs fast chargers for electric vehicle drivers

Funding for the t62.5-kilowatt chargers came in part from fines paid by Volkswagen over its 2015 diesel engine scandal.

Airbnb host cancels, and now he has to pay $1,300 more

When Curtis Rahman’s Airbnb host cancels his reservation a day before his arrival, he tries to find a substitute apartment. But the new property is smaller and costs more. Is a $200 credit enough to make up for the trouble?

Antique tools can be interesting collectibles. This gadget, a mechanical rope twister, has a patent date of 1901.
Most people today would not recognize this rope twister

Is it a kitchen gadget — perhaps a fruit or vegetable peeler? Some kind of grinder or chopper? In fact, it’s a mechanical rope twister.