I’m always surprised at what a quick trip it is from downtown Orlando to downtown Winter Garden via the 408, turnpike and 429. The raison de trip was to visit Pammie’s Sammies, a rockin’ little sandwich shop a half block off of Plant Street.
The rockin’ part (more classic than hard) comes from the musical theme of the decor and overall ambience. The walls are decorated with guitars and band posters mixed among such eclectic miscellanea as wooden chairs nailed upside-down to the ceiling, a bank of unconnected beer taps (also upside down), and sundry works of local art.
All of this is curated by Pam Thomas, the Pammie in question, and her husband, Thorp, both of them die-hard and tie-dyed musicians. (Notice the vintage photos over one of the windows of Pam singing while Thorp plays the drums.)
Even the menus are printed on the backs of old album covers. Mine was from the Weather Girls’ “It’s Raining Men,” which was appropriate because it was drizzling outside (standard non-humanoid precipitation).
I was offered a sampling of specialty sammies and sides to try. One of my favorites was the veggie wrap, a whole wheat wrapper overstuffed with roasted red peppers, hummus, fresh lettuces, kalamata olives, feta cheese, sunflower seeds and other stuff. A sprinkling of balsamic vinaigrette gave it a nice bit of astringency but also added some moisture, so order this one only if you’re dining in or on the spacious patio. It was paired with a not-too-spicy black bean soup of the day.
I also liked the Cubanesque, Pammie’s take on a Cuban with plenty of pulled pork and shaved ham, with swiss cheese and dill pickles grill-pressed in a ciabatta roll. A slather of Dijon mustard added some nice spice. It was paired with the hash brown casserole side, something I’ll look forward to having again when Pammie’s introduces breakfast later in the year.
The sandwich asking the musical question Who’s Your Daddy? answers with fried bologna and melted American cheese topped with crushed Fritos. Could be anybody! This one was prettied up by sitting next to the Flower Child salad that had a base of arugula and sprouts dressed in a maple vinaigrette with beets, radishes and crumbled goat cheese. But what really made it pop was the inclusion of nasturtium and broccoli flowers in almost psychedelic colors.
The Thomases were on hand to greet and socialize with their guests, and they were assisted by a young staff who were equally as charming and accommodating. And don’t despair about the unconnected beer taps hanging from the ceiling; there are others fully tapped behind the counter, as well as a selection of white and – sing it with me! – Red Red Wine.
And yes, live music is often featured.
Pammie’s Sammies is at 121 Boyd St. Winter Garden (map). It is open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday and early dinner Tuesday through Saturday. Breakfast hours will be added soon. The phone number is 407-730-3212.